AHA Statement on House Passage of Health Reform Bill
President and CEO, American Hospital Association
November 8, 2009
Last night, the House took an historic step in making health reform a reality. While the House bill makes important progress in expanding coverage, an important goal for hospitals, there are areas for improvement. In the days ahead, America's hospitals will work to improve upon the bill for patients and families.
While the House bill using negotiated rates within parameters is an improvement, we remain concerned that the program would still, in part, be based on historically low Medicare rates. We also are concerned about expanding eligibility for Medicaid to 150 percent of the federal poverty level at a time when states are struggling with severe budget shortfalls.
Lawmakers also should restore a provision that would expand the outpatient 340B drug discount program to inpatient services for all eligible hospitals. Lawmakers should revise the $20 billion medical device manufacturer tax so it cannot be passed on to hospitals, narrow the hospital readmissions policy to address only truly avoidable readmissions and improve accountable care organizations to give hospitals the opportunity to play a leadership role.
Now, all eyes turn to the Senate to take the next step. America's hospitals pledge to work with members of Congress and the Administration for reform that strengthens health care in America.
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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