WASHINGTON, March 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released the following statement today in response to the pending vote on the House bill that would create an "Age Tax," weaken Medicare's solvency, put at risk seniors' ability to live independently as they age, and give sweetheart deals to big drug and insurance companies. In a letter sent to all 435 members of the House of Representatives, AARP maintained its strong opposition to this harmful bill and urged each Representative to vote 'No' on the proposed legislation. AARP believes this legislation will have a significant negative impact on the health of millions of older Americans ages 50 to 64, as well as other vulnerable groups, including poor seniors and disabled children and adults.
"AARP recognizes the magnitude of the upcoming vote on this harmful legislation that creates an Age Tax, cuts the life of Medicare, and gives sweetheart deals to big drug and insurance companies while doing nothing to lower the cost of health care or prescriptions. We intend on letting all 38 million of our members know exactly how their Representative voted. Our members care deeply about their health care and have told us repeatedly that they want to know where their elected officials stand. We will communicate the results of the House vote to our members and the public through The Bulletin, a print publication that goes to all of our members, as well as through emails, social media, and other communications channels.
"This bill, if passed in its current form, will disproportionately hurt older adults between the ages of 50 and 64 by dramatically increasing insurance premiums to unaffordable rates. Allowing insurance companies to charge older adults an Age Tax 5 times or more than others for health insurance, and reducing tax credits to help pay for it, is quite simply unfair.
"AARP is also concerned that this bill weakens the fiscal sustainability of Medicare, reduces cost-sharing help for out-of-pocket costs for 50- to 64-year-olds purchasing coverage on the individual insurance market, increases the number of uninsured Americans, and puts at risk the health and well-being of millions of poor seniors and disabled adults and children by capping funding for much needed services that allow individuals to live independently in their homes and communities.
"We are also profoundly disappointed that the big drug and insurance companies were given sweetheart deals while nothing was done to lower the cost of health care or prescriptions. Congress must do more to bring down the unsustainably high health care and prescription drug costs for consumers and taxpayers."
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.