The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) has been protecting senior citizens by keeping them informed on issues since 1958. The AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people aged 50 and over improve the quality of their lives.
The AARP is urging members to “Get the Facts” on health care reform. They write,
Much of the debate is being driven by special interests that are deliberately kicking up clouds of dust to obscure facts. AARP doesn’t want misinformation and fear-mongering to dominate this debate. From allegations about rationing care to wild reports of government-sponsored euthanasia, the rumors just keep getting crazier.
Here the AARP separates fact from fiction.
Myth: Health care reform is socialized medicine.
Fact Health care reform will preserve the employer-based health care system, meaning an estimated 200 million Americans will continue to get their coverage through their employers.
Fact For people buying coverage for themselves, there would be a range of private health plans to choose from. Also, the so-called “public plan” option would seek to give American consumers another choice if they can’t find affordable, quality coverage in the private insurance market. The goal of the “public plan” is to give consumers the best value for their money and force greater competition among insurance plans for our business.
Fact: Every proposal that Congress is considering would allow people to choose their own doctors and hospitals.
Bottom Line: Health care reform isn’t about a government takeover. It’s about guaranteeing all Americans a choice of health care plans they can afford.
Myth: Health care reform means rationed care.
Fact: None of the health reform proposals being considered would stand between individuals and their doctors or prevent any American from choosing the best possible care.
Fact: Health care reform will NOT give the government the power to make life or death decisions for anyone regardless of their age. Those decisions will be made by an individual, their doctor and their family.
Fact: Health care reform will help ensure doctors are paid fairly so they will continue to treat Medicare patients.
Bottom Line: Health reform isn’t about rationing; it’s about giving people the peace of mind of knowing that they will be able to keep their doctors and that they will always have a choice of affordable health plans.
Myth: Health care reform will hurt Medicare.
Fact: None of the health care reform proposals being considered by Congress would cut Medicare benefits or increase your out-of-pocket costs for Medicare services.
Fact: Health care reform will lower prescription drug costs for people in the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole” so they can get better afford the drugs they need.
Fact: Health care reform will protect seniors’ access to their doctors and reduce the cost of preventive services so patients stay healthier.
Fact: Health care reform will reduce costly, preventable hospital readmissions, saving patients and Medicare money.
Fact: Rather than weaken Medicare, health care reform will strengthen the financial status of the Medicare program.
Bottom Line: For people in Medicare, health care reform is about lowering prescription drug costs for people in the “doughnut hole”, keeping the doctor of your choice, improving the quality of care, and eliminating billions in waste that is causing poor care and medical errors.
Myth: Health care reform is too expensive – we can’t afford it.
Fact: The President and Congress have committed to producing legislation that will be paid for so it won’t saddle our children and grandchildren with debt.
Fact: If we do nothing to fix health care, families with Medicare or employer-based health coverage will likely see their premiums nearly double again in the next seven years.
Fact: If we do nothing to fix health care, the share of your income spent on health care will nearly double in the next seven years.
Bottom Line: When one in three Americans say someone in their family skipped pills, postponed or cut back on needed medical care due to the cost; when countless bankruptcies are related to medical expenses; when the number of uninsured approaches 50 million; when government spending on health programs rises so rapidly that it jeopardizes other priorities; and when employers struggle to pay for the costs of health care, the fact is, we can’t afford not to fix health care.
Myth: Health care reform means the government can make life-and-death decisions for you.
Fact: Health care reform will NOT give the government the power to make life-and-death decisions for anyone regardless of their age. Those decisions will be made by individuals, their doctor and their family.
Fact: No one, including the government or your insurance company, will be given power to make life-and-death decisions for you.
Bottom Line: Health care reform isn’t about putting the government in charge of difficult end of life decisions. It’s about giving individuals and families the option to talk with their doctors in advance about difficult choices every family faces when loved ones near the end of their lives.
The AARP is asking members to take action regarding health care reform by asking members to write to their elected officials. The AARP website writes, “At this crucial moment, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to fix our broken health care system. President Obama has promised health reform before the end of the year but we need to make sure that Congress follows through.”
The AARP advocates bipartisan cooperation and would like to see our elected representatives in Washington working together to get health care reform passed.