Press Release             

Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications

Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications

November 19, 2009

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on Senate Introduction of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

New York, NY—The health care bill released last night takes important steps toward improving care and lowering out-of-pocket costs for people with Medicare. By providing Medicare coverage—with no copayment—for an annual wellness checkup, the bill will increase use of important preventive services and help older adults and people with disabilities manage chronic conditions.

The legislation shrinks the doughnut hole—the gap in Medicare drug coverage—by $500 next year, and provides 50 percent discounts on brand-name drugs. These provisions move the Senate legislation a step toward completely closing the coverage gap—the goal set by President Obama for health care legislation—and the day when older adults and people with disabilities will not have to split pills or skip doses because they can’t afford the full price of their medicine.

The Senate bill also helps to shore up Medicare’s trust fund. That makes us hopeful that, when this bill passes the Senate and is reconciled with legislation already passed by the House, Medicare will be financially stronger and better able to provide affordable, high-quality coverage to older adults and people with disabilities.


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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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