Congratulations America: Healthcare Reform is Moving Forward

November 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

The Center for Medicare Advocacy is grateful to those who courageously voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962. This legislation goes a long way towards ensuring for all Americans the peace of mind that was brought to older people and their families with the passage of Medicare in 1965.

Medicare itself is based on the notion of  a shared a public/private undertaking and of pooling resources for the common good.  In Medicare’s case, the common good is that of older people, people with disabilities and their families. The Affordable Health Care for America Act advances the common good to all Americans by expanding access to health care to America’s uninsured and by implementing private market insurance reforms.

Among other things, the legislation passed by the House of Representatives will:

  • Provide affordable health insurance options for those currently without coverage;
  • Provide a Public Insurance option to provide competition with private insurance and keep costs down for individuals and taxpayers;
  • Prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions;
  • Prevent insurance companies from dropping the coverage of those who get sick;
  • Prohibit insurance companies from having life-time limits on benefits;
  • Ensure that insurance companies offer real value for premiums paid;
  • Strengthen Medicare for the more than 44 million older people and people with disabilities who currently use the program and for future generations of beneficiaries;
  • Improve Medicare’s payment to doctors and thus ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can continue, as they do now, to see the doctor of their choice or find a doctor if they need one;
  • Require Medicare, as well as private insurance, to provide preventive benefits without application of cost-sharing;
  • Promote care coordination in Medicare – especially for those with multiple chronic conditions – through various pilot projects;
  • Improve access to Medicare-covered services for low-income beneficiaries by strengthening the programs that serve these individuals;
  • Lower drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries by closing the Medicare Part D “Donut Hole”  coverage gap
  • Lower drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries by allowing the government to negotiate for lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies;
  • Provide benefits to help older people and people with disabilities live in their own homes and communities by establishing the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy applauds  President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and all members of the House of Representatives who have worked so hard to bring this legislation to life.   We urge the Senate to follow suit soon!

Entry filed under: Health Care Reform, Help for Low Income People, Medicare, Public Option, Public vs. Private Health Coverage. Tags: , .

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Health Policy Expertise

We provide effective, innovative opportunities to impact federal Medicare and health care policies and legislation in order to advance fair access to Medicare and quality health care.

Judith A. Stein, Executive Director

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