Jo Ann Jenkins
By Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins (http://www.aarp.org/about-aarp/executive-team/info-2016/jo-ann-jenkins.html) has sent a letter about health care legislation to all 100 U.S. senators and 435 U.S. representatives, urging them to collaborate on bipartisan solutions to increase coverage, lower costs, stabilize markets, improve care and also released the following statement:
AARP is encouraged that Congress may begin looking at ways to help strengthen the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. We recognize that the current law is not perfect and have long said that Congress should focus on common sense, bipartisan solutions that will increase coverage, lower costs, stabilize markets and improve care.
AARP looks forward to working with members of Congress to help provide input and expertise to help achieve this goal.
AARP calls on Congress to move away from talk of repeal and instead focus on stabilizing the insurance market. Committing to paying for cost-sharing reductions for consumers and improving risk mitigation programs, such as through reinsurance, are two options that will help strengthen the ACA markets and reduce premiums.
AARP supports strengthening Medicaid, a vital safety net for more than 17.4 million low-income seniors and children and adults with disabilities who rely on it for critical health care and long-term services and supports.
Instead of cuts to Medicaid through per capita caps or block grants, AARP supports allowing states to use Medicaid dollars to help people live in their homes and communities instead of being placed in expensive nursing homes.
This approach not only saves Medicaid dollars, but gives people the choice of living where they want to be.
Older Americans strongly believe that we must protect and strengthen Medicare for seniors and future generations. It’s imperative that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid develop and test new ways to deliver care that both reduce cost and improve health outcomes. Congress should continue investing in preventing waste, fraud and abuse to help maintain the integrity of Medicare.
AARP remains strongly opposed to any health care proposal that changes the age-rating limit of 3:1, reduces the tax credits to help people afford coverage, increases costs for older Americans, or that weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Lastly, any discussions on improving the health care law must include solutions to the problem of unsustainable prescription drug costs.
AARP supports a range of steps to achieve this goal, including giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to negotiate drug price on behalf of Medicare, allowing safe importation of lower-priced drugs, reducing the amount of market exclusivity for biologic drugs, prohibiting pay-for-delay deals between brand and generic drug manufacturers, and demanding greater transparency in prescription drug pricing.