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Multimillion-Dollar AARP Campaign Busts the Myths of the Health Care Debate

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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Campaign couples power of 40 million members, reach of national ad blitz

NEW YORK, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --This week, AARP will launch the next phase of its Health Action Now campaign with a multimillion-dollar national advertising and grassroots push to ensure every American has a choice of doctor and dependable, affordable health insurance. The Association's paid advertising -- available online now -- will run nationally on television, locally on radio, in print publications and online. AARP activists will also be in action in every state to ensure every member of Congress knows the 50-plus community wants action to fix what's wrong with health care and preserve what's right.

AARP's advertising campaign will bust the myths some are spreading to frighten Americans, including false assertions that fixing the health care system will lead to rationed health care, a government takeover or even euthanasia.

"We won't stand idle when opponents of health care reform attempt to scare or mislead the American people -- and older Americans in particular -- about what fixing the system really means," said AARP New York State Director Lois Aronstein. "The truth is we need to fix health care, whether it's ensuring affordable coverage for Americans age 50 to 64 or improving benefits for people in Medicare. It's time for the public to get the real facts."

AARP will combine this effort with grassroots action by millions of volunteers and activists. AARP members will visit their representatives and senators in their district offices and attend events in support of health care reform. The Association will also host more than 80 events across the country, including dozens of town hall meetings with legislators and community leaders.

In New York State, AARP New York will launch a state-wide Health Action Now van tour to dispel the myths being spread. The state office will also host tele-town hall meetings and community conversations across the state.

Aronstein added: "The opponents of reform will stop at nothing to derail the process and protect their own vested interests -- even if it means misleading older Americans. We're here to make sure everyone knows the facts and not the myths."

One of AARP's new print ads reads: "Special interest groups are trying to block progress on health care reform using myths and scare tactics. Like the myth that health care reform will give the government the power to make life-and-death decisions for everyone. That's simply false. The fact is, no one, including the government or your insurance company, will be given power to make life-and-death decisions for anyone regardless of their age. Those decisions will be made by you, your doctor and your family."

This round of advertising is scheduled to run through mid-September in national outlets and in select local markets. Television advertisements will appear on networks including CBS, Fox News Channel, Lifetime and MSNBC, while online ads will appear on web sites including CNN.com and ABCNews.com, as well as social networking sites.

To view the ads or to get more information about AARP's Health Action Now campaign, please visit www.healthactionnow.org and click on Campaign News.

AARP has over 2.6 million members in New York State. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

SOURCE AARP New York
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