AARP Director of Government Relations David Sloane released the following statement today in advance of the House vote on FY08 Budget Resolution Conference Report (S.Con.Res. 21).
“AARP commends the Congress for reaching agreement on a budget for FY08 that may lead to greater funding for critical programs that serve older Americans, particularly energy assistance and housing needs.
“AARP notes the recommendation that the Social Security Administration receive an additional $400 million above the Administration’s request—funds that are badly needed to help the agency address the unacceptably high backlogs in the disability application and appeals processes.
“On the health side, we are pleased that the agreement calls for $50 billion for SCHIP reauthorization and expansion for children’s health care, an important building block in health care reform. We are also pleased that the proposed budget avoids arbitrary cuts in Medicaid and Medicare. AARP believes that we must address the federal health care programs in the context of system wide health care reform, and not simply through piecemeal cuts to important health care programs relied upon by tens of millions of Americans.
“Finally, we are pleased the budget restores the pay/go rules—requiring that any new spending or tax changes be offset—in order to help restore fiscal discipline as we prepare for the retirement of the boomers.”