Press Release             

Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications

November 7, 2009

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joseph Baker on Passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act in the House of Representatives

New York, NY—Tonight’s historic vote moves our country one step closer to providing all Americans with access to affordable, high-quality medical care. Middle-class Americans will have new coverage options, including the choice of a public plan on a health insurance exchange, where they cannot be denied coverage because of their medical history. Assistance with premiums and cost-sharing will help make coverage affordable for working families. The expansion of Medicaid coverage will help millions of low-income Americans receive health insurance for the first time.

The older adults and people with disabilities that we serve at the Medicare Rights Center will also benefit when this legislation becomes law. They stand to save hundreds of dollars from provisions in the bill that waive deductibles and coinsurance for preventive services and close the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in the Medicare drug benefit. The bill strengthens Medicare’s finances through sensible payment reforms, including the phase-out of overpayments to private Medicare health plans. The passage of this important legislation shows that the cynical efforts to pit older adults against health reform have failed. All Americans, including the people who rely on Medicare for their health security, will benefit from this legislation.

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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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