AHA Statement on President Bush's 2007 Fiscal Budget
Hospitals care for everyone who comes to them with skill and compassion. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, communities rely on hospitals for medical miracles and to be a vital part of their life and economic health. And now more than ever, Americans know their hospitals stand ready to respond to natural disasters, pandemic diseases and the threat of terrorism.
And more than 80 million Americans who are covered by Medicare and Medicaid programs depend on their local hospitals to provide vital care for them. To keep this commitment to our elderly and others, our nation’s hospitals must have adequate resources. Hospitals currently face a federal payment system which continues to pay well below the cost of caring for its beneficiaries. In fact, in 2004, about 7 of every 10 hospitals lost money serving Medicare patients.
Unfortunately the budget proposed by President Bush deeply cuts the essential funding hospitals need to care for our nation’s seniors. And the budget also proposes cuts to Medicaid, which often serves as the sole source through which many of the most vulnerable members of our society receive health care.
Hospitals already are stretching scarce resources to respond to the daily challenges of providing care to all who come through our doors. Cuts to these resources will have a negative impact on the availability of care for the patients and communities we serve.
We share the Administration's goal to improve health in America and expand access and coverage for the uninsured, and will continue to work toward health coverage for all. But the budget put forward today is a step backwards in protecting access to care for all Americans.
About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
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