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2021 Archives: Health and Family

AARP correspondence to lawmakers and regulators

The following documents related to health care concerns of people 50-plus are presented in reverse chronological order.

February

L: On February 25, 2021 AARP sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell outlining AARP’s priorities with regard to the COVID relief package currently making its way through Congress. In the letter, AARP notes the following priority issues for Congressional leadership:  Vaccine Distribution; Direct Payment Relief from Economic Shocks; Nursing Homes, Other Long-Term Care Facilities, and Home and Community-Based Services; Further Investments in Federal Nutrition Programs; Health Care Access and Affordability; Emergency Paid Family and Sick Leave; Age Discrimination; Financial Support for Unemployed Older Workers; Housing and Transportation; and Pension Relief. (PDF)

L: On February 23, 2021 AARP sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services concerning the important issue of in-person visitation for nursing home and other long-term care facility residents. AARP urged the Acting Administrator for CMS to update guidance, criteria, and support for safe in-person visitation and collect and make public daily data about COVID-19 in these facilities, including vaccinations of residents and staff. (PDF)

L: AARP has provided a letter dated February 3, 2021 to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and Subcommittee on Health in preparation for a hearing being held to examine the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain and distribution process. In the letter to Committee Chair Frank Pallone and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo and Ranking Member Brett Guthrie AARP noted that it is critical that these vaccines are administered as efficiently and quickly as possible, and to take immediate action to address access problems and mitigate whatever barriers may be causing these delays. Full-scale mobilization is necessary, and any slowdowns or early bottlenecks in the production and distribution systems need to be urgently addressed. (PDF)

January

L: On January 27, 2021 AARP sent a letter to U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Joni Earnest (R-IA) endorsing the Advancing Connectivity during the Coronavirus to Ensure Support for Seniors Act (ACCESS Act). The ACCESS Act would provide $50 million to the Telehealth Resource Center Program to help facilitate the development of telehealth technologies for nursing homes, improving access to virtual visitation for nursing home residents and their families during the coronavirus public health emergency. (PDF)

C: On January 26, 2021 AARP sent a letter to Acting Administrator Liz Richter for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services providing comments on the interim final rule on a Most Favored Nation (MFN) Model for Medicare Part B drugs. In the letter, AARP outlined specific support for the MFN model.  AARP also expressed appreciation for the agency’s focus on the discrepancy between high U.S. drug prices and the lower prices paid in other developed countries, as well as its ongoing efforts to help lower Medicare Part B drug prices and out-of-pocket costs for the millions of older Americans struggling to afford the medications they need. (PDF)

L: On January 25, 2021 AARP sent a letter to U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) endorsing the Advancing Connectivity during the Coronavirus to Ensure Support for Seniors Act (ACCESS Act). The ACCESS Act would provide $50 million to the Telehealth Resource Center Program to help facilitate the development of telehealth technologies for nursing homes, improving access to virtual visitation for nursing home residents and their families during the coronavirus public health emergency. (PDF)

L: On January 22, 2021 AARP sent a letter to U.S. Representatives Katie Porter (D-CA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) in support of the Medicare Economic Security Solutions Act. This legislation would significantly reduce the costly Part B late-enrollment penalty many Medicare beneficiaries face. It will also count COBRA, Veterans Administration, and retiree coverage as creditable coverage for special enrollment periods to help reduce confusion and ease the transition into Medicare. (PDF)

L: On January 11, 2021 AARP sent a letter to Secretary Alex Azar of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging the Secretary to take immediate action to address the issues that have slowed down vaccinations across the country. AARP’s 38 million members urgently want to see an end to the coronavirus pandemic. So many people, especially older Americans, have upended their lives over the past nine months. Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 95 percent of the deaths from COVID-19 have been among people 50 and older. That is why it is so important that older people be prioritized to receive these vaccines. (PDF)