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Statement from AARP North Carolina State Director Doug Dickerson in reaction to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017:

“AARP North Carolina is urging Senators Burr and Tillis to oppose the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  The design of the plan will most surely result in higher health care costs for adults younger than 65 while providing for less healthcare coverage, and do nothing to rein in escalating costs of prescription drugs.

It also undermines the recent advances North Carolina has made when it comes to our aging population, such as programs to help the growing number of people with Alzheimer’s, as well as cuts long-term funding for Medicaid programs that help the elderly and young children in poverty.

This bill cuts subsidies to healthcare premiums paid by middle-income workers, resulting in higher out-of-pocket premiums than current law allows, while giving multi-billion dollar tax breaks to pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers.

Although the bill aims to compensate hospitals for charity care they provide, the bill also will result in a higher number of uninsured families who will no longer have access to family care, preventive medicine, and screening tests as they age.  If this bill passes, we should expect a return to the days of overcrowded emergency rooms as a result of the uninsured seeking free primary care.

By removing key provisions in existing law, we estimate that the insurance market will become even more unsteady and lead to even higher costs for employer-provided plans, shifting new costs to businesses and their employees.

Nationally, Medicaid helps cover the cost of care in nursing homes and meals for the elderly shut in their homes, and covers about 50 percent of all births, approximately 1.5 million adults with cancer, and nearly one-third of pediatric cancer patients. People with a history of cardiovascular disease account for 28 percent of all Medicaid patients, and over 6 million older Americans rely on Medicaid for long-term services and supports.

AARP NC will continue to educate its 1.1 million members in North Carolina about the impact of changes to the federal health care law and how our elected leaders in Congress voted on this issue.”

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