The AARP today announced their support for the Senate’s health insurance reform package, lending important momentum to the debate. In his letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, AARP CEO Addison Barry Rand said:
We appreciate your leadership in developing and advancing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the Senate. This bill will strengthen Medicare by eliminating cost barriers to preventive care, reform Medicare’s payment and delivery system to promote care coordination, and reduce hospital infections and preventable readmissions…With your commitment to closing the doughnut hole in conference, consistent with the President’s pledge, and the many positive features referenced above, AARP is pleased to support your efforts to obtain cloture, and urges timely passage of this legislation by the Senate.
Reid released the following statement this afternoon in reaction to their support:
“I appreciate AARP’s support for our historic health reform bill. As an important voice for millions of American seniors, they know better than anyone how seniors are being overwhelmed by skyrocketing health care costs. Their decision to stand with us to ensure quality, affordable health care for America’s seniors continues the strong momentum that is building behind health reform.
“In addition, I reiterate the commitment that I made along with Chairmen Baucus and Dodd on the Senate floor last night to close the coverage gap in Medicare Part D. Closing this gap, known as the ‘doughnut hole,’ would help over 58,000 Nevada seniors. AARP believes that this action is an essential part of reform that will help control costs. Our seniors, in Nevada and around the country, should be able to make critical medical decisions based on the care that they need, not what they can afford.
“Our bill saves money, saves lives and saves Medicare. Meaningful health reform is in sight, and Senate Democrats are committed to reaching the finish line.”