Today, AARP Kentucky released the first in a “commonsense solutions” series of new videos on the 48th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare into law on July 30, 1965. Nearly 98% of Kentucky seniors, or 559,872 people, rely on Medicare for their health care coverage, on average spending 13% of their income on out-of pocket income on their health care costs. AARP’s Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released the following statement with the video:
“As Medicare continues to provide access to health care for millions of seniors and those with disabilities, AARP is celebrating its 48 successful years and advocating for responsible, commonsense solutions that will strengthen the program by lowering drug costs, improving care coordination and cracking down on over-testing, waste and fraud. Nearly 50 million Americans—15 percent of the nation’s population, and growing—depend on Medicare for health security which is why AARP will continue our work to ensure that it is there for current and future generations.
“Medicare does face financial challenges, which is why AARP is calling for responsible, commonsense solutions that would help ensure Medicare’s continued success, including fair prescription drug prices and ridding Medicare of waste, fraud, and abuse .For example, AARP supports two bipartisan bills that would prevent drug companies from agreeing to delay consumers’ access to lower cost medications. AARP also supports bipartisan legislation that would crack down on fraud by targeting improper billing and increasing penalties for identity theft.
“Unfortunately, some in Washington are considering harmful proposals, including raising the Medicare age, adding new copays to lab test and home health service, and increasing deductibles. Americans deserve solutions that will reduce costs throughout the health care system, not cut benefits or force seniors to pay more.
“Recent changes in the new health law have improved Medicare by closing the coverage gap in the drug benefit, adding cost-free preventive benefits, and adding additional protections to curb fraud and abuse and extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. Seniors already have saved almost $4 billion in prescription drug discount savings.
“Medicare is a promise—a promise of health security for all Americans. For years, AARP has fought to protect and strengthen Medicare, and through You’ve Earned a Say, we’ll continue to make certain every American has an opportunity to amplify their voices. The promise of affordable, guaranteed access to health care that Medicare holds for millions of Americans is one that must be kept.”