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AHA responds to Emanuel commentary in New York Times

February 14, 2013

In a letter to the editor today in the New York Times, AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock takes issue with a recent opinion piece by former White House advisor Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D. "We disagree with Dr. Emanuel's assertion that hospitals don't believe that something must be done to control rising health care costs," Umbdenstock writes. "Hospitals fully support care improvement and cost reduction, but we will oppose indiscriminate cuts to payment rates because they do nothing to reform the system. Hospitals are partnering with the government and private insurers to eliminate harm, avoid preventable readmissions and improve the coordination of care. And all this reduces costs in the right way. At its core, health care is about people caring for people - whether it is performing surgery or holding someone's hand in hospice. We cannot lose sight of this simple truth."