Press Release

Statement on the Debt Limit Agreement

Rich Umbdenstock
President and CEO
American Hospital Association

August 1, 2011

America’s hospitals find it difficult to support a debt ceiling proposal that could negatively affect Medicare for our nation’s seniors.  Hospitals have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to accept shared sacrifice and do what is best for our country, but our first commitment is to patients, whose access to care could be curtailed by further cuts to Medicare funding for hospital care. 

As America ages, more seniors are turning to hospitals for their care.  Funding reductions for hospital services translate into decreased access for our nation’s seniors.  That’s why the total Medicare program – including caregivers – should be exempt from “sequestration”.  Cuts to Medicare funding for hospital care could overload emergency rooms, shut down trauma units and reduce patient access to the latest treatments.

Hospitals also recognize that Medicare needs to be modernized to address the needs of a changing America, but it cannot be done on the backs of providers who care for our nation’s most vulnerable.   We want to work with the new congressional committee to identify real reform that will secure Medicare for future generations rather than continued ratcheting of providers.

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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