updated 11/4/2009 3:47:25 PM ET 2009-11-04T20:47:25

AARP — the senior citizens' lobby — will endorse the health care overhaul bill that House Democrats are preparing to take to the floor, officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

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An announcement on the $1.2 trillion measure is expected Thursday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made.

The endorsement, in advance of floor votes as early as this weekend, would be a major boost for President Barack Obama's signature issue.

Still, some Republicans have criticized the group, which sells several types of health insurance under its brand, saying AARP would profit if the health insurance system is overhauled.

"There is an unusual advocate for these massive cuts to seniors' health care," U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., told National Public Radio, in reference to Medicare payment cuts in the House Democrats' bill. "It's AARP."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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