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Statement by AARP CEO Bill Novelli on Medicare Legislation Proposal

AARP is hopeful that the recently announced agreement in principle will result in adding a much-needed prescription drug benefit in Medicare. While we have yet to review actual language, we are encouraged by the conference committee members' efforts. The willingness of the committee members to move toward common ground by further reducing the scope of the private market competition test is an important step.

We are pleased to see significantly increased protections for retiree health benefits.

We are also pleased to see movement on the Medicaid wrap issue which limits cost sharing for our most vulnerable seniors. It will be important that this bill not make their situation more difficult as the program is implemented over time.

Our members and millions of other Medicare beneficiaries and their families need help, which can only come through bipartisan legislation. However, we will only give our support to legislation that will protect Medicare for today's generation of beneficiaries and generations that follow.

Legislation must be enacted this year that provides a meaningful prescription drug benefit in Medicare. Both political parties and both Houses of Congress have a unique opportunity to enact final legislation that will meet the needs of millions of Americans.

AARP will continue to work with all parties in Congress with the aim of achieving legislation that can be broadly supported.

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