Monday, December 05, 2005

AARP Calls on New York's U.S. Reps to Say 'No' to Harmful Medicaid Cuts in Budget

ALBANY, N.Y. Dec. 5 /U.S. Newswire/ -- As members of the U.S. House of Representatives return to Washington, D.C. today to address budget issues, the ability of millions of Americans to access long- term care under Medicaid is at stake. The narrowly passed House budget bill proposes drastic cuts to Medicaid, which would deny care to people when they need it most. AARP New York is urging all of its state's U.S. Representatives to oppose these cuts when they revisit the budget over the next several days.
AARP members across the country are calling on their members of Congress to defeat the House proposals and adopt the Medicaid provisions in the Senate budget reconciliation bill, which achieve significant Medicaid savings by getting better drug prices and targeting real abuses without harming beneficiaries.
"Medicaid is critical to helping New Yorkers meet their long-term care needs and this bill would deny them access to that care," said Lois Aronstein, AARP New York State director. "Our Representatives from New York need to take a stand by defeating proposals like those in the House budget that weaken Medicaid."
The House budget reconciliation bill would penalize older New Yorkers by extending the number of years the state can "look back" at an individual's financial records, imposing stricter penalties on people who innocently gave money to family or charity. The bill also contains provisions which would force people to sell their homes in order to get long-term care and unreasonably increases cost sharing that could deny care to people with limited incomes if they can't afford premiums or co-pays.
"The House bill goes too far and winds up punishing those people who have played by the rules and taken care of their families and their communities," added Aronstein. "New York deserves a strong Medicaid and when this issue comes back to the House we urge our Representatives to vote against it if it still includes these draconian cuts."
Medicaid provides necessary health care for one-in-every-six Americans. It is the safety net for older Americans needing long- term care, for the disabled, and for children in poverty and is an integral part of the entire health care system.
AARP has over 2.6 million members in New York State. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and over. AARP provides information and resources; engages in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assists members in serving their communities; and offers a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for members. These include AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, the monthly newspaper; Segunda Juventud, the quarterly newspaper in Spanish; Live and Learn, the quarterly newsletter for National Retired Teachers Association members; and the Web site, AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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