Steele challenges AARP to endorse his 'Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights'

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele wrote the AARP on Friday, challenging the nation's largest group of retirees to endorse the principles of the RNC's "Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights" released earlier this week.

AARP Executive Vice President John Rother said earlier this week the bill didn't contain concerns raised by the GOP's document, which would aim to "prohibit efforts to ration healthcare based on age" and "prevent government from interfering with end-of-life care decisions," among other things.

"AARP agrees with Chairman Michael Steele's goals for reforming our health care system, and we are pleased nothing in the bills that have been proposed would bring about the scenarios the RNC is concerned about," Rother wrote.

"I'm sure we would both agree that any attempt to reform our health care system should first do no harm, particularly to senior citizens," Steele responded Friday "That is why I was heartened to see that you agreed with the premise of the RNC's Seniors' Health Care Bill Of Rights, but I was disappointed by your claim that '...nothing in the [Democrats'] bills would bring about the type of scenarios the RNC is concerned about.'"

Steele defended the five planks of the RNC bill of rights, and pointed to the hit the AARP has taken as a result of its position on the healthcare reform bills before Congress.

"News reports indicated the AARP lost more than 60,000 members last month alone because your organization did not take a strong stand against the Democrats' government-run health care experiment and the consequences it would have on seniors," Steele wrote. "Given the facts I have detailed above, I invite AARP to endorse the RNC's recently released 'Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights,' which I have attached to this letter, and join us in urging President Obama and the Democrat-led Congressional leadership to slow down and get health care reform right."