AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released the following statement in reaction to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s newly announced budget proposal:
“AARP believes that as Members of Congress consider ways to address our nation’s financial challenges, the impact on real people should not be forgotten. In addressing the future of Medicare, the focus should be on reducing high costs throughout the health care system, not simply requiring seniors and future retirees to pay more.
“Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget fails to address the high costs of health care and instead shifts costs onto seniors and future retirees. Removing the Medicare guarantee of affordable health coverage seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work is not the answer. Further, repealing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act ignores the steps we’ve taken forward to improve access to affordable health care, protect against discrimination based on age, gender, ethnicity or medical history, and achieve important savings by reducing waste and making improvements in health care delivery.
“Now is the time for Congress to identify sensible changes across the healthcare system that reduce costs, such as: allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and speeding up access to generic drugs, improving care coordination between health providers, cracking down on unnecessary testing and services and reducing excess paperwork, waste and fraud. Congress must also look at paying providers based on quality care and improving patient outcomes rather than just the number of services performed.
“AARP believes we can and we must find responsible, commonsense solutions that will keep Medicare strong without shifting the burden of higher health care costs onto seniors and future retirees.”