Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 29 Jun 2011 – 3:00 PDT
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AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released this statement following the announcement of a new Medicare reform plan authored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Tom Coburn (R-OK):
“While AARP agrees with the need to address our nation’s long-term financial problems, we have serious concerns with the Medicare proposal put forth by Sens. Lieberman and Coburn, which relies almost entirely on shifting costs and removing coverage for seniors who depend on Medicare as a lifeline.
“Medicare represents the bedrock of health security for older Americans. By relying on cost-shifting and reduced coverage for around 95 percent of the plan’s total savings, the proposal would threaten that security and risk putting Medicare out of reach for millions of seniors in the program.
“We agree people in Medicare deserve the same out-of-pocket maximums that Americans in the private insurance market will soon have, and we appreciate the Senators’ efforts to stabilize the physician payment system in Medicare. However, we believe the right way to strengthen Medicare is to improve the quality and lower the cost of care throughout the health care system. Simply shifting the bill to seniors does nothing to improve health care quality or combat the real problem of rising costs.
“We look forward to working with the Senators and their colleagues on parts of this plan to improve Medicare-including the anti-fraud measures of the FAST Act that AARP recently endorsed and a multi-year resolution to Medicare’s flawed physician payment system-but we oppose efforts to simply shift additional costs to beneficiaries.
“As AARP works with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to improve our health care delivery system, we will continue our efforts to protect Medicare from harmful cuts as part of a deal to pay the nation’s bills.”
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