Today, President Obama will talk with seniors about health insurance reform during an AARP telephone town hall. America’s Affordable Health Choices Act delivers much-needed help for America's seniors. That is why the AARP, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, along with many other organizations, are supporting the bill:
We are pleased by the House TriCommittee's health care reform bill, which makes important strides towards making sure that every American has access to affordable, quality health care choices…
Those of our members in Medicare pay close to 30% of their incomes on out-of-pocket expenses and they deserve relief, especially in the prescription drug doughnut hole, where they get no benefit while paying premiums. This bill would make great strides for all of our members and their families.
A recent New York Times editorial discussed insurance reform and older Americans:
The House reform bill would gradually phase out the doughnut hole entirely, thus making it less likely that beneficiaries will stop taking their drugs once they have to pay the whole cost…President Obama insisted that benefits won't be reduced, they'll simply be delivered in more efficient ways, like better coordination of care, elimination of duplicate tests and reliance on treatments known to work best. The AARP, the main lobby for older Americans, has praised the emerging bills and thrown its weight behind the cause.
America's Affordable Health Choices Act includes several key provisions that improve Medicare benefits and health care for seniors, including:
Protects your access to the doctor of your choice–incenting more family doctors to enter the profession and more doctors to practice in rural areas–and allowing all Americans to keep their current doctor.
Phases in completely filling in the “donut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug benefit (where drug costs are not reimbursed at certain levels), potentially savings seniors thousands of dollars a year.
Eliminates co-payments and deductibles for preventive services under Medicare.
Limits cost-sharing requirements in Medicare Advantage plans to the amount charged for the same services in traditional Medicare coverage.
Improves the low-income subsidy programs in Medicare, such as by increasing asset limits for programs that help Medicare beneficiaries pay premiums and cost-sharing.
Computerizes medical records so seniors won't have to take the same test over and over or relay their entire medical history every time they see a new provider.
Starts rewarding doctors for the quality, not just the quantity, of care they provide.
Extends solvency of Medicare by 5 years or more.