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AARP Thanks House, Senate for Passing Legislation to Assist the Unemployed and Preserve Access to Physicians in Medicare

April 15, 2010

AARP Media Relations,, 202-434-2560

AARP Thanks House, Senate for Passing Legislation to Assist the Unemployed and Preserve Access to Physicians in Medicare

Group urges Congress to pass long-term solutions moving forward

WASHINGTON—Today, the House and Senate passed important legislation to help millions of unemployed Americans by extending important unemployment and health insurance benefits. The bill would also protect access to physicians for people in Medicare. A statement from AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond follows:

“Older workers are especially hard-hit by today’s economic downturn. They often face longer periods of unemployment than other groups and struggle to maintain access to affordable health coverage.

“That’s why we’re pleased with the legislation passed by the House and Senate today. It will help millions of workers who want to work but cannot find a job by extending unemployment insurance benefits. It also helps workers who lose their jobs keep health coverage for themselves and their families by extending subsidized COBRA.

“Further, the bill reinforces the critical relationship between people in Medicare and their doctors by delaying a 21-percent cut to Medicare reimbursement for doctors caring for people in the program.

“While these provisions will help ensure access to physicians treating people in Medicare and provide assistance to unemployed Americans, they are short-term extensions. We urge Congress to pass long-term solutions and provide long-lasting relief instead of implementing a series of temporary patches.

“Today’s economy continues to present extraordinary challenges to all Americans. As the president signs this important bill, we will continue to work with Congress to help our members and all older Americans who can’t afford health coverage and continue to struggle to find a job.”

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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 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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