WASHINGTON, DC — AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released a statement today following the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) release of new numbers that predict 24 million people could lose health coverage by 2026, leaving 52 million Americans uninsured. The CBO analysis revealed that the biggest financial burden would fall “disproportionately” on Americans ages 50-64 years old, further reinforcing concerns for AARP, the pre-eminent organization for people over the age of 50.
LeaMond said the CBO analysis served as another example that the proposed House legislation released last week would make harmful changes to our current health care system. The bill would hurt older Americans by decreasing the solvency of Medicare by four years, hiking costs for those who can least afford them, eroding seniors’ ability to live independently, and giving tax breaks to big drug companies and health insurance companies:
“AARP reiterates our opposition to this harmful bill. The nonpartisan CBO revealed today that ‘the legislation would increase the number of uninsured broadly, [and] the increase would be disproportionately larger among older people with lower income; in particular, people between 50 and 64 years old…’
“The CBO analysis found that premiums would rise ‘20 percent to 25 percent higher for a 64-year-old.’ Putting the financial burden on older Americans is not the way to solve the problems in our health care system.’ Premiums for a 64 year old earning $26,500 would increase by $12,900 in 2026, from $1,700 to $14,600.
“Additionally, after facing a massive premium increase before eligibility for Medicare, the bill leaves the door open to turning the successful insurance program in to a voucher program that shifts costs and risks to seniors, and gives big drug companies and other special interests a sweetheart deal.
“This plan increases insurance premiums for older Americans and does nothing to lower drug costs —doing the opposite of what older Americans need.
“The plan would cut Medicaid funding by $880 billion, which would jeopardize essential care for 17 million seniors and people with disabilities and shift the cost to states, blowing a giant hole in state budgets and costing state taxpayers billions.”
AARP stands ready to work with both parties on legislation that puts Americans’ health care first, not the special interests.
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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.