AARP Letter to the U.S. Senate

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The following is a letter drafted by AARP in response to a report that the House approved the revision of asset transfer rules, making it much more difficult to obtain Medicaid. We urge you to copy this letter, sign and send it off in an attempt to ask the Senate to oppose this proposal.

December 19, 2005
The Honorable Bill Frist
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Majority Leader Frist:
AARP strongly opposes the budget reconciliation conference agreement
scheduled to come before the Senate for a vote today. Rather than reflecting the
rational provisions of the Senate reconciliation bill, the final conference
agreement is irresponsible policy.
The final conference agreement does not ask for shared sacrifice to achieve
budgetary savings. Rather it protects the pharmaceutical industry, the managed
care industry, and other providers at the expense of low-income Medicaid
beneficiaries and Medicare beneficiaries who will foot the bill.
AARP members and your other constituents will question why members of the
Senate would vote for a bill that would:
• Make it harder for Americans needing long-term care to qualify for
Medicaid;
• Force some Americans to forfeit their homes in order to pay for long-term
care services;
• Require all Medicare Part B beneficiaries to pay higher premiums;
• Reopen the MMA, not to make improvements in the new drug benefit, but
to require those with more income to pay higher Part B premiums sooner;
and
• Force low-income Medicaid recipients to pay more for their care – and if
they cannot afford to do so – to potentially be denied care entirely.
The conference agreement systematically undermines the critical protections
built into both the Medicaid and Medicare programs. If the conference
agreement becomes law, then over the course of the next few weeks and months
we will make sure that our members across the country fully understand the
impact of this conference agreement on them and on their families.
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We urge the Senate to oppose the reconciliation conference package and urge
Congress to instead return to the fair and responsible policies of the original
Senate package.
Sincerely,
William D. Novelli
Cc: All members of U.S. Senate

Spousal Medicaid Rules: The 2006 Community Spouse Resource Allowance has been raised to $99,540. More figures will be reported as they are released. a

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