Letters to the Editor

Health care: AARP fails its membership

The American Association of Retired Persons chose to speak for its 35 million members with no input from members, no questionnaires, no pools, no advance notification of its participation in drafting the 1,100 page Medicare bill.

AARP members were taken aback to learn that this well-established organization which was supposed to represent its members chose to support this $400 billion give-away of taxpayer money to begin the process of privatization of Medicare.

The article in the December issue in the AARP Bulletin makes reference to the enormous help the bill will be to low-income seniors, but when did income become a factor in the allocation of funds for Medicare? In fact, the entire article poses more questions than answers.

Not only does the bill prevent Medicare from buying affordable drugs from Canada it prohibits Medicare from using its purchasing power to negotiate for the huge discounts available to corporations.

Corporations and businesses covering prescription drug benefits for their Medicare retired employees benefit to the tune of $88 billion.

In my opinion a more rational and less expensive solution than the $400 billion “Medicare” bill would be to simply add drug prescription benefits to our current Medicare program. This would still fall short of universal health coverage in effect in all other industrial countries for over twenty years.

Ellen Frazier

Camano Island

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