AARP Criticizes Reid’s Decision to Postpone Health Care Vote

Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:52pm

The massive seniors’ lobby group AARP stepped up its criticism Thursday of Members who they say are delaying much-needed health care reform.

Nancy LeaMond, the group’s executive vice president, issued a statement shortly after news broke that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made it clear the Senate would not vote on a health care reform package until after the August recess.

“AARP is disappointed in the failure to reach agreement on passing comprehensive health care reform until after the August recess,— LeaMond said in the statement. “The millions of people impacted by high drug costs and those that can’t get adequate health insurance because of age or a pre-existing condition need help now. An August of waiting will not lower costs, increase access or improve quality.—

In addition, AARP and Health Care for American Now also pushed back on an effort by members of the Blue Dog Coalition who have raised questions about health insurance subsidies contained in the House reform bill.

But some business groups cheered Reid’s announcement of giving more time to the overhaul effort.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association issued a statement praising Reid and reiterating its support for the Blue Dogs’ position.

“RILA applauds the decision of Senate leaders to move deliberatively on health care legislation,— said John Emling, senior vice president of government affairs, in the statement. “With so much at stake, careful consideration of all benefits and consequences must be paramount to arbitrary deadlines.—

RILA on Wednesday sent a letter commending the Blue Dogs for taking issue with the current House bill.