Archive for March, 2010

A Message for President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Those Who Worked For and Voted For Health Care Reform

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March 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

Amen!

“We will go through the gate,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in January, at a Capitol Hill press conference.  “If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence.  If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in.  But we are going to get health care reform passed.”

Finally, the promise of equitable health care coverage and enhanced economic security that Medicare brought to older people will be available to younger people.  Because of the tenacious, courageous leadership of Speaker Pelosi, President Obama, and the Connecticut Congressional Delegation, health care reform finally passed! 

To all who helped make this happen, we send praise.  With all who will benefit from this legislation, we share joy in a brighter, healthier future.  May we all join together to ensure that the gates of justice and equity continue to open for all Americans.

March 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

Flash: Health Care Reform Now

The House of Representatives is poised to vote on historic health reform legislation in the next few days. The latest non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that 32 million Americans will receive coverage if the legislation passes.  The CBO further estimates that the bill would reduce the deficit by approximately $138 billion between 2010 – 2019 and predicts continued savings in the following decade.

Many provisions, including those that will protect people from health insurance discrimination will take effect soon.  Click here to see the effective dates of some key insurance reform provisions.

Health care reform will strengthen and improve guaranteed benefits in traditional Medicare. It will protect the integrity of the Medicare program by extending the life of the Medicare Trust Fund and will reduce the outrageous overpayments to private Medicare Advantage plans.  It will improve Medicare for all beneficiaries by slowing the growth of premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses, enhancing preventive benefits, and closing the “Donut Hole” gap in prescription drug cover. Health care reform will also provide coverage to millions of currently uninsured Americans and end discriminatory practices by insurance companies. Passing this legislation will strengthen Medicare, bring a similar promise of health coverage to younger people, and increase the economic security of all Americans.

It’s time to pass health care reform – now!

March 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

Seize The Day!

The Center for Medicare Advocacy urges Congress to pass health care reform now.  According to Judith Stein, the Center’s Executive Director “We are the closest we have ever been to fixing our unfair and ineffective health care system. We must seize this opportunity to pass health reform.  The status quo is not an option; we simply can’t afford to put this off yet again.”

Ms. Stein stressed that health care reform will strengthen and improve guaranteed benefits in Medicare and protect the integrity of the Medicare program by extending the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.  “More specifically, health care reform will improve the Medicare program for beneficiaries by slowing the growth of premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses, improving preventive benefits, and closing the gap in prescription drug coverage,” said Ms. Stein.

Moreover, the legislation promotes delivery system reforms to encourage high quality, coordinated health care.  “Most of the Center’s clients have chronic conditions – as do nearly all Medicare beneficiaries.  We know from experience that well coordinated care is critical to our clients’ well-being.  The Center has been advocating about this issue for many years,” said Ms. Stein.

Ms. Stein stated that the Center for Medicare Advocacy strongly supports the goals of comprehensive health reform legislation, which expands coverage to millions of Americans, helps them purchase insurance, and ends discriminatory practices by insurance companies.  “Everyone wins, including Medicare beneficiaries when all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care,” she said.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy urges Congress to pass health reform now. Passing this legislation will strengthen Medicare, bring a similar promise of health coverage to younger people, and increase the economic security of all Americans.

Judith Stein is available for comment and questions.

March 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

Extend the Life of Medicare: Pass Health Care Reform Now

If you have Medicare and want to keep it, you should be in favor of health care reform.

Recently the non-partisan Medicare Advisory Payment Commission (MedPAC) released its biannual report to Congress, which for the fifth consecutive year advised Congress to equalize reimbursements to Medicare Advantage plans with the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program. 

According to non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, equalizing payments between Medicare Advantage programs and the traditional Medicare programs will generate $170 billion in savings over the next ten years.

MedPAC’s report concluded that the “Commission has consistently supported the concept of financial neutrality between payment rates for the fee-for-service program and private plans.”  Under the current reimbursement system, Medicare Advantage plans are reimbursed on average 14 percent more than traditional Medicare plans.  These extra costs are born by beneficiaries in the traditional Medicare program and all taxpayers.

The health care reform bills passed by both the House and the Senate, and the proposals by President Obama, would reduce wasteful Medicare Advantage spending – saving money for Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers alike, and extending the solvency of the Medicare program.  We urge Congress to pass health care reform now!

March 3, 2010 at 9:13 pm Leave a comment


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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