WASHINGTON, DC—As the US House Budget Committee plans to markup the budget bill tomorrow, AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released the following statement in opposition to House Republicans’ Budget Blueprint:
“AARP urges Congress to reject harmful changes that would have a negative impact on health security and the vital programs that serve older Americans. AARP urges you to oppose efforts to cut Medicaid and turn Medicare into a voucher-type program that would shift costs and risks to older Americans. We will continue to oppose changes to current law that cut benefits, increases costs, or reduces the ability of these critical programs to deliver on their benefit promises. We urge you to continue to do so as well.
“Tens of millions of Americans depend upon Medicare and Medicaid for their health security. The current budget proposal does little to address the high cost of health care and prescription drugs. Instead, the budget proposes to shifts costs onto individuals – many of whom cannot afford to pay more for their care.
“The typical senior, with an annual income of less than $25,000, already spends one out of every six dollars on health care, and counts on Medicare for access to affordable health coverage.
“Efforts to reduce or cap Medicaid funding could endanger the health, safety, and care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and lower income elderly Americans. Furthermore, caps could result in overwhelming cost-shifts to state governments unable to shoulder the costs of care, as we have detailed in our communications to Congress with regard to the current health care debate.
“Finally, SNAP plays a vital role in feeding millions of hungry Americans, including close to five million older Americans, and proposals to cut the program would make SNAP less responsive and accessible in times of need.”
AARP’s letter to Congress on the House Republican Budget Blueprint may be found here.
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