By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Local AARP members have mixed feelings about reform
National organization backs changes
Placeholder Image
Americans are clearly divided on the issue of health-care reform. The bill currently making its way through Congress is being closely monitored by many, whether they support the legislation or oppose it.
The American Association of Retired Persons endorses the Affordable Health Care for America Act. AARP’s Web site,, said the bill, if passed by the Senate, would strengthen Medicare benefits and would make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors by “closing the dangerous gap in Medicare drug coverage and allowing the program to negotiate lower drug prices.”
In addition, health-care reform would halt insurance companies from discriminating against all Americans, according to AARP. Insurance companies can charge older people higher fees and deny coverage based on a person’s gender or pre-existing health conditions, AARP maintains. Officials from the organization say the bill also will ensure that people who cannot afford insurance can still be screened for cancers, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Although AARP supports the bill, some of the organization’s members do not.
 “AARP is a big organization. We have 40 million members. Our membership very much reflects the nation at large,” said Will Phillips, associate state director for advocacy for AARP Georgia.
Phillips said there are both Republicans and Democrats among the group’s members and therefore some are happy with AARP’s endorsement of the health care bill and some are not.
The director pointed out that many Democrats were upset when President George W. Bush’s administration managed to get the Medicare Part D program passed. AARP endorses legislation that benefits its members, regardless of the supporting party’s affiliation, he said.
Liberty County AARP members expressed mixed feelings about health-care reform. Most say they want to educate themselves on what the bill actually says before they form a final opinion.
“It’s so confusing,” said Denise Williams, a local member. “It’s hard to know what (the bill) stands for.”
Beverly Gross also wants more information. Gross said she was insured through her employer for 39 years, but when she retired and applied for an independent health-insurance policy, she was turned down because of a pre-existing condition: high blood pressure.
Rhonda Davis said it’s hard for many Americans to acquire affordable health care, yet other countries — such as France and Germany — do provide affordable services to their citizens.
“This is the most powerful country, the richest nation in the world and we don’t have this,” Davis said.
Liberty County seniors also voiced concern about the rising costs of prescription medication.
“The doughnut hole (drug coverage gap) is real,” said Dorothy Mosely, Liberty County AARP president. “Many in this country have fallen through it.”
David Washington advised his fellow AARP members to be cautious of slanted news broadcasts, saying there are TV programs targeted for the political right, the left and the middle.
“Everything is based on politics,” Washington said. “Be careful who you listen to.”
Group member Donna Wosencroft praised AARP for putting out informative articles on issues pertaining to the health-care reform bill. Wosencroft said elected officials have used scare tactics in the past to shut down the passage of a bill they don’t support, and health-care reform is no different.

Sign up for our e-newsletters