I wonder how many more AARP members will leave the group now. I also wonder why AARP is endorsing this bill. Hmmm, could it be that Medicare will be cut by almost $500 Billion dollars? And could it also be that AARP sells supplemental Medicare insurance? Follow the money people.
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–The world’s largest senior lobby, AARP, on Thursday endorsed the health-care bill pending in the U.S. House, saying it improves benefits for seniors and ensures they will get “the doctors they need when they need them.”
AARP’s endorsement marks the first time the lobby has put its weight behind a comprehensive health-care overhaul bill. The House is expected to vote on the bill as soon as Saturday.
AARP Chief Executive Barry Rand, speaking while surrounded by more than 50 boxes that include 1.5 million AARP member petitions supporting health-care reform, according to AARP, praised the legislation for placing strict limits on how much more insurance companies can charge seniors based on age and closing the Medicare prescription drug gap.
The health care legislation has sparked controversy among AARP members, some who have left or threaten to leave because of their concerns over the pending bill. Rand, when asked directly about how many AARP members had left or would leave, said even when AARP members do leave the often come back. He cited how in 2003 AARP lost members who disagreed with the organization’s unwillingness to support of privatizing Social Security. He said many rejoined the group.
Bonnie Cramer, chair of AARP’s volunteer advisory board, said one key criteria for supporting the House bill was that it isn’t supposed to add to the national debt. “Our members are worried about the financial security for their children and grandchildren,” she said.
John Rother, executive vice president of policy at AARP, said the group would like to see a final Senate version of the bill, which is yet to happen, include provisions to close the Medicare prescription drug gap, often called the doughnut hole, and ensure insurance companies don’t discriminate against members based on their age.
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