Statement on the Debt Limit Agreement
Marie Watteau - (202) 626-2351
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.
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 38,000 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.
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