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Report: Iowa hospitals will lose $1.2 billion because of COVID-19 by the end of June

Lawmakers kept hospital funding levels status quo in the upcoming fiscal year budget despite pleas from lobbyists to give them extra money.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The coronavirus pandemic has cost Iowa hospitals almost a billion dollars, and though they've asked for help in the upcoming fiscal year budget, Republicans didn't think it was needed since they're getting federal assistance. 

"Even us holding the line for the status quo budget, they are getting additional dollars out of that $1.25 billion from the federal government," Rep. Gary Mohr, R-Bettendorf, said. 

But Democrats said they're worried keeping their funding levels the same as last year isn't going to be enough. 

"There was no support for our local hospitals around the state who have approached us about their financial position," Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said. 

Iowa hospitals have already lost $850 million because of COVID-19, according to an analysis done by accounting consultants CliftonLarsonAllen. 

By the end of June, that figure is expected to rise to $1.2 billion. 

The Iowa Hospital Association said many Iowa hospitals are now having to reevaluate services they provide and look at staffing levels because of financial hardships.

The Iowa Hospital Association sent Local 5 the following emailed statement about the budget Tuesday:

Throughout the pandemic, Iowa’s health care heroes have selflessly staffed the front lines to address and contain COVID-19. Iowa hospitals have to lead the charge against this virus and yet with the order to limit elective services many are struggling financially. Many Iowa hospitals are forced now to reevaluate the services they can continue to provide, staff they can continue to employ and consider what measures need to be further taken to enable them to sustain through this time of uncertainty.

According to an analysis by accounting consultants CliftonLarsonAllen, Iowa hospitals will have collectively suffered an estimated $1.2 billion cumulative loss this month.

Iowa hospitals did not receive any additional funding in this year’s state budget allocations. Although federal funding has provided some support, hospitals have significant funding gaps, and are even more concerned about the future as this relief funding ends.

Iowa hospitals will need the support of lawmakers to ensure they remain able to provide the outstanding level of community service and response that Iowans have come to know and depend on throughout the pandemic.

RELATED: Iowa lawmakers cut public university funding by $8M

RELATED: 2020 Iowa legislative session comes to a close, Gov. Reynolds highlights key priorities passed

WATCH: Complete coronavirus coverage from Local 5 on YouTube

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