/PRNewswire/ -- In a statement released today, RetireSafe President Thair Phillips calls AARP's endorsement of the House health care bill the greatest fraud against seniors in the 21st century. He said, "AARP, easily the most influential seniors lobby, is using their clout to get a bill passed that will slash Medicare and ration the health care of seniors."
According to Phillips, it's a sham for AARP to throw its weight behind a bill most seniors do not support. He said, "AARP gets the major amount of its revenue from selling insurance and they DO have a dog in this fight. Instead of protecting their insurance coffers, AARP should be protecting the health of seniors, the very ones they are supposed to help."
Phillips contends that backing the 10-year, tax-hiking, $1.2 trillion House bill is a deceptive move for AARP, and its endorsement in today's highly politicized atmosphere will anger many of its members.
RetireSafe represents older Americans who are concerned about cuts in Medicare payments to medical providers. Visiting Congressional offices this week, the seniors' advocacy group is making a last ditch effort to impact the legislation. They met with senior advisors at the White House last month.
In a recent RetireSafe survey in their Listens campaign, over 1,500 older Americans expressed concern about the health care reform bill. Over half of the respondents, 60%, said there are not any groups who represent their interest in Washington; 93% said being able to choose the doctor they want is a top priority; while 64% felt having a public option was their lowest priority. RetireSafe launched the Listens campaign to give seniors across the country a chance to voice their strong opinions.
Phillips encourages older people looking for someone to turn to now, to visit RetireSafe's website at www.retiresafe.org, and get their voice heard and counted in the online survey.
According to Phillips, our leaders should listen to seniors as well as to common sense views of officials like Tennessee Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen, who was one of the governors who didn't sign a letter supporting the House bill. A former HMO executive, he has been perhaps the party's sharpest critic in the funding debate.
Said Phillips, "Gov. Bredesen, in an interview this September, called the potential expansion of Medicaid in health care reform 'the mother of all unfunded mandates... We can't print money. We can't borrow money. A lot of staffers in Congress really don't understand this idea of a balanced budget.' RetireSafe agrees."
With the help of AARP, House leaders may have the votes they need before the gavel falls Saturday. Said Phillips, "If so, older Americans are in for the sham of the century."
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