AARP Launches Ad Campaign Encouraging Voters To Consider Candidates’ Medicare Rx Drug Benefit Stance
AARP today will launch a two-week, $4 million national ad campaign designed to encourage seniors to consider candidates' positions on a Medicare prescription drug benefit when voting this in this November's elections, Long Island Newsday reports. The campaign features a television ad in which two seniors watch a news report about the government's war on illegal drugs. The ad announcer says that there is another drug war, "the fight for legal, affordable prescription drugs for seniors," and advises viewers to "[k]now where the candidates stand. Vote. This is a drug war we can win."
In addition to the ad, AARP has mailed voter guides outlining candidates' positions on a Medicare prescription drug benefit. While AARP does not endorse candidates, CEO Bill Novelli said the campaign "goes as far as it can without suggesting who seniors should support," Newsday reports. "We want to turn voter anger into action," Novelli added. AARP also has asked legislators to sign pledge cards promising they will enact an AARP-supported prescription drug benefit. Lawmakers who do not sign the cards will be listed on AARP's Web site, Newsday reports (Barfield Berry, Long Island Newsday, 10/18). In June, the House passed a $30 billion Medicare package that included a prescription drug benefit and provider "giveback" provisions. The Senate failed to pass a Medicare drug benefit bill. A proposed $44 billion Medicare giveback bill sponsored by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) does not include a drug benefit, and the House is considering removing the drug benefit from its package and holding a floor vote on the giveback measures alone (California Healthline, 10/17). Although both the House and Senate adjourned for the November elections yesterday without agreeing on giveback legislation, House leaders said they are "confident" Congress will "move a final bill" when it meets for a "certain 'lame-duck'" session next month, the Boston Globe reports (Kirchhoff, Boston Globe, 10/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.