Two Powerful Lobbying Organizations Endorse House Healthcare Reform Bill

The House of Representatives’ version of healthcare reform received two important endorsements — from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the American Medical Association (AMA).  “I am extraordinarily pleased and grateful to learn that the AARP and the American Medical Association are both supporting the health insurance reform bill that will soon come up to vote in the House of Representatives,” said President Barack Obama.  AARP, whose membership includes 40 million Americans over the age of 50, is “no small endorsement.”

Two Powerful Lobbying Organizations Endorse House Healthcare Reform BillDemocratic leaders in the House worked to resolve several areas of dispute before bringing their 10-year, $1.2 trillion healthcare bill to the floor for a vote.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) enjoyed a hard-won victory when the bill was approved by a slim 220 – 215 margin. The bill seeks to bring coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and restrict insurance companies from dropping people with pre-existing conditions.

AARP Senior Policy Advisor John Rother said his group supports the House legislation because it closes the gap in Medicare prescription benefits and limits the amount insurers can charge older workers who are too young for Medicare.  “The bill does improve quality, and it improves access,” Rother said.  “When people hear this message from us, it will have impact.”  The AMA qualified its support of the bill, which the organization’s president, Dr. James Rohack, says is imperfect but merits support.

Despite these powerful endorsements, Conservatives rallied at the Capitol, saying “Kill the bill” and holding signs that read “Waterboard Congress”.

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