AARP, Key Retirees’ Lobby, To Endorse Democrats’ Health Bill
AARP, the influential retirees' lobby, is expected to endorse House Democrats' plan to overhaul the health system today, the Associated Press reports, citing unnamed officials. "Backing the 10-year, $1.2 trillion House bill is a tricky move for AARP. Many retirees are concerned about cuts in Medicare payments to medical providers, which will be used to finance an expansion of health insurance coverage to millions of working families who now lack it. Also, AARP says its membership is about evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans and independents, meaning its endorsement in today's highly politicized atmosphere could anger many members. Floor votes on the House bill could come as early as this weekend" (Werner and Alonso-Zaldivar, 11/4).
ABC News reports that "Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and her leadership team have been lobbying the lobby for weeks," adding that Democratic sources had confirmed the AARP would endorse the bill. One Democrat called it a "big victory" (Stephanopoulos, 11/4).