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AARP: Senators Must Act Quickly on Physician Payments and Unemployment Assistance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2010

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

AARP: Senators Must Act Quickly on Physician Payments and Unemployment Assistance

WASHINGTON—Today, AARP CEO A. Barry Rand sent a letter to every Senator, urging them to rescind a devastating 21 percent cut to Medicare’s reimbursement for doctors caring for people in Medicare and extend unemployment insurance benefits provided by Congress last year. The complete text of his letter follows:

Dear Senator:

AARP strongly urges you to act quickly to rescind harmful cuts to Medicare physician payments and to extend unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits.

The 21% Medicare cuts that took effect April 1 threaten access to care for millions of our members and other Medicare beneficiaries. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cannot hold claims for processing in hopes of Congressional action much longer without violating the law. Without prompt Congressional action, Medicare beneficiaries are at risk of not getting the timely physician care they need to stay healthy and avoid more costly institutional care.

Similarly, millions of Americans who have lost jobs—and the health insurance that came with them—due to our economic crisis are unable to provide for their families’ health and financial needs since their unemployment insurance and COBRA subsidies expired on April 1. Without prompt action to restore these benefits, more families will be unable to afford basic necessities, including needed health care, further hampering efforts to revive our nation’s struggling economy.

Congress must act without further delay to address these urgent priorities. Both the economic and physical health of our members, their families, and our nation are at stake.

Sincerely,

Addison Barry Rand

For more information, please visit www.aarp.org.

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 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, 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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