Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s Executive Vice President of Social Impact, has recently announced the Association’s next round of activity to encourage the enactment of the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.
After having been passed by both chambers of Congress with veto-proof margins, the bill now sits with the President. Administration officials have indicated his intention to veto the bill.
“We’re hoping for the best and preparing for everything else,” said LeaMond. “We are not taking any signature or vote for granted. We’ve come too far in this campaign to let up at the end.”
Earlier today, AARP and its volunteers began reaching out to the White House encouraging the President’s signature of the bill. AARP CEO Bill Novelli is sending a letter to the White House asking the President to reconsider his intention to veto given the bill’s strong bipartisan support. The White House also received more than 45,000 emails on Friday from grassroots volunteers encouraging the President to sign the bill today.
AARP is also launching a national effort to thank the overwhelming bipartisan majority of Representatives and Senators who voted to pass the bill and ask them to continue their support in the event of a vote to override a presidential veto.
AARP’s activities early next week will include:
– Coordinated visits from constituents to Washington and district offices of the bill’s supporters;
– A national write-in effort from volunteers to opinion-leaders and news outlets;
– Ads placed in key outlets encouraging a veto override, if necessary; and
– Continued grassroots contacts to legislative offices.
Since launching its national Keep Medicare Fair campaign in April, AARP volunteers have sent more than 910,000 emails, phone calls, faxes and petition signatures to Congress in support of a bill to improve and protect Medicare.
“After months of debate on how to strengthen and protect Medicare, we finally have a bill that would improve low-income, prevention, and mental health programs, and boost health care quality through national e-prescribing,” added LeaMond. “We are confident and hopeful that this bill, which has earned broad bipartisan support, will become law.”
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