— Thanks to the great work of AARP advocates, the Bipartisan Budget Act signed last week by President Trump, includes several important wins when it comes to controlling our health care costs. Without your help to repeal caps to physical, occupational and speech therapies, seniors would have been forced to pay out of pocket for these services. The Budget Act also includes measures that AARP has long fought for to lower prescription drug costs including: Expediting the closing of the Medicare …

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— aARP Florida issued the following statement today after President Trump signed into law a multi-faceted bipartisan budget reconciliation bill that, among many other features, closes the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan “donut hole.” A year early The bill also avoids costly caps on Medicare payments for some kinds of medical therapies. “Floridians 65-plus, especially Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription drug costs, will be helped by some provisions of the new budget reconciliation package,,” said Jack McRay, AARP Florida advocacy …

—   The U.S. Health care system spends well over $300 billion a year on prescription drugs, and almost three-fourths of that goes to brand name drugs, even though they make up less than one in eight prescriptions. The escalating costs of pharmaceuticals are driving up health care costs and premiums in both the employer and individual market. While several proposals exist at the federal level to address this problem, little – if any – action has occurred.  This has led …

— Strokes, surgeries, and trauma from falls or other injuries sometimes result in patients needing extensive care by physical, occupational or speech therapists. But because of inaction by Congress, many seniors on Medicare are facing expensive out-of-pocket costs for treatments they need to remain independent. A failure by Congress to repeal a harsh limit on therapy treatments poses very real financial and medical threats to seniors already struggling from strokes or debilitating conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Some could be forced …

— by Ken Helander, AARP Alaska Federal Advocacy AARP has been working hard through the constant stream of Congressional issues that would affect our members.  Of current concern are potential cuts to Medicare services, including placing caps on therapy services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy) which could be quickly exceeded by a person with chronic needs or extensive post-surgery rehab.  AARP opposes these caps that could significantly increase a Medicare beneficiary’s out of pocket expenses. State Advocacy AARP Alaska supports SB …

— By Jill Gambon During her 35 years working for the Social Security Administration, Louise Myers witnessed the impact the program has had on people’s lives. As a retiree, Myers wants to make sure Social Security remains intact. That’s one reason she’s a volunteer advocate with AARP Massachusetts. “I am a firm believer in keeping Social Security protected,” said Myers, of North Chelmsford. “I saw that my voice could be heard through AARP advocacy work.” Myers is one of about a …

— AARP opposes tax bill because of negative impact on older adults WASHINGTON, DC — On December 18, 2017, AARP sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives raising its concerns with significant shortcomings in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as well as highlighting some important provisions for older Americans. The full text of the letter to the Congressional Leadership is below: Dear Senator/Representative: On behalf of our members and all Americans …

— AARP Iowa and experts from the Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) held a live Telephone Townhall event on Thursday, Dec. 7, and discussed new Medicare cards, options you have if your drug plan is not working, and other changes to Medicare in 2018. To view the program in its entirety, please visit https://vekeo.com/event/aarpiowa-35883/ AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable …

— December 8, 2017 2018 Cuts Would Reduce Access to Health Care   WASHINGTON, DC — On December 7, 2017 AARP sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging Congress to prevent $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare in 2018 that would result from the enactment of H.R. 1 and its $1.5 trillion deficit increase since it “would have an immediate and lasting impact, including fewer providers participating in Medicare and reduced access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.” The full text of …

— 2018 Cuts to Medicare Would Reduce Access to Health Care   WASHINGTON, DC — AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins sent a letter to Congressional leadership yesterday urging Congress to prevent $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare in 2018 that would result from the enactment of H.R. 1 and its $1.5 trillion deficit increase since it “would have an immediate and lasting impact, including fewer providers participating in Medicare and reduced access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.” Read the full text …