Today, GOP Doctors Caucus members and Senate physicians released an open letter to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), urging them to join the Caucus' efforts to salvage Medicare. Unless significant changes are made to the program, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the Medicare trust fund will be bankrupt by 2020, a crisis that is both unacceptable but preventable. Congressional health care providers hope that the AARP, the leading special interest group representing seniors and Americans over 50, will work with them to provide concrete, specific policy proposals to save the program.
"The Medicare program will go broke in a few short years," said Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., (GA-11), co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus. "Opponents of saving the program from bankruptcy cannot be allowed to hamper our efforts to protect the promise of Medicare for today's seniors and future generations. As medical providers, we are hoping AARP will join with us as we encourage Congress, the president, and outside groups to stand with us - for the benefit of our patients - and publicly pledge to save Medicare now. America's patients can't wait."
Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), said, "For too long politicians and special interest groups have used the politics of fear to paralyze the debate and continue the status quo. They have promised seniors and supporters that there will be no changes to Medicare. Unfortunately, as long as politicians obscure the prognosis of the Medicare program for political benefit and stakeholders like AARP fail to publicly challenge these political calculations, a national conversation about how to best save the Medicare program will not move forward."
Co-signees of the letter include:
Sen. John Barrasso, M.D. (R-WY)
Sen. Jon Boozman, O.D. (R-AR)
Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK)
Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D. (GA-11)
Rep. Dan Benishek, M.D. (MI-01)
Rep. Diane Black, R.N. (TN-06)
Rep. Charles Boustany, M.D. (LA-07)
Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10)
Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R.N. (NY-25)
Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (TX-26)
Rep. Larry Buschon, M.D. (IN-08)
Rep. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA-06)
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04)
Rep. John Fleming, M.D. (LA-04)
Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-01)
Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01)
Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01)
Rep. Mike Simpson, D.D.S. (ID-02)