WASHINGTON, DC—AARP Executive Vice President Nancy A. LeaMond released the following statement in reaction to President Obama’s FY2015 budget proposal:
“As AARP reviews the details of the President’s proposals, particularly the proposed changes in Medicare, it’s important to emphasize the need for health care cost containment, not simply cost shifting. We know that brand name prescription drugs are one of the key drivers of escalating health care costs, so we appreciate the President’s inclusion of proposals to find savings in lower drug costs. But instead of shifting additional costs onto Medicare beneficiaries, we must look for savings throughout the entire health care system, as the rising cost of health care threatens people of all ages.
“In addition to lowering the cost of prescriptions, innovations that promote better care, reward improved outcomes and make health care programs more efficient and less wasteful have the potential to hold down high health care costs overall, including costs in Medicare.
“We also appreciate that the President recognizes in this budget proposal that Social Security does not contribute to the deficit and that benefits should not be cut in order to reduce the deficit. As the President and Congress work to address the challenges facing our nation, AARP believes it is time for responsible solutions that improve the retirement and overall economic security of current and future generations.
“As retirement security grows ever more elusive for Americans of all ages, Medicare and Social Security have grown more important for older Americans and their families. AARP believes it would be wrong for the President or Congress to attempt to balance the budget by weakening the programs that provide the very foundation of health and retirement security for current and future generations.”