FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560, email@example.com
The Honorable Bill Frist
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Majority Leader Frist:
AARP strongly opposes the budget reconciliation conference agreement scheduled to come before the Senate for a vote today. Rather than reflecting the rational provisions of the Senate reconciliation bill, the final conference agreement is irresponsible policy.
The final conference agreement does not ask for shared sacrifice to achieve budgetary savings. Rather it protects the pharmaceutical industry, the managed care industry, and other providers at the expense of low-income Medicaid beneficiaries and Medicare beneficiaries who will foot the bill. AARP members and your other constituents will question why members of the Senate would vote for a bill that would:
- Make it harder for Americans needing long-term care to qualify for Medicaid;
- Force some Americans to forfeit their homes in order to pay for long-term care services;
- Require all Medicare Part B beneficiaries to pay higher premiums;
- Reopen the MMA, not to make improvements in the new drug benefit, but to require those with more income to pay higher Part B premiums sooner; and
- Force low-income Medicaid recipients to pay more for their care - and if they cannot afford to do so - to potentially be denied care entirely.
The conference agreement systematically undermines the critical protections built into both the Medicaid and Medicare programs. If the conference agreement becomes law, then over the course of the next few weeks and months we will make sure that our members across the country fully understand the impact of this conference agreement on them and on their families.
William D. Novelli