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AARP Forums Encourage Constituents to Urge Congress to Strengthen Medicare

10 events nationwide focus on keeping premiums down and doctors in the program

WASHINGTON—AARP offices in eight states will host forums across the country this week and next to encourage constituents to help strengthen Medicare. With Medicare premiums already rising faster than inflation and doctors in Medicare threatening to leave the program, AARP and its members are urging the Senate to take action, keep doctors in Medicare and hold down premiums.

“Keeping Medicare strong is crucial to America’s health care,” said AARP Government Relations Director David Sloane. “We want our members and everyone in Medicare to know exactly what will happen if Congress does not act in the next few weeks. Most doctors say they will be forced to cut back on the number of new Medicare patients they see if lawmakers don’t stop the scheduled payment cuts. And premiums could go up even higher if they don’t pay to stop the cuts in a responsible way.”

Forums are scheduled over the next two weeks in Tennessee, Kansas, Montana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Nebraska and Maine. AARP board members, state volunteers, staff and other local experts will explain to AARP members and residents what will happen if lawmakers don’t act, and how they can ask their Members of Congress to help.

AARP is urging the Senate to reduce the billions in subsidies Medicare gives to private insurance plans each year. While these plans promised to provide a higher level of care for less than the cost of traditional Medicare, they are now paid an average of 12 percent more—as the expense of taxpayers, people in Medicare and Medicare’s long-term solvency.

Sloane continued, “By gradually reducing these subsidies, Congress can protect access to physicians by stopping the payment cut, hold down premiums and improve Medicare’s low-income programs. Private plans in Medicare were designed to save money, and now is the time to make that a 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, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; 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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