AARP Not Endorsing Any Specific Health Care Plan

AARP CEO Barry Rand released a statement today on why AARP supports a new health care plan:

Doing nothing is not an option. But any reform must not get between a patient and their doctor. It must not cut Medicare benefits. It must not allow insurers to continue to line their pockets by covering only the healthiest and the youngest.

And those 50 - 60,000 members who quit since July 1? AARP says almost 1.8 million people have joined or renewed their memberships in the same period. AARP has 40 million members.

So, does AARP support Obama's health care bill as he said last week? It's not clear. After Obama made the comment, it responded:[More...]

“While the President was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate.”

AARP says it is committed to making sure health care reform will do the following for members:

  • Lower Drug Costs and Strengthen Medicare: Close the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole," ensure patients' access to their doctors, and crack down on fraud and wasteful spending;
  • Protect Your Health Care Choices: Make sure you can choose your doctor, your health insurance plan and where to receive care;
  • End Discrimination by Insurance Companies: Prevent insurance companies from denying you coverage because of a pre-existing condition or using age to price Americans age 50-64 out of affordable, quality health insurance; and
  • Guarantee Stable, Affordable Coverage: Ensure you have the security of knowing that if you lose or change jobs, you will be able to get affordable, quality health insurance.

NBC News is releasing a new poll today showing "a plurality of Americans now oppose a government-run plan — 47 percent to 43 percent That’s a shift from last month’s poll (released in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal) when 46 percent said they supported it, compared to 44 percent who did not.

The poll finds support decreasing among seniors:

Among seniors eligible for Medicare the drop was even more striking — 10.4 points — suggesting the health care debate is raising alarm bells for older people.

How will it end?

In the House, where Democrats hold a 256-178 majority, passage of legislation will hinge on the ability of the administration and Democratic leaders to satisfy liberals who favor a robust government option and centrists who prefer the co-op approach.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not insisting on a public option:

In a statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "There is strong support in the House for a public option," adding it is the best way "to lower costs, improve the quality of health care, ensure choice and expand coverage." But the statement did not rule out legislation that lacks a government option.

< Sen. Feingold: Won't Support Health Care Bill Without Public Option | DOJ Files DOMA Brief: Law Bad, But Must Be Enforced >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Left-leaning AARP members were PISSED when AARP... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by JoeCHI on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 01:51:26 PM EST
    ...endorsed Bush's Medicare Part D.  

    Perhaps they've decided that it's better to stay out of the endorsement business.

    AARP put out a similar statement... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by rdandrea on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 02:31:33 PM EST
    After the Portsmouth meeting saying they hadn't endorsed any specific bill or plan.

    Obama dialed back the AARP "endorsement" language in the Montana and Colorado town halls to say only that they were endorsing reform.

    Although I'm an AARP member, I haven't considered them an advocate for seniors in a long time.  They're more into selling insurance.  I'm surprised they are on board with any reform at all, even conceptual.

    I had a long conversation with one of my (2.00 / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 04:13:16 PM EST
    states Directors for AARP...

    According to her AARP has not endorsed any plan.

    She was concerned over the losses but made the same point about new members. When I asked her for timing... how many new before Obama claimed and then after vs the losses she couldn't answer it but she acknowledged my point.

    The AARP set up a teleconference yesterday for my Congress critter....Before I got to the state Director a young lady answered by question as to why I had not been notified by saying it was for people between 50 and 64..... When I pointed out that this was obvious age discrimination and that I would speaking to the whatever is the proper authority to file a complaint the Director was an unhappy camper.

    It is obvious that the teleconference was meant to screen out anyone on Medicare who might be concerned over rationing and this anti-reform, or at least "this" reform.

    You could have turned around (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 04:58:15 PM EST
    your collar and asked to be in on the Obama "faith teleconference" on health care today.  Anyone heard anything about it?

    To the point:  Good for you for giving AARP grief for segmenting us by age.  If we aren't all in this together, the ship of state sinks even faster.


    Bump and update. (2.00 / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 07:03:31 PM EST
    Bump and update. My daughter tells me that yesterday around 7PM a call came in from the AARP but things were so screwed up on how to ask a question she hung up. (I wasn't home and she forgot to mention it.)

    So the question is, since I am not between 50 and 64 and since my daughter is not either, why was I told that was the selection criteria?

    Or does this just prove that being incapable of following the plan excuses you from coming up with the plan?