Printer Friendly

HOSPITALS SEE 'COMMON GROUND' IN CLINTON REFORM PLAN, BUT 'BATTLEGROUND' AS WELL

 WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Hospital Association (AHA) sees "more common ground than battleground" in the Clinton health care reform proposal, the association's president told a congressional committee today.
 But the group will oppose efforts to cut $124 billion out of Medicare spending by the year 2000, 80 percent of which would otherwise go for hospital care. And the AHA will urge President Clinton to abandon his proposal to tie health care spending growth to the Consumer Price Index.
 Clinton favors scaling back health care spending to match the growth in the Consumer Price Index, plus an adjustment for population growth. This would amount to "putting the system on cruise control, taking one's hands off the steering wheel, and hoping for the best," said Dick Davidson, the AHA president, in testimony presented today to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.
 Rigid spending formulas don't allow for unforeseen circumstances, such as the AIDS epidemic, Davidson said. Instead, the AHA wants a proposed national independent commission to set health spending targets with an eye toward the actual needs of patients and communities.
 On Clinton's proposed Medicare cuts, Davidson said this is "no time to be bleeding resources from the system." Hospitals are poised to change over to a new way of providing care, he said, one linking hospitals, physicians and other health providers into "health plans," as Clinton calls them. The plans would be paid a set fee per person per month. The approach, Davidson said, will give hospitals, doctors and other providers incentives to work together and eliminate expensive duplication of services and technology.
 "Our fear is that a too-constrained financial environment at the outset could prevent reform from getting off the ground," the AHA president said.
 Davidson said the nation shouldn't finance deficit reduction by slighting hospital care. "The Clinton plan calls for using reform savings and taxes to reduce the deficit by $91 billion," he said. "We believe those savings should be left in the health care reform effort where they can reduce the need for arbitrary cuts."
 Davidson praised the Clinton plan's emphasis on health coverage for all Americans. He also said the AHA likes Clinton's basic proposal for health plans, although he added that the AHA wants to ensure that the plans would be governed locally. He gave high marks to Clinton's general ideas for a national independent commission that would set a guaranteed national health care benefit package for all Americans and legal alien residents.
 The AHA likewise endorses Clinton's movement toward more specific antitrust guidelines. "Hospitals that want to merge or share technology are sometimes discouraged from doing so out of fear of running afoul of the Justice Department and regulators," Davidson said.
 The American Hospital Association, a not-for-profit organization, serves as a national advocate for hospitals and the patients they serve, provides education and information for its members and informs the public about hospital and health care issues.
 -0- 10/5/93
 /CONTACT: William Erwin, 202-626-2284, or Alicia Nulty, 202-626-2339, both of the American Hospital Association/


CO: American Hospital Association ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: EXE

MH-DC -- DC007 -- 8767 10/05/93 10:05 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 5, 1993
Words:526
Previous Article:BP TO SPEND $340 MILLION ON NEW U.S. OIL FIELD
Next Article:MDA SEEKING HAY & STRAW PRODUCERS FOR 1993-94 MARYLAND HAY AND STRAW DIRECTORY
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters