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Opposing the Medicare prescription drug bill

Letter to AARP (American Association of Retired People) re their endorsement of the Medicare prescription drug bill currently in Congress.

You said on Public Radio today that you polled your members and
75% supported the plan.

1. You didn't poll me. I would not have supported the plan.
How many members did you poll? 100?

2. The plan as it has emerged from conference could not have
been available for those you polled to know what they were
agreeing to . Even if it were, they wouldn't have known what
they were agreeing to!

3. AARP is in the insurance business. This plan, an effort to
privatize Medicare, is intended to take money that would otherwise
provide health care and instead channel it into the coffers of
insurance companies - a major source of revenue for AARP.
If you were really representing your members, you would GET OUT

4. Virtually ALL studies show that the only way to get a handle
on the disintegrating health care system in the US is to put in place
a UNIVERSAL SINGLE PAYER system. As long as health care money is
paying huge insurance company bureaucracies and profits and obscene levels
of compensation for CEOs along with unnecessary advertising and
marketing and creating massive paperwork burdens on providers
(4.2 paper pushers per practitioner) there will never be enough
money to provide health care.

5. The AARP has consistently steered clear of Universal Single Payer
plans because it might have adverse effect on the insurance pie
into which its fingers are, apparently inexorably stuck!

It is time for the AARP to tear its fingers out of the insurance pie
and start to address the REAL HEALTH CARE DISASTER that faces its
members, and in fact, the entire American society.

A genuine, non computer generated response would be greatly

Marc Shapiro
Eugene Or.

 member@aarp.org wrote:

> Thank you for your recent communication. Your feedback is
> AARP has endorsed the bipartisan Medicare bill which includes a
> voluntary prescription drug benefit for everyone in Medicare.
> We believe that millions of older Americans will be helped by this
> legislation. While not perfect, the legislation represents an
> important milestone in the nation's commitment to strengthen and
> expand health security for its citizens.
> The bill will provide the following:
> - Low prescription drug coverage for those in need: people with low
> incomes, including those who depend on Social Security for all or
> of their income;
> - Substantial relief for those with very high drug costs, and modest
> relief for millions more;
> - A substantial increase in protections for retiree benefits; and
> - New mechanisms to push down prescription drug prices.
> An unprecedented $88 billion will encourage employers to maintain
> existing health retiree benefits. It will also help speed generic
> drugs to market, add new preventive and chronic care management
> services as well as protect poor seniors from soaring prescription
> drug costs.
> Again, thank you for contacting us.
> Should you need additional assistance, please reply to this message.
> AARP Member Service
> Contact AARP ( http://www.aarp.org/contactaarp)

homepage: homepage: http://www.hcao.org