Press Release             

Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications

Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications

March 3, 2010

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on President Obama’s Remarks on Health Care Reform

New York, NY—President Obama today called on Congress to get the job done on health care reform legislation. The president is right. We have seen over the last week how the health care of 45 million older adults and people with disabilities can be jeopardized when a minority of lawmakers—or even just one—blocks an up-or-down vote on a bill to delay a drastic Medicare pay cut for doctors and grant exceptions to a cap on the rehabilitation therapy patients can receive. That bill finally passed last night, but we still don’t know whether Congress will have a vote on a long-term fix to the doctor payment and therapy cap problems, or on the larger effort to fix our health care system.

The American people, and especially people with Medicare, deserve an up-or-down vote on health care reform legislation. The improvements to Medicare benefits in President Obama’s plan—the phase-out of the coverage gap in the Medicare drug benefit that will save consumers hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket costs starting this year; the improved coverage of preventive benefits, including a new Medicare-covered annual check-up; and the incentives to coordinate care provided by hospitals and doctors—are part of a larger reform that will extend affordable, high-quality coverage to all Americans. These reforms are not only the right thing to do; they are essential to ensure the viability of the health care system that people with Medicare rely upon.

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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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