AHA backs off from $2T savings promise

Hey, wait a minute--did we say that? No, what we meant was that we're going to try really, really hard to save money--somehow. 
That was the message American Hospital Association was offering yesterday, in the wake of a spectacular announcement in which a group of leading healthcare organizations said that they could shave $2 trillion off the rate of growth in healthcare costs over the next 10 years.

The announcement, which was hailed by President Obama, was something of a bombshell, despite the fact that the groups offered few specifics as to how they'd get the job done. Now, AHA president Richard Umbdenstock is telling the media and Congress that perceptions his group's plans have "spun way away from the original intent," arguing that everyone involved had misrepresented what was contained in the letter to President Barack Obama on May 11.

Umbdenstock said that the AHA got involved in the process late in the game, and did so to help craft the message and avoid the appearance that its members didn't support reform. But mind you, "we did not say that we would save this country $2 trillion on our own," he said. OK, now we've got it: Someone else will have to do the heavy lifting. Thanks for setting us straight.

To learn more about AHA's lobbying effort:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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