In two press releases, AARP has expressed their opposition to cuts to Social Security and Medicare for the sole purpose of reaching a compromise on the debt ceiling. The announcements detail AARP's written testimony submitted to the Senate Finance Committee's hearing on Budget Enforcement and the launch of an advertising campaign to fight proposed cuts (view commercial below).
In the written testimony to the Finance Committee, AARP acknowledges budget challenges, but arbitrarily, an unnecessarily including Social Security and Medicare in across the board cuts will have too significant of an impact on beneficiaries, now and in the future.
Referring to Social Security, the testimony stated, "[I]n the face of declining pensions, shrinking savings, and longer life expectancies, Social Security deserves to have its own national conversation that focuses on preserving and strengthening the retirement security of Americans and their families for generations to come.”
Turning to Medicare, AARP feels the focus needs to be on rising health care costs, reducing waste, fraud and inefficiency, and developing high value care, instead of just cuts to spending.
"[W]e believe implementation of … significant delivery system reforms will take time, planning, and commitment from Congress, the Administration, and providers to help achieve a new way of delivering care: one that focuses on improving primary and coordinated care for beneficiaries, and payment incentives that reward quality and improved outcomes rather than volume. AARP believes setting annual, arbitrary cost targets for Medicare will undercut this needed progress, and we strongly urge Congress not to enact such counterproductive measures.”
The corresponding advertising campaign will include a multi-million dollar national advertising campaign, grassroots and online efforts to engage AARP members and the public in the debate of potential impacts of proposed changes.
The new advertisement calls on views to contact congress to express opposition to cuts in the program.