Skip to comments.Where We Stand: Health Reform Now (By AARP CEO A. Barry Rand)
Posted on 08/06/2009 11:44:14 AM PDT by devane617
All Americans should have affordable health care choices. But our current health care system costs too much, wastes too much, makes too many mistakes and gives us back too little value for our money. Moreover, roughly 47 million people, more than 7 million of them ages 50 to 64, are left out of the system altogether because they dont have health insurance.
This has to change. For too many people, lack of affordable, quality health care is closing the door on the American dream. Moreover, our current health care system is unsustainable, not just for individuals but also for employers and government. I know from experience that unsustainable growth in health costs places a huge burden on American businesses. If these costs arent restrained, total spending on health care will rise from 16 percent of GDP in 2007 to 25 percent in 2025 and 49 percent in 2082, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Thats a price tag that we as a nation simply cant afford.
AARP's health policy priorities
Its also why health care reform is AARPs top priority. We simply cant fix the economy without restructuring the delivery of health care, expanding access and cutting costs. For families and workers, the loss of jobs has been compounded by pay cuts and reduced insurance coverage. Among the most vulnerable are people 50 to 64 who lack employer-sponsored insurance. For too many of them, the individual insurance market is often unavailable at any price because of exclusions for preexisting conditions.
Medicare is straining under the weight of rising health care costs even as Medicare beneficiaries face extremely heavy burdens. They spend, on average, 28 percent of their income on health coveragesix times more than those with coverage through employers. We must transform health care and slow the rate of cost growth throughout the system to keep Medicare strong now and for future generations.
I joined President Obama and congressional leaders when he announced an agreement that would cut prices in Medicares Part D coverage gapthe doughnut holeby 50 percent. This is an early win for reform and a major step forward. But it is only a start.
Among our other priorities:
making sure that people 50 to 64 have a choice of affordable health care; slowing the growth of health care costs by cracking down on waste, fraud, abuse, medical errors and poor-quality care; and improving outcomes through better management that coordinates chronic, acute and long-term care services, and ensures that patients have access to the full range of support they need. How you can join the effort to reform health care
This is a critical time in the health care reform debate. Congress is making critical decisions. We need you to be informed, involved and engaged.
To learn more, to contact your elected officials. To become involved in the health care reform effort, go to www.HealthActionNow.org, or call 1-866-227-7449 toll-free. I urge you to join the cause. Together, we can make sure that every American has access to affordable, quality health care for generations to come. The time to act is now.
Called and cancelled AARP last week ... no response from them yet.
Barry is overdue for retirement. Maybe his members can convince him it’s time.
Noticeably absent from his statement is anything about tort reform since fear of unlimited lawsuits also has a part in keeping insurance premiums high. Not mentioning this reform puts them square in the Obama/Pelosi/Reid camp as none of their plans mention tort reform because the slip-and-fall lawyers together with the unions are their biggest contributors.
So 7 million 50 to 64 years olds don’t have health insurance. How many are wealthy enough not to need it or want it? How many are illegals? If 5 million want insurance but can’t get it, I guess all the rest of us should feel fine about a complete government takeover of health care on this small number’s behalf?? What a lame-O’brain line of (t)reasoning.
The comments are (what I saw) 100% AGAINST this.
Some very powerful comments...they’re better than the letter.
Wait til I get home and have time to compose a little rebuttal to this socialist loser!
“have a right”....my butt!
Is this provided for in the Constitution....right along side the right to a house and a car? Or, is it in the paragraph that says no American should earn a dollar more than another American? ....or illegal immigrant?
Anyone in the Medicare system knows that you have your choice of physician UNLESS he chooses not to take assignment any longer, you then LOSE that physician's care. This business of the *doughnut hole* is not reform, it is additional gubmint spending on a system that is broke now. The fact that Medicare was created in the first place is the reason we're in the position we are today, insurance/medical costs have had to be increased on the rest of the consumers because Medicare has been paying only a percentage of their members' costs since its inception.
The fact that Donna Shalala threatened to prosecute Medicare patients who thought to pay for services themselves back when she was HHSSecy is all we need to know about how serious these people are regarding real choice, real reforms.
Yes, that’s why I posted. I think the comments are very telling.
I went to the website and left the following post.
I cannot believe that an orginization that is supposed to be for the senior citizens of this country could support this.
Have you read it?
How are you going to explain to people that you support cutting off cancer care, or heart surgery, or hip replacement because the person is to old to get full benefit of the treatment?
How are you going to explain to Grandma that you agree it is better for her to accept euthanasia rather than use up health care resources.
All this while your representatives have the best of the best because they made sure they don’t have to belong to this. Way to go. I guess in a country where all people are created equal some are really more equal than others.
For the last year your orgnization has been sending my wife & I information about joining.
NO THANKS! I am already getting the shaft fron our government, I don’t need to join AARP so I can get it from you also
Have you seen the video out of the Dallas AARP “listening session”?? Its priceless and at redstate.com
Wait a minute! Didn’t the rude, arrogant AARP shill on the video tell peoople that AARP had no position on Obamacare? This missive from the AARP head Obamasskisser sounds an awful lot like support to me.
Amazing huh? They lie at these “listening sesions” where they will not listen
I know some ohpees (old people)that whine about how much their co-pays are and insist healthcare should be “free” to all. But they can afford a home in NY and another in Florida for the winter.
And each November they vote absentee in NY and in person in FL.
AARP seems to have missed the rationing of care for seniors that will be needed to provide care for those 47 million supposed uninsured.
What costs too much? If you want the same treatment you had 20 years ago, you can get it for a fraction of what it costed 20 years ago.
What wastes too much? If you don't want a test, tell them you won't pay for it? You only have to ask for what you want, and only offer to pay for what you want -- nobody can force you (yet) to get unnecessary medical treament. The only reason we "waste" treatment is because people want all the treatment they can get, and are willing to pay for it.
In what way do we make more mistakes than other countries? And in what way would the health care plan in the house, or anything Obama has said, make our system less prone to making mistakes? How will you make fewer "mistakes" if you are also eliminating tests and procedures that you THINK might be wasteful?
In what way does our health care give back "too little value" for our money? People are living longer than ever in this country, despite eating like pigs and taking care of ourselves like we could care less if we wake up tomorrow. There are drugs now for almost anything you can think of. People don't die of HIV. We are curing cancer, and stopping the spread of diseases that used to kill people with regularity. Old people now can medicate themselves to another decade of life.
And in what way are people denied access to health care, simply because they don't have insurance? Anybody who wants to can call a doctor and go get treatment, with a checkbook or a credit card. You don't need insurance to buy food, why should you need insurance to pay for your health care?
And if you are poor and don't have insurance, you can walk into any emergency room and get treated anyway; you can qualify for medicaid if you want substandard treatment that comes with government control; there are free clinics at least until the liberals get them all shut down because some of them won't abort babies; state and local governments also offer health care to people who decide they want to spend money on things other than their own health.
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