Concerned that efforts to manage health care costs may be disproportionately focus on entitlement program, Medicare and Medicaid, AARP issued a statement to the Senate Finance Committee urging them to examine the whole health care system.
The organization states that cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should not be a part of any efforts to reduce the federal deficit and that the vast majority of Americans are supportive of protecting these programs.
Focusing on Medicare, the statement proclaims, would not reduce health care expenses, but only shift the expenses to other portions of the health care system. “AARP encourages Congress to enact the longest possible resolution to the SGR problem. We believe any solution should aim to emphasize value over volume, and take steps to promote better quality care. Our members believe Congress has a responsibility to keep doctors in Medicare so today’s seniors and future retirees can keep seeing the doctors they trust."
In terms of Medicaid, AARP expresses concern that cuts to the program would have serious impact on older Americans. The group suggests that one-third of those 65 and older will have long-term care that exceed their ability to pay, and they they will need Medicaid assistance to cover those costs.
“Significant cuts to Medicaid cannot be made without harming individuals and families who rely on Medicaid for health or long-term services and supports, and these individuals include formerly middle income people who have had their life savings wiped out by the high costs of LTSS."