Ratcheting up its opposition to the House-passed health care bill, AARP on Tuesday launched a TV ad campaign urging five key senators to vote no on the legislation. Each of the Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Dean Heller of Nevada — has expressed reservations about the bill, which would impose an “age tax” and penalize people with preexisting conditions.
The ad features a couple over age 50 seeking advice from an accountant at “Ryan & Associates Financial & Tax Services,” a reference to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s role in championing the bill, which narrowly passed the House and will now be considered by the Senate.
In the ad, the couple is surprised to learn that the bill would allow insurers to charge people 50 and older five times as much — or even more — as younger consumers pay to get coverage. The husband and wife are also shocked to find out that the bill would put a higher price tag on coverage for consumers with preexisting conditions. That provision could cost them each more than $25,000 a year in premiums, according to an analysis by AARP’s Public Policy Institute.
“This is going to be a big bill,” the accountant tells them.
The bill also would weaken Medicare and cut Medicaid by more than $839 billion over 10 years, threatening home- and community-based services for children with disabilities and low-income seniors while putting additional pressure on state budgets. Even as it targets older adults, the bill would reward big drug and insurance companies with billions of dollars in tax breaks.
When the legislation passed the House on May 4 by 217 to 213, AARP announced it would make the bill an accountability vote, telling its nearly 38 million members how their representative voted. To see how your representative voted, click here.