AARP Campaign To Lobby Against Medicare Premium Increases

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AARP has launched a multimillion dollar campaigncalled "Keep Medicare Fair" to lobby Congress to eliminate Medicarepremium increases from a bill proposed by Senate Finance Committee Chair MaxBaucus (D-Mont.), The Politico reports. The bill would fund thedelay of a scheduled 10.6% cut to Medicare physician payments by increasingMedicare beneficiaries' premiums. AARP is "gravely disappointed" withthe outlines of the bill, but it "is optimistic that the bill beingcrafted over the Memorial Day recess will include protections to people inMedicare," according to AARP spokesperson Drew Nannis.

AARP state organizations will lobby in all 50 states and hold issue briefings,call-to-action forums and meetings with newspaper editorial boards.Constituents also will hold meetings with lawmakers and staff and will makeless formal visits to lawmakers. "We're not going to leave any senator outas we strive to ensure that the final vote is in the best interest of thepeople on Medicare," Nannis said.

In addition, a television and online advertising campaign that began in Aprilwill continue through June 8. AARP members have sent nearly 141,000 e-mails andhave made more than 26,000 phone calls to senators. About 324,000 members havesigned petitions urging Congress to reject the premium increase. AARP alsoreleased a survey that showed 81% of adults ages 50 and older believe it isunfair to raise Medicare premiums above normal annual increases. According tothe poll, two-thirds said they would be less likely to vote for lawmakers whovote to approve additional premium increases (Frates, The Politico,5/26).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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