KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

AARP Committed To Health Reform, But Seniors Remain Split

AARP leaders, like Morie Smile, the association's acting director in Colorado, have been asked to help "calm the fury and correct the misinformation that has poured forth this summer and rattled so many senior citizens," the Washington Post reports. Epitomizing the confusion, at a recent forum organized by Smile, one senior said, "We've got to do something for all these people who don't have health care, but I don't understand who's going to get the shaft. Take it all away from the seniors? Well, we'll be dead soon anyways."

Around 59 percent of seniors disapprove of Obama's health care efforts. About 60,000 seniors cancelled their memberships because of the group's efforts related to reform, but 400,000 joined during the same period, the Post reports. One issue with the split among retirees is that those between 50 and 64, the younger AARP set, stand to benefit from reform: they pay the steepest premiums and are among the most likely age group to be uninsured. Meanwhile, members over 65 with Medicare feel reform threatens their coverage, especially in the wake of such myths as "death panels" (Rucker, 9/9).

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