KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

AARP Tells GOP It Won’t Reverse Support For Democrats’ House Health Bill

"House Republicans want the AARP to rescind its endorsement of comprehensive health reform legislation after a government report showed it could cause some providers to stop accepting Medicare patients," CongressDaily reports. The report, issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "warned some Medicare beneficiaries could lose access to providers if the House bill becomes law." In response, "Minority Leader Boehner and other Republican leaders wrote to Barry Rand, AARP's chief executive officer, to 'strongly urge you to reconsider your endorsement" of the health reform bill the House passed Nov. 7.'"

In a statement, AARP spokesman Jim Dau said the group will not rescind its support of the bill. Dau "said the group endorsed the House-passed bill because it will help control Medicare costs, close the 'doughnut hole' in Medicare's drug coverage and reform discriminatory insurance practices. 'While we commend the spirit behind H.R. 4038 [the Republican alternative], it unfortunately does not meet these goals,' Dau said" (Hunt, 11/18).

Politico: The CMS report "lays out cuts to Medicare, to the tune of $571 billion, a 64 percent drop in Medicare Advantage and an increase in health expenditures by $289 billion." Politico also posted a copy of the letter from Republicans, as well as the full text of Dau's response (Budoff Brown, 11/17).

Related: Previous KHN summaries of news coverage of the CMS report.

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.