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AARP Urges Governor to Use Budget to Maintain Quality of Life For Aging New Yorkers
Date:2/2/2009

AARP testifies at Health Budget Hearing

ALBANY, N.Y., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, AARP testified at New York State Legislature's Health Budget Hearing to address three major issues that impact the health care and quality of life of millions of aging New Yorkers: prescription drug access and affordability, health care access, and home and community based long-term care.

"These issues are critical to New Yorkers staying healthy and having access to the same standard of care as they age," said Lois Aronstein, AARP New York State Director. "We know the state faces some tough budget decisions but maintaining access and affordability to health care need to be a priority, especially in tough economic times."

AARP requested the Legislature consider the following in the Executive Budget for the State Fiscal Year 2009-2010:

Ban Pharmaceutical Company Gifts to Doctors

Support the Governor's proposal to ban pharmaceutical company gifts to doctors that have a value of over $50.00 -- free samples are exempt for this ban. Pharmaceutical companies, in many instances, influence physicians to prescribe high cost brand name drugs when equally effective, less expensive versions may be available. New York needs to address this issue that affects consumers' pocket books, the quality of their healthcare, and all taxpayers who help fund public prescription drug programs, such as Medicaid and EPIC.

Stop the Creation of Two-Tiered Assisted Living

Oppose the budget proposal to add 6,000 beds to the Medicaid-funded Assisted Living Program unless it conforms to the NYS Assisted Living Reform Act (ALRA) of 2004. ALRA created strong consumer protections for assisted living residents. Under this proposal low-income New Yorkers would be governed by an inferior set of rules and non-Medicaid assisted living residents would continue to benefit from the strong
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SOURCE AARP New York
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