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A Vote for Medicare
November 12, 2009 • Volume 9, Issue 45
The House of Representatives has taken a bold step toward providing health insurance to all Americans by passing the Affordable Health Care for America Act. This landmark vote came despite a well-funded television campaign aimed at scaring older adults away from supporting health care reform.
TV ads from the 60 Plus Association are targeting people with Medicare, and claiming health care reform will hurt Medicare by cutting benefits and rationing care. This is false.
The health reform bill passed by the House does nothing to reduce Medicare benefits or increase out-of-pocket costs for medical care. In fact, the bill helps people with Medicare save money while receiving more care.
- The Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962) will close the Medicare Part D coverage gap, known as the “doughnut hole,” making prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare.
- The bill will help people with Medicare afford services and care they need by eliminating cost-sharing for preventive services. Medicare will pay for vaccines and screenings in full.
- Health care reform will protect older adults’ access to their doctors and will reduce costly, preventable hospital readmissions, saving patients and Medicare money.
For people with Medicare, enactment of the Affordable Health Care for America Act would lower out-of-pocket costs and improve the quality of their medical care. No scare tactics can change that.
“HR 3962 brings down the rate of growth in Medicare spending and shores up Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which is now predicted to run short of money to pay claims in 2017. The bill strengthens Medicare’s finances, primarily by reducing the annual increases in payments to hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies, and by bringing subsidies to Medicare private health plans in line with costs under Original Medicare.” (Health Care Reform Fact Sheet, Medicare Rights Center, November 2009)
“The conservative 60 Plus Association is running a TV ad saying Congress plans to pay for overhauling health care ‘by cutting $500 billion from Medicare.’ It claims that this ‘will mean long waits for care’ and cuts to MRIs and other imaging services, that ‘seniors may lose their own doctors’ and that ‘government, not doctors, will decide if older patients are worth the cost.’ Actually, the House leadership’s version of the health care bill would trim a net total of only $219 billion from the projected growth of Medicare spending over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. And Congress isn’t proposing to cut benefit levels or to deny treatment to anyone who is ‘not worth the cost.’” (More Senior Scare: A TV Ad’s False Claims about Democratic Medicare Proposals, Factcheck.org, August 2009.)
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Medicare Part D Appeals Help for Advocates Is Here!
Medicare Rights Center’s new Medicare Part D Appeals: An advocate’s manual to navigating the Medicare private drug plan appeals process offers an easy-to-understand, comprehensive overview of the entire appeals process, including real-life case examples, a glossary of important appeals terms, a sample protocol for advocates, and links to important resources.
Register for a FREE copy of this great resource.
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Medicare Part D Monitoring Project
would like to hear about your experience, or that of someone you know, enrolled in a private drug plan. With information about what the issues are with Medicare Part D, we will be able to demand that those problems be fixed. Medicare Rights Center
Submit your story at http://www.medicarerights.org/issues-actions/tell-your-story.php.
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The Louder Our Voice, the Stronger Our Message
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Asclepios—named for the Greek and Roman god of medicine who, acclaimed for his healing abilities, was at one point the most worshipped god in Greece—is a weekly e-newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date with Medicare program and policy issues, and advance advocacy strategies to address them. Please help build awareness of key Medicare consumer issues by forwarding this action alert to your friends and encouraging them to subscribe today.
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The Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives.
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