Sunday, August 16, 2009

White House Admits Obama Mislead Public Re: AARP Support of His Health Care Bill

Roll Call's Keith Koffler reports that the White House acknowledged Wednesday that President Barack Obama misspoke Tuesday when he said AARP had endorsed health care reform legislation.

Obama, who made the comment at a town-hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., meant to say that AARP was generally supportive of “comprehensive reform” and backs a deal between drugmakers and the Senate Finance Committee for the industry to provide $80 billion to fund legislation and drug purchases under Medicare, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Obama was responding to a question about supplemental Medicare insurance that many seniors purchase to fill gaps in drug coverage.

The president used the question to address charges that health care overhaul legislation he backs would harm Medicare. “First of all, another myth that we've been hearing about is this notion that somehow we're going to be cutting your Medicare benefits,” Obama said. “We are not. AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, OK?”

The comment provoked a rapid response from AARP Chief Operating Officer Tom Nelson.

“While the President was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate,” Nelson said in a written statement. AARP supports specific measures that would help older Americans and their families — including bipartisan proposals to create a new follow-up care benefit in Medicare that would help prevent hospital re-admissions, as well as to address the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the ‘doughnut hole,’” he said. “We also support the need for lawmakers and the Administration to act this year to fix what doesn’t work in the health care system.”

More misinformation from the Obama administration on their health care bill to create support. We should not be surprised that AARP doesn't support this bill given it's provisions to contain health care costs at the expense of the elderly and if we have viewed the age demographics of most of the dissidents at the health care reform Town Halls taking place.

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