In the Bay State and nationwide, AARP members are speaking out about health care reform. Following AARP’s endorsement of the House of Representatives’ Affordable Health Care for America Act, more than 18,000 Massachusetts members joined AARP for two Health Action Now Tele-Town Hall meetings to hear directly from the AARP Board of Directors and policy experts, ask questions and give feedback.
Questions about Your Health Care
Through more than 200 questions submitted, AARP members sought answers about the lack of affordable health insurance, the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, and skyrocketing costs. The top questions included:
- Will cuts to Medicare hurt me? AARP is fighting for health reform that protects guaranteed Medicare benefits and holds down your out-of-pocket costs. The Medicare savings included in the House bill will help to reduce waste, fraud and inefficiency in Medicare. They are critical to saving Medicare money and making sure it is financially sound for future retirees. Also, some of the savings from reducing waste, fraud and inefficiency should be used to strengthen Medicare, including closing the prescription drug coverage gap, the “doughnut hole,” and providing free preventative care such as screenings for cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.
- Will I still be able to see my doctor? Yes. The House health reform plan includes a bill that would ensure seniors can see the doctor of their choice or find a doctor if they need one by improving Medicare’s payments to doctors. Also, health reform will provide bonuses to doctors who provide primary care services, which will help improve the care of people with chronic conditions.
- How did AARP make its decision to endorse the House health care reform bill? The decision was made by AARP’s all volunteer Board of Directors, which is composed of doctors, nurses, educators and business leaders—representatives from all sides of the political spectrum. AARP decided to endorse the bill because it addresses the biggest priorities for AARP members: It strengthens Medicare for seniors and for future generations, and provides quality, affordable coverage options for all Americans.
Strong Support for Reform
A new poll of AARP members recently found strong support for elements of health care reform included in the House health care reform bill.
Among AARP members, strong majorities reported that many of the bill’s key provisions were convincing reasons to support the legislation, including:
- strictly limiting insurers from charging much higher premiums because of age (68%),
- closing the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage known as the doughnut hole (69%), and
- improving coverage for critical preventive services like cancer screenings (77%).
Crossing Party Lines
While a partisan divide was evident when respondents were asked about the current plan in Congress, AARP members supported the legislation by more than a 2-1 (63%-30%) margin. More than half of self-described independents indicated support for the plan.
Throughout Massachusetts, AARP members are volunteering to help make national health care reform a reality. Find out why they got involved. To join AARP’s Health Action Now campaign in your community, email email@example.com or call 1-866-448-3621.
Visit the AARP Massachusetts Community page for the latest information about health care reform.