FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 30, 2013
AARP Arkansas Statement and Video on Medicare’s 48th Anniversary
Calls for commonsense solutions, not cuts to critical program
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. —Today, AARP Arkansas 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. Arkansas has 543,000 residents who rely on Medicare for their health care coverage, on average spending 15 percent 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 $7 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.”
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org ; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org .