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AARP Protests Medicare Premium Increases, Delivering Over 20,000 Petitions to Senators Hutchison and Cornyn
Date:5/29/2008

Medicare Fair" and "Texans Deserve Better."

Mary Scott, a member of AARP, said in Dallas, "Let's stop using a 'Band-Aid' approach and instead find real solutions to our skyrocketing health care costs. We know that health care costs are going up for everyone, but older Americans in particular are taking it on the chin. Forcing people on Medicare to pay because Congress hasn't found a long- term fix is simply unfair."

AARP's poll found that eight in ten survey respondents opposed raising premiums even higher instead of looking at other recommended ways to lower health care costs. It also found that a vast majority of 50-plus Americans are concerned about their current and future out-of-pocket health care costs (80 percent and 88 percent, respectively). Concern over Medicare premiums even extends to those not yet in the program. Among those ages 50 to 64, 86 percent are concerned about what their premiums will be when they become eligible for Medicare.

Medicare covers only about half of a beneficiary's health care bills, while about one-quarter of the costs are out-of-pocket. This doesn't include long-term care costs, whether at home or in a nursing home, where the average cost is around $75,000 annually. Just one hospital visit can cost as much as $1,000 out-of-pocket, making it particularly tough on seniors on fixed income.

AARP has been working to keep premiums fair and improve Medicare's low-income programs, including the Part D Low-Income Subsidy and Medicare Savings Programs. The grassroots effort has already generated more than 325,000 signed petitions - including over 20,000 from Texans -- as well as 26,000 calls and 150,000 e-mails to Senate offices. Television, print and online ads are running in major markets around the country.

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
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SOURCE AARP-Texas
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