UPDATE: Here’s a video of the Oahu Town Hall Meeting


AARP Hawaii is holding a series of “Protect Medicare” Town Hall and Community Meetings in Honolulu, Wailuku and Hilo to talk about proposals in Congress to change Medicare in ways that could dramatically increase health care costs and risks for current and future retirees.

AARP has launched a nationwide campaign to reject a proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher system (aka “premium support”) that would raise costs for seniors and future retirees by eliminating a guaranteed level of coverage and shift costs to people on Medicare. The voucher proposal in Congress would give people on Medicare a set dollar amount to purchase insurance from private companies and if the amount isn’t sufficient, they would pay the difference or get less coverage.

We are also fighting what we call an “age tax,” a proposed unfair penalty on older adults that would allow insurance companies to charge 50- to 64-year-olds as much as five times more than what everyone else pays for the same health coverage. If the age tax bill passes, the average 60- year-old could pay over $3,000 more a year.

At the Honolulu meeting, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will update the public on what is happening with Medicare in Congress, the age tax bill and other efforts to preserve parts of the Affordable Care Act that benefit older Americans. AARP supports maintaining parts of the Act that benefit older Americans including requiring insurance companies to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and efforts to close the Medicare donut hole in prescription drug coverage.

The public is invited to share their concerns at all of the meetings. We will share what we learn with members of the Hawaii Congressional delegation. Attendees will also receive information on what you can do to join AARP’s fight to protect Medicare.

Kupuna advocates, Senator Les Ihara and Rep. Gregg Takayama, will provide an update on state legislation affecting seniors at the Honolulu meeting. There will also be updates on state legislation at the community meetings on Maui and the Big Island.

The Honolulu “Protect Medicare” Town Hall meeting will be held from 10:30 a.m. until noon on Friday, Feb. 24 at Harris United Methodist Church. 20 S. Vineyard Blvd. There is no cost to attend, but please RSVP at 877-926-8300 or online at https://aarp.cvent.com/townhall2-24.

The Maui “Protect Medicare” Community Meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, at Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. Classroom 2, 99 Mahalani St., in Wailuku. There is no cost to attend, but please RSVP at 877-926-8300 or online at https://aarp.cvent.com/community2-27.

The Hilo “Protect Medicare” Community Meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Church of the Holy Cross Building of Faith, 440 West Lanikaula Street. There is no cost to attend, but please RSVP at 877-926-8300 or online at https://aarp.cvent.com/community2-28.


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