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Life Health > Health Insurance

New health-care lobby chief hails from AARP

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The man who has been in charge of policy for AARP, the seniors’ lobby, is leaving that post to lead the National Coalition on Health Care, which lobbies for health-care system reform. John Rother will fight against proposals now being discussed in Washington to pass health-care costs on to consumers.

Rother is concerned that both political parties–Republicans with their plan to convert Medicare into a voucher system and Democrats with their plan to raise the age for Medicare eligibility–are working toward solutions that will result in a bigger health-care bill for consumers.

When asked about Rother’s concern that politicians are focused too heavily on short-term deficit reduction as opposed to the long-term solutions, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Don Berwick agreed, saying he would encourage the congressional deficit “super committee” to find solutions that would not leave patients worse off.

“I want to take the long view–I think we can have more affordability and save the taxpayer dollar while helping patients by improving care,” said Berwick. “To the extent I can help them think that through, I’m delighted to do that.”

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