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AARP: McCain Amendment Takes Senate Bill in Wrong Direction

December 2, 2009

AARP Media Relations,

AARP: McCain Amendment Takes Senate Bill in Wrong Direction

WASHINGTON—Today AARP CEO A. Barry Rand sent a letter urging senators to oppose Sen. John McCain’s amendment to recommit the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Excerpts from Rand’s letter follow. For a complete copy, please contact AARP Media Relations.

“AARP supports moving forward on health care reform, and we remain committed to enacting legislation this year that protects and strengthens Medicare, improves the delivery of health care and provides affordable insurance for all. Accordingly, we oppose the amendment offered by Senator McCain to recommit H.R. 3590 to the Senate Finance Committee.

“…With respect to Medicare, AARP supports policies to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse—and to improve the quality, value and sustainability of the program for current and future beneficiaries. The legislation before the Senate properly focuses on provider reimbursement reforms to achieve these important policy objectives. Most importantly, the legislation does not reduce any guaranteed Medicare benefits.

“AARP believes that savings can be found in Medicare through smart, targeted changes aimed at improving health care delivery, eliminating waste and inefficiency, and aggressively weeding out fraud and abuse. Such changes will help strengthen Medicare’s long-term financing without increasing costs for beneficiaries that make health care less affordable…. We believe that Medicare changes in this bill begin to move us down this path, without reducing guaranteed Medicare benefits.

“With these savings, the legislation before the Senate takes important steps to improve access to preventive services for Medicare beneficiaries. However, more should be done to strengthen Medicare—including closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap, or ‘doughnut hole,’ as pledged by the President.

“We therefore urge you to oppose the McCain amendment to recommit, and we remain firmly committed to working with you to strengthen Medicare and enact comprehensive health care reform this year that improves access and affordability of health care for all.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's nearly 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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