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AARP Testifies in Favor of Bulk Buying and Rx Card Proposals in Executive Budget Proposal

Long Term Care Budget Proposals that Help 'Aging in Place' also a Priority

ALBANY, N.Y., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, AARP recommended that the New York State Legislature accept the Governor's proposal to create a prescription drug discount card for uninsured New Yorkers and explore the "bulk purchasing" of prescription drugs to lower costs for taxpayers and New Yorkers in need. These recommendations were made at a state budget hearing on "Health, Medicaid and Aging."

"These proposals will benefit New Yorkers of all ages, but they will especially help those who are most in need," stated Lois Aronstein, AARP New York State Director.

Buying prescription drugs in bulk is a simple proposal that just makes sense. The State of New York would be able to take full advantage of its massive buying power to benefit its citizens and save taxpayers much needed dollars. In the last six years, brand name prescription drug prices have risen steadily at a rate nearly double, and sometimes triple, the rate of inflation. The rising cost of drugs impacts all New Yorkers - whether as taxpayers or as individuals paying health care premiums or full retail price for medications at the pharmacy counter.

Long Term Care initiatives put forth as proposals in the budget would also benefit New Yorkers. AARP again recommended that the Legislature support and increase funding for informal family caregiver services and programs to help people "age in place" in their home and communities. More than 80% of all long-term care in New York State is provided by informal family caregivers.

"More than two million family caregivers in New York State provide the majority of the state's long-term care services, which were valued at over $24 billion in 2006," Aronstein added. "Caregivers often juggle full-time jobs, emotional stress, and loss of wages while caring for loved ones."

In addition to supporting the above proposals, AARP also believes that any Medicaid cuts to institutions and home care as proposed by the Executive Budget should be scrutinized very closely to determine their impact on the ability of nursing homes and home care agencies to deliver quality services. It is imperative that budget cuts should not jeopardize the care of vulnerable people in any manner.

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. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. 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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