AARP urges House to reject Medicare budget cuts

AARP urges House to reject Medicare budget cuts
© Getty Images

The AARP is calling on the House to reject potential cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps in the current budget resolution.

In a letter sent to lawmakers Wednesday, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said the proposals in the budget that could result in cuts to Medicare, or change it to a defined contribution model, should be rejected.

“We urge you not to include attempts to cut Medicare benefits or increase beneficiary costs in the upcoming budget proposal,” the letter said.  

The letter comes on the heels of a report prepared by Senate Democrats that shows the budget could slash Medicare spending by $473 billion over a decade.

While the cuts would be part of the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, they are not detailed in any of the public documents and there are no policy proposals that show how the cuts would be enacted.

Instead, charts prepared for committee staff obtained by The Hill show that the cuts would be necessary in order to achieve a balanced budget.

A GOP aide denied there are any Medicare cuts in the budget and that it merely assumes a slower rate of Medicare spending growth. 

"Slowing the growth of Medicare will help make the program more sustainable and ensure it is able to keep providing the vital services that millions of people rely on," the aide said. 

AARP also addressed concerns that Republicans would try to impose a cap on Medicaid spending. Capping Medicaid spending was a staple of the GOP ObamaCare repeal plans.

“Efforts to reduce or cap Medicaid funding could endanger the health, safety, and care of millions of individuals who depend on the essential services provided through this program,” AARP wrote.