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AARP, Members Reach Out to Congress in Support of Health Reform

November 10, 2009

Contact: AARP Media Relations,

AARP, Members Reach Out to Congress in Support of Health Reform

“Nearly four million calls to action were sent to AARP members”

WASHINGTON—After an historic vote in the House of Representatives this past Saturday, AARP and its nearly 40 million members remain hard at work, fighting for comprehensive health reform. As the health care reform debate moves to the Senate, AARP members are continuing to engage their friends and families in sending a message to Members of Congress that the time to fix the problems with our health care system is now.

“While we’re pleased with the vote in the House, there is still much work to be done to ensure that any final health care reform bill helps older Americans get the coverage they need,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “We’ll continue to work with our members and activists to tell senators that Americans age 50-plus need quality, affordable health coverage options, and to protect Medicare—not only for seniors, but also for future generations.”

In the coming weeks, AARP will renew its efforts to ensure that Senate health reform legislation includes provisions to strengthen Medicare by improving prescription drug benefits, making preventive benefits free, boosting payments for primary care doctors and nurses, and cracking down on waste and fraud. We will also be fighting to ensure that any final health reform bill makes coverage more affordable by strictly limiting how much more insurance companies can charge based on age and ensuring no Americans will be denied coverage because of their health history or discriminated against because of gender, and those who cannot afford insurance will receive help to purchase affordable coverage.

In addition, we will fight to ensure that older Americans and persons with disabilities have the support they need to live in their own homes and communities. Other AARP efforts will include:

* National ad buy, both print and television, to promote and support health care reform;

* Community briefings—hundreds of on-the-ground events and presentations to educate members on the specifics of what health care reform means to them;

* Tele-town hall meetings—40 direct conversations with AARP members and others to answer questions about the health care reform measures now being hammered out in Congress; and

* Emails to members with the facts about the legislation and how it meets AARP’s health care reform goals, and a call to action for supporters of health care reform to tell the Senate to vote for moving health reform forward.

After endorsing the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), AARP sent nearly four million emails and made over one million calls to its members. “We provided our members with the facts about the legislation and the opportunity to contact their Member of Congress and request that they vote to improve the health care system,” added LeaMond. “Thousands of our members called Congress to make the point that the health care needs of older Americans cannot be ignored. We’re following up with anyone who made a call or sent an email to let them know which way their Member voted.”

“America is closer than it has ever been to fixing what’s wrong with our health care system,” LeaMond said. “AARP will continue to work with lawmakers to address the needs of older Americans as health care reform takes one more step towards becoming reality.”

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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