AARP could back House Democrats' reform bill

It's looking like House Democrats may have won over a lobbying juggernaut to support their cause. "Unnamed sources" have revealed that the AARP plans to throw its weight behind their version of the health reform bill, which could go to a vote as early as this weekend.

Getting the support of the AARP, if that does indeed happen, could be a real coup for the House Dems. The AARP represents one out of every two people over the age of 50. It currently boasts almost 40 million members, with half at age 65 or older, according to AARP lobbying director David Certner.

Backing the bill, which is projected to cost $1.2 trillion over 10 years, could possibly cost the influential organization some points with its members, who are evenly divided between Dems, Republicans and independents. Of course, it also undermines the group's status with House Republicans; they say that the AARP should not be backing the bill, which makes cuts in Medicare spending.

That being said, we're guessing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made the group some promises on protecting Medicare benefits. Pelosi and her team are known to have been lobbying the AARP lobby for weeks, according to ABC News.

To learn more about the debate:
- read this Kaiser Health News piece
- read this NPR analysis

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