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AARP Commends Illinois U.S. Reps for Voting to Protect People in Medicaid

Association Urges Senators Durbin and Obama to Quickly Pass Companion Bill and Send Measure to President

CHICAGO, April 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- AARP commended the supporters and cosponsors of the Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008, which passed today in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill prevents massive increases in costs for people in Medicaid by stopping harmful cuts proposed by the administration.

"Today's vote is a victory for all Illinoisans who rely on Medicaid as the safety net of our health care system," said Bob Gallo, State Director for AARP in Illinois. "With 47 million Americans already uninsured, our country and our state cannot afford to make it any harder for our most vulnerable to pay for their health care."

AARP thanks the members of the Illinois delegation who cosponsored the bill or provided critical support in gaining unanimous passage of this legislation first in the Energy & Commerce committee and today in the full House:

-- Rep Costello, Jerry F. (D-12, Belleville)

-- Rep Davis, Danny K. (D-7, Chicago)

-- Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. (D-4, Chicago)

-- Rep Hare, Phil (D-17, Rock Island)

-- Rep Lipinski, Daniel (D-3, Western Springs)

-- Rep Rush, Bobby L. (D-1, Chicago)

-- Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. (D-9, Evanston)

-- Rep Weller, Jerry (R-11, Morris)

Illinois' Medicaid director estimated the impact of the proposed cuts to be more than $2.5 billion for the state. While AARP supports smart policies to stop fraud, waste and abuse in Medicaid, the cuts proposed by the administration threaten the integrity of the program and shift unreasonable costs to the people in Medicaid and the states.

"We're proud that our U.S. Representatives recognized the harm the administration's proposals would have done to people in Illinois's Medicaid program, and we thank them for acting swiftly and with such wide, bipartisan support to stop these cuts," added Gallo. "We now urge Senators Durbin and Obama to vote to protect Medicaid as the Senate considers this measure."

AARP has over 1.7 million members in Illinois. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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