Press Release

AHA Statement on President's Address on Health Reform

Rich Umbdenstock
President and CEO
American Hospital Association

September 10, 2009

America's hospitals applaud President Obama for his continued focus on health reform and are pleased to hear him reaffirm his commitment to expanding coverage to the millions of Americans without health insurance.  Our hope is for meaningful reform, that along with expanded coverage, also allows for important delivery system changes permitting physicians and hospitals to better coordinate care and move health care in America towards a system of prevention and wellness.

Every day, hospitals and caregivers are on the front lines in providing care to all Americans, regardless of whether they have insurance.  Without health coverage, patients are less likely to receive the preventive care that could keep them well.  Patients are showing up in hospital emergency rooms sicker and with more chronic conditions than ever before.  That is why hospitals have stepped forward to be part of the solution.  America's hospitals stand ready to do our part to extend coverage to more Americans and to continually strive towards providing high-quality care for patients that is more efficient and affordable.

We appreciate the President's willingness to explore better alternatives to today's medical liability system, and urge that even stronger actions be taken in this area to reign in excessive lawsuits that are currently driving physicians to practice defensive medicine and raise the cost of care for everyone.  At the same time, we have concerns on how a public plan would be constructed, but are glad to see that President Obama is open to exploring other ideas that would help us achieve our shared goal of universal coverage.

We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to make reform a reality, and hope that a thoughtful bipartisan approach is possible that keeps true to the most important goal of improving care for patients. 

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

About AHA


Member Constituency Sections

Key Relationships

News Center

Performance Improvement

Advocacy Issues

Products & Services


Research & Trends


155 N. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60606

800 10th Street, N.W.
Two CityCenter, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20001-4956