Thursday, November 05, 2009

AARP Endorses Affordable Health Care for America Act

Thu Nov 5, 2009 1:57pm EST
BOISE, Idaho, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today AARP announced its
endorsement of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) and the
accompanying Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act (H.R. 3961). The
Association's support follows nearly two years of work with lawmakers on both
sides of the aisle to craft a health care reform plan that meets the needs of
AARP's nearly 40 million members and all older Americans. Among those needs
are reforms that strictly curb insurance companies' discrimination against
older Americans and Medicare improvements that strengthen benefits while
protecting the program for future generations.

"We started this debate more than two years ago with the twin goals of making
coverage affordable to our younger members and protecting Medicare for
seniors," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho. "We've read
the Affordable Health Care for America Act and we can say with confidence that
it meets those goals with improved benefits for people in Medicare and needed
health insurance market reforms to help ensure every American can purchase
affordable health coverage."

Today's endorsement marks the first time in this legislative battle that AARP
has put its full weight behind a comprehensive health care reform package. In
the coming days, AARP will be educating its members about the health care
reform package through its publications, paid advertising and more than five
million calls and e-mails to its grassroots activists.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act and the Medicare Physician Payment
Reform Act contain critical components AARP has been fighting for on behalf of
its members and all older Americans to improve health care for them and their
families. They include:

-- Protecting and strengthening Medicare for today's seniors and future
generations of retirees;
-- Ensuring seniors can see the doctor of their choice or find a doctor
they need one by improving Medicare's payments to doctors;
-- Lowering drug costs for seniors by closing the Medicare Part D
hole" and allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug makers for lower
-- Taking steps to reduce waste, fraud, abuse and inefficiency in the
Medicare program;
-- Requiring Medicare and insurance companies to provide for important
preventive services like screenings for diabetes, cancer and
osteoporosis free of charge;
-- Stopping insurance companies from denying you affordable coverage
because of your age;
-- Preventing insurance companies from denying you coverage if you have a
pre-existing condition or dropping your coverage if you get sick;
-- Limiting how much your insurance company can make you pay
-- Providing affordable health insurance options for those who don't have
insurance; and

-- Providing benefits to help seniors and people with disabilities live
their own homes and communities by establishing the Community Living
Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program.

Wordelman added: "We cannot continue to let insurers price older Americans out
of the market, just as we cannot stand idle while millions of seniors are
forced to choose between their groceries and their prescriptions. AARP is
proud to endorse the Affordable Health Care for America Act and the Medicare
Physician Payment Reform Act, and we urge members of the House to pass this
critical package in the coming days to help fix our broken health care


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