AARP Announces Next Steps on Medicare Bill

Saturday, July 12, 2008 General News
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Latest nationwide efforts to thank supporters in Congress, call for full enactment

WASHINGTON, July 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nancy LeaMond, AARP's Executive Vice President of Social Impact, today announced the Association's next round of activity to encourage the enactment of the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.

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After having been passed by both chambers of Congress with veto-proof margins, the bill now sits with the President. Administration officials have indicated his intention to veto the bill.

"We're hoping for the best and preparing for everything else," said LeaMond. "We are not taking any signature or vote for granted. We've come too far in this campaign to let up at the end."

Earlier today, AARP and its volunteers began reaching out to the White House encouraging the President's signature of the bill. AARP CEO Bill Novelli is sending a letter to the White House asking the President to reconsider his intention to veto given the bill's strong bipartisan support. The White House also received more than 45,000 emails on Friday from grassroots volunteers encouraging the President to sign the bill today.

AARP is also launching a national effort to thank the overwhelming bipartisan majority of Representatives and Senators who voted to pass the bill and ask them to continue their support in the event of a vote to override a presidential veto.

AARP's activities early next week will include:

-- Coordinated visits from constituents to Washington and district offices of the bill's supporters;

-- A national write-in effort from volunteers to opinion-leaders and news outlets;

-- Ads placed in key outlets encouraging a veto override, if necessary; and

-- Continued grassroots contacts to legislative offices.

Since launching its national Keep Medicare Fair campaign in April, AARP volunteers have sent more than 910,000 emails, phone calls, faxes and petition signatures to Congress in support of a bill to improve and protect Medicare.

"After months of debate on how to strengthen and protect Medicare, we finally have a bill that would improve low-income, prevention, and mental health programs, and boost health care quality through national e-prescribing," added LeaMond. "We are confident and hopeful that this bill, which has earned broad bipartisan support, will become law."

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 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 39 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 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.


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