Statement on the Administration's Proposed FY2017 Budget
Ashley B. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Public Policy Analysis and Development
American Hospital Association
February 9, 2016
Patients and communities across the country depend on the high-quality care that hospitals provide every day. The significant cuts proposed in today’s budget would jeopardize hospitals’ ability to keep the promise of maintaining access to vital health care services. These reductions are ill-advised at a time when Medicare and Medicaid do not cover the costs of caring for patients.
Specifically, this budget proposal would strain the ability of teaching hospitals to train the next generation of physicians, would harm care for vulnerable populations in rural communities by reducing funding for critical access hospitals, and would limit vital specialized care delivered by post-acute care providers. These misguided policies would hamper hospitals’ progress toward ensuring patients and communities have access to the right care at the right time in the right setting.
On a more positive note, the Administration’s proposed budget would rein in increasing drug prices, which have put a strain on patients, providers and taxpayers. We also applaud the Administration’s commitment to addressing the opioid epidemic and expanding access to behavioral health services. The Administration’s expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and promise to fund Medicaid expansion in states that have not yet done so are welcome news. Further, we support the additional critical funding for hospitals in Puerto Rico.
We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration toward long-term solutions that protect the promise of care and improve the health of our communities.
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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