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STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION ON THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN FOR COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE REFORM

 STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION ON
 THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN FOR COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE REFORM
 CHICAGO, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Hospital Association President Richard Davidson today issued the following statement:
 How will President Bush's complex reform solution affect hospitals? We don't know yet, but it looks like a mixed bag. On the plus side, his plan could help uninsured people buy health coverage. In 1990 alone, hospital care for those unable to pay totaled $9.5 billion.
 The plan also takes concrete steps toward restructuring the way we deliver care by encouraging enrollment in coordinated care programs. We agree with President Bush that coordinated care is an essential building block to contain health care costs.
 On the other hand, what remains unclear is the degree to which this plan will achieve the main objective of reform: universal access to health care. How many uninsured people will be able to take advantage of these measures? And who will pay for them?
 Right now, Medicaid pays hospitals only 78 cents for every dollar that we spend treating patients. The plan proposes to use this same 78 cents on the dollar to cover both current Medicaid patients and new beneficiaries. This further erodes health financing for the poor. They shouldn't be the losers in health care reform. Making shortfalls the cornerstone of a new U.S. health care system would lay a very shaky foundation.
 Finally, the President's proposal will place enormous new burdens on already hard pressed state governments. They will be asked to redesign their own Medicaid programs, continue to make do with less and assume responsibility for tens of millions of new beneficiaries. Can it be done in the midst of a recession?
 -0- 2/6/92
 /CONTACT: Donna Gaidamak, 312-280-6129, Dona DeSanctis, 202-626-2315, both of American Hospital Association/ CO: American Hospital Association ST: Illinois, District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:


JT -- NY108 -- 7982 02/06/92 18:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 6, 1992
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