Where is the AARP when Medicare denies coverage for virtual colonoscopies? Absent. And many old people will die because of that rationing of care.
Where is the AARP when universal health care a la Daschle and Obama talk frankly about rationing of health care, stop the "hope" that the elderly can get well?
The AARP is sending out member bills and, apparently, bumper stickers.
Initially I received an email from a scare monger at AARP (Barry Jackson). His email to me made absolutely no sense. I have devoted my life to caring for an elderly dad. You would think that the AARP email would be interesting or motivational to me. It was not.
From: "Barry Jackson, AARP"
Subj: 30 Percent on Medicare
Date: Thu May 14, 2009 1:37 pm
That is the percent of income that the average Medicare recipient spends on out-of-pocket health costs. It's one big reason we need health action now.
Take action - and we'll send you this free bumper sticker!
If you are still looking for a reason we need to fix health care now, here is one: People on Medicare spend an average of 30% of their income on out-of-pocket health costs.
Thirty percent! It is astounding. And, as you can imagine, it is
unsustainable in this economy.
That is why we are in this fight to make sure Congress passes reform that
strengthens Medicare and ensures that everyone can afford the care
Click here to let Congress know that we need health reform that keeps Medicare affordable.
And if you are one of the first 10,000 to take action by midnight
on Tuesday, we will send you a free HealthActionNow.org bumper sticker.To me, this campaign is about fighting for the most vulnerable in
our health care system. It is about fighting for the people who are dependent on costly medications or frequent hospitalizations. The people who are watching costs skyrocket while their retirement incomes shrink. The people for whom 30 percent is not a statistic, but a very real burden.
It is about fighting for the thousands of older Americans that can not afford their prescription drugs due to a gap in Medicare coverage. We are
committed to closing the coverage "donut hole" that forces them to pay premiums without getting insurance coverage on prescription drug costs.
Join the campaign and show Congress we are in this together.
Thanks for all you do.
AARP Online Advocacy Manager
Who is this Barry Jackson goomer? All I now is that I am in the trenches (as opposed to a DC office) and I know what is happening to the elderly in the health care system. I am a true advocate, Mr. Jackson.
This happened to be one of my overly-optimistic periods. And so I decided to contact the AARP (you know, the group that has tons of lobbyist in DC to protect the needs of America's retired population).
Here was my email to what the AARP purports to be their "answer line."
On Thu, 14 May 2009 13:56:00 -0400 you wrote:
(1) What is AARP's position on Medicare refusing to cover virtual
(2) What is AARP's position on the elderly being treated by hospitalists
during admission (instead of their treating doc)? Hospitalists purport to
save $ and reduce hospital stays. But has there been research on readmits & successful clinical outcomes? No.
Use of Hospitalists ("stranger doctors" are absolutely a form of rationing care to the elderly - the Hospitalists at Duke University Hospital have told me that their function is to triage the elderly patients, get them out of the hospital and save the hospital money!
AARP should be angry that Medicare rations care. It is wrong. It
is disrespectful to the elderly.
My dad has Stage 4 colon cancer. He had an unusually long
intestines & he would be dead if there was no virtual colonoscopy.
Look forward to your reply.
You, as me, wonder with baited breathe what positions the AARP will articulate.
Evidently, the AARP thinks I am demented, elderly and whatever disparaging word they talk in closed doors about the elderly. No one answered my questions.
Of course the response to my specific questions were not answered by Mr. Barry Jackson. He was far to busy scary the elderly and mailing out bumper stickers!!
Here was the answer I received to specific questions. "Betty" apparently is not qualified to answer questions from the public. She has a party line to spew.
I wonder how many other concerned people received the identical email response from Betty?
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 00:01:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: 30 Percent on Medicare
Dear Ms. Handy:
Thank you for contacting AARP about Medicare reform. We appreciate
your taking the time to get in touch with us about ways to improve
this vital program.
For over 40 years, Medicare has provided dependable, affordable
health care for millions of older and disabled Americans. The
program has been instrumental in improving the health and life
expectancy of people across the nation, as well as reducing the
and quality challenges only reflect the cost increases and quality
concerns plaguing all health care in the United States.
Since Medicare's beginning, AARP has been actively involved in
working to protect and strengthen the program for today's
beneficiaries and those who will become eligible for the program in
the future. In order for Medicare to remain strong and viable,
however, a number of key challenges must be confronted. Medicare
* Be prepared to serve the growing number of people who will enter
the program when the boomer generation begins to enroll in 2011
* Provide benefits that keep pace with valuable medical advances
* Secure additional long-term financing in order to continue to serve
the older population's health care needs
* Lead in motivating the health care system to improve patient safety
* Promote effective treatment of chronic illnesses and disabilities
to meet the challenge of growing numbers of people with diabetes,
arthritis, and hypertension
An important step in Medicare reform was made with the Medicare
Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003. Through that legislation, some new
alternatives within Medicare are being offered to older Americans,
including "Welcome to Medicare" physicals and programs to manage
chronic illness, as well as the option to add prescription drug
benefits. Prescription coverage permits better management of chronic
illness. In addition, the transition to electronic prescribing
required under the MMA will reduce errors. At the same time that the
new "Medicare Advantage" programs were added, the traditional
Medicare program remains in place and is still available to
all-including those who wish to enroll in the new prescription drug
insurance, known as "Part D."
AARP will continue to encourage constructive debate on ways to
improve and update Medicare. As legislative proposals arise, we will
be monitoring them closely to improve benefits for older Americans,
and to correct problems with existing law.
Thank you for helping the process by taking the time to share your
Can you believe AARP is still pushing the Medicare Part D disaster? David Snow, Jr (CEO of Medco) must be thrilled.
Do you really think I am done with the AARP? Hardly.