WASHINGTON – AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond offered the following statement in reaction to the budget agreement passed yesterday evening by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“We’re pleased this bipartisan agreement takes an important step forward in reducing the deficit and providing sequester relief without cutting the vital, lifeline benefits of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
“Our members and older Americans care about both our national deficit and getting our economy back on track, as well as protecting the economic security of current and future seniors . AARP hopes this agreement allows us to move toward the separate conversation we’ve been urging on the larger questions of retirement security and the long term solvency and adequacy of Social Security, as well as improving health care delivery and reducing costs in our health care system, including Medicare.
“AARP is also pleased a short-term agreement has been reached to help ensure Medicare patients can continue to see their doctors by delaying an automatic and drastic pay cut for Medicare doctors. We hope this short term patch will give Congress time to continue their work on a long-term solution that protects beneficiaries, improves Medicare payments for physicians' services, and promotes quality measures and evidence-based care.
“However, we are mindful that the expiration of unemployment insurance benefits, the reduction of veterans’ cost of living adjustments (COLAs), and other retirement provisions could negatively impact the financial security of many Americans, including those who have admirably served our nation.”