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AARP Alabama Launches Campaign to Protect Medicare

Proposed ‘Voucher’ Plan Threatens Benefits of Alabama Residents

AARP

Montgomery,Alabama (PR MediaRelease) January 31, 2017

AARP today launched a comprehensive campaign to protect Medicare in the face of proposals by some in Congress that would hurt hardworking Alabamians who have paid into the program their entire working lives.

Congressional proposals to change Medicare into a voucher system would dramatically increase health care costs and risks for both current and future retirees. Over the next few weeks, AARP staff and volunteers will meet with members of Congress to underscore that this proposal would put 915,439 Alabama seniors’ benefits at risk and threaten the guarantee of benefits for 977,306 Alabamians ages 50-64, who are currently paying into the system.

“Older Alabamians depend on Medicare for affordable healthcare,” said AARP Alabama state director, Candi Williams. “A voucher system would dramatically increase health care costs and risks for current and future retirees. It could mean many thousands of dollars out of their own pockets. Medicare benefits are earned over a lifetime of work, and Alabamians cannot afford to have them taken away.”

In a recent letter to Congress, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said: “The average senior, with an annual income of under $25,000 and already spending one out of every six dollars on health care, counts on Social Security for the majority of their income and on Medicare for access to affordable health coverage. We will continue to oppose changes to current law that cut benefits, increase costs, or reduce the ability of these critical programs to deliver on their benefit promises. We urge you to continue to do so as well.”

AARP’s Public Policy Institute also has put out new, detailed analyses about Medicare, including Alabama Medicare Fact Sheet, and Premium Support and the Impact on Medicare Beneficiaries. The report notes that “premium support could force people with fewer financial resources to leave traditional Medicare and enroll in less-expensive plans, with more limited benefits and restrictive provider networks.”

Additionally, the campaign includes television and digital advertising that urges Congress to keep President Trump’s commitment on Medicare. During the election, President Trump was very clear about his position, saying, “I am going to protect and save your Social Security and your Medicare. You made a deal a long time ago.”

A new website for the campaign – www.aarp.org/protectmedicare — also launched today.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into ‘Real Possibilities’ by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @aarp and our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.

Jamie Harding
AARP Alabama
Communications Director
205-470-1265
JHarding@aarp.org

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