AARP Backs House Bill on Health-Care Reform

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

LANSING -- "No one should be denied coverage"

And with that, AARP CEO A. Barry Rand made the group's much-anticipated announcement Thursday.

"The AARP is proud to endorse the Affordable Health Care for America Act," Rand declared from a press conference in Washington, D.C.

Eric Schneidewind, state president in Michigan, looked on via TV conference. "The legislation that AARP is supporting today will guarantee that you will have affordable, quality health care," he said.

Specifically, the House bill now endorsed by the nonpartisan group would:

1. Subsidize insurance for poor Americans
2. Create health insurance exchanges, which would include a government-run option
3. Cap out-of-pocket expenses

The goal of all that? Lower health-care costs and insure the nearly 40 million Americans still without coverage.

And the reasons for support from the AARP were numerous.

"It protects and strengthens Medicare," Rand said.

"It should save money over time," said Schneidewind, noting the bill's emphasis on preventive care and deals with hospitals, as well as drug and insurance companies, to lower their fees.

And perhaps the key issue for the group: The House bill would substantially close the so-called "doughnut hole" in prescription drug coverage for seniors.

"If you use a lot of prescription drugs, you're paying thousands of dollars for those drugs, even if you're pretty low-income," Schneidewind said.

The one sticking point left for advocates for seniors is long-term care, like stays at a nursing home or assisted-living facility.

Lansing resident Jone Small, for example, recently had a hip replacement. At 76, she's covered by Medicare and Medicaid but says if there are any problems with her new hip, or other expensive health issues, and she'll be sunk.

"They pay a certain percent, but then there's the other that's not paid, so therefore - I have no means to pay that other 20 percent or whatever," she said.

A problem the AARP is hoping the House bill can help solve.

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  • by Anonymous on Nov 10, 2009 at 03:54 AM
    They should have a clause in it that says,If this don't work out after one year it will be canceled.I still don't get so much of it with so many things added,cut from it or what it really will provide and to who.Why didn't they just force reductions on insurance companies and get a lot of things under control with prices.They need to get prices down on many things.Affordable is no longer the word many can use any more.Way to many americans are out of work.It would of been easier to force jobs back to the states,and make them insure people.After bringing down insurance costs.Why do every thing the hard way or backwards?
  • by mary Location: Lansing on Nov 6, 2009 at 03:24 PM
    AARP and AMA??????they just turned the AMericans who are their bread and butter.
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Nov 6, 2009 at 09:37 AM
    Because the AARP and AMA stand to mack millions acting as venders
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