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Senate Resolution Would Weaken Patient Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 29, 2010


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AARP: Senate Resolution Would Weaken New Health Insurance Patient Protections


Association Urges Senators to Oppose S.J. Res. 39.

WASHINGTON—AARP Legislative Director David Certner released a statement in advance of today’s expected vote on S.J. Res. 39, a Senate resolution of disapproval that would weaken the patient protections put in place under the health care law.  Certner's statement follows:


“The rules created earlier this year strike a good balance between preserving the rights of individuals to keep their existing coverage, while also honoring the purpose of the Affordable Care Act in providing for patient protections and important insurance reforms that safeguard individuals from practices that lead to denials of coverage or to underinsurance in the event of serious illness or accident.

"As I stated in AARP's letter regarding the Interim Final Rule (IFR)  to implement the grandfather status rules, 'AARP supports the general thrust of the IFR that plans not lose their grandfather status for changes that are modest in nature. This is consistent with the need to balance the objectives in the ACA of preserving the right of individuals to keep their existing coverage with the goal of ensuring access to affordable essential coverage and improving the quality of that coverage.'  AARP agrees with the IFR's determination of what would cause plans to lose their grandfather status (e.g., cannot significantly cut or reduce benefits, cannot significantly raise co-payment charges, cannot significantly lower employer contributions) as important consumer protections and consistent with the statute.

"As a result, AARP urges Senators to oppose this resolution to ensure critical new protections and rules remain in place so that the vast majority of Americans who get their health insurance through employers will have clear guidelines on how their plans comply with the new law.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership 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 35.1 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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