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AARP Tells Congress to Close the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Gap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2009

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AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org, 202-434-2560

AARP Tells Congress to Close the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Gap

Board Chair asks Congress to help make prescription drugs affordable for all

WASHINGTON— Bonnie M. Cramer, Chair of AARP’s Board of Directors is testifying today before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee during its hearing on “Prescription Drug Price Inflation: Are Prices Rising Too Fast?” Cramer is highlighting the health care needs of older Americans, and will focus on the need to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, also known as the “doughnut hole.” A statement from Cramer follows:

“Closing the doughnut hole has long been a top priority for AARP. For millions of AARP members and others receiving the Part D benefit, the doughnut hole stands out as a major affordability concern and a real barrier to access. AARP has endorsed health care reform legislation that completely closes the doughnut hole, and continues to fight to help all older Americans get the prescription drugs they need at affordable prices.

“Older Americans use prescription drugs more than any other segment of the population. They are also more likely to be on a fixed income. With price increases for brand-name drugs widely used by people in Medicare continuing to outpace price increases for other consumer goods and services, more people are finding it difficult or impossible to afford the high cost of prescription drugs.

“This leads to people skipping doses or no longer taking medication at all, which can result in more serious health problems and higher long-term costs both for them and for America’s health care system as a whole.

“As the health care debate moves forward, AARP will continue to work with Congress to ensure that every American has access to affordable prescription drugs. With millions of Americans, young and old, depending on the benefits of prescription drugs to improve their health and well-being, it’s time to make these drugs even more effective by making them affordable.”

To receive a complete copy of the testimony, contact AARP Media Relations at 202-434-2560.

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.org. 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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