AARP backs $460B in Medicare cuts

The AARP has firmly entrenched itself in the Democrat's corner with regard to healthcare reform. Yesterday, the organization said it supports $460 billion in Medicare cuts needed to cover the cost of new a healthcare bill, citing that the only casualties would be "waste and inefficiency," the Associated Press reports. No guaranteed Medicare benefits would be reduced with such cuts, AARP CEO A. Barry Rand added in a letter to U.S. senators.

Medicare Advantage would be the hardest-hit program, should the cuts take place. Private companies provide coverage under that plan and the government pays 14 percent more annually per beneficiary in a private plan. Those in favor of Medicare Advantage say the extra funds go toward "extra benefits" like "vision or dental coverage or gym memberships," while those opposed to it say the money only goes to bigger salaries for executives and more profits for the firms. 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is opposed to the cuts, believes that seniors would lose "add-on" benefits should the cuts take place. "'Above all, we must not use Medicare as a piggy bank,' to pay for other programs," he said.

For more information:
- read this Associated Press article