Press Release             

Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications

Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications

February 22, 2010

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on Release of President Obama’s Health Reform Proposal

New York, NY—The White House proposal outlined today maps a way to passage and enactment of comprehensive health reform legislation that will improve coverage for people with Medicare.

The proposal would fully close the coverage gap in the Medicare drug benefit by 2020. Consumers who hit the coverage gap this year would see a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their medicines and, starting in 2011, an increasing share of the cost of their medicines would be covered. This improvement in Medicare’s drug benefit is essential to help moderate-income older adults and people with disabilities who now struggle to pay for their medicines when they hit the gap and must pay full price.

The president’s proposal also incorporates Medicare improvements in the Senate-passed health bill that would provide Medicare coverage for an annual check-up, eliminate copayments for valuable preventive services, and improve access to primary care doctors and coordination of care received from specialists. We look forward to working with the Obama administration and lawmakers of both parties in the House and Senate to pass comprehensive health reform this year.



For answers to common questions about health reform and Medicare, please go to

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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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