AARP Statement on Wyden-Ryan White Paper

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–December 16, 2011. AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond issued the following statement on the “Guaranteed Choices to Strengthen Medicare and Health Security for All” white paper released yesterday by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

“AARP continues to review the Wyden-Ryan proposal, and just as with any proposal, we will examine whether it would reduce access to care, whether it will result in more cost shifting to older Americans, and whether it will improve health care quality and delivery. 

“Every day, our members tell us about the vital role Medicare plays in ensuring the health and retirement security of older and disabled Americans, and we agree that changes to hold down costs and improve our health care system, including Medicare, are essential.

“The white paper, as crafted, leaves many of the details unclear, but even at this high level obvious risks come to mind.  We want to make sure Medicare remains a viable and affordable option for our seniors.  At this time, too many details of the proposal lack clear definition.  We need more information to comment on the proposal further.

“We believe it is time to bring the debate about the future of Medicare out from behind closed doors in Washington and into the public so Americans have a voice in any discussion about the future of this program.

“We want to make sure that older Americans know what proposals are on the table and what they will mean to them and their families.  We especially want to make sure that we maintain the Medicare guarantee of health security and protect those who need care the most.

“We appreciate Sen. Wyden’s and Rep. Ryan’s effort to lay out alternative approaches to improve health and retirement security, and we look forward to working with leaders on both sides of the aisle to discuss these and other alternatives with the goal of enhancing the health and income security of older Americans and their families.”