Press Release

Statement on Administration's 2009 Fiscal Budget

Rich Umbdenstock
President and CEO
American Hospital Association

February 4, 2008

Today's budget blueprint would have a disastrous impact on the health care that millions of patients and families depend on.  Plain and simple:  this plan slashes vital health programs for the elderly and children and must be rejected.

America's hospitals strongly oppose this budget's outrageous cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.  In the real world, these enormous budget numbers come with enormous consequences, making hospitals' job of caring for patients even more difficult. 

At a time when physicians are in short supply, this budget calls for cuts to teaching hospitals that prepare tomorrow's physicians.  At a time when our economy is faltering, this budget cuts hospitals serving some of America's poorest patients.  At a time when an aging America depends on modern hospital care, this budget drastically reduces funds that help hospitals keep cutting-edge technology available for communities.  This budget cuts programs that help rural communities keep their health care, train the nurses and caregivers of tomorrow and assist children's hospitals in training pediatricians and other specialists. 

In the coming days, the President also is expected to put forward a proposal to address the so-called 45 percent trigger of the Medicare trust fund.  We urge Congress to repeal this arbitrary policy that does not take into account the real and growing health needs of patients. 

For the patients who rely on these vital programs, America's hospitals urge Congress to reject this misguided budget.

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

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