29 November 2009

Part 2 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 2009

Yesterday we examined how the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act of 2009 (PPACA, H.R. 3590) would act to improve health care for America's older persons.

Today, we continue that examination.

Keeps Nursing Homes Safe - The PPACA requires long term care facilities to conduct criminal background checks on prospective employees. Through this legislation, families will have greater assurance that their loved ones receiving long-term care are safe if the people who provide care have passed a background check for previous criminal behavior.

Brings Savings To Medicare - By eliminating wasteful over-payments to private Medicare Advantage plans and create new incentives for coordinated, high quality care across the health care spectrum. Medicare Advantage plans currently rake in an average of 14% more per person than does traditional Medicare or added perks without any demonstrably better medical results. Ending these over-payments will be an important step toward insuring the long-term solvency of Medicare's Trust Fund.

Helps 55-64 Year Olds Stay Healthy:
  1. Eliminates pre-existing condition and health status exclusions.
  2. Establishes a "basic benefits package" that ALL health Insurance plans must provide.
  3. Limiting Premium Costs and Out-Of-Pocket costs
  4. Making Health Insurance Affordable by offering a Public Option alternative.
  5. Supporting Coverage for Retirees by creating a $5-billion fund to assist employers offset the costs of expensive health claims for its 55-64 year old retired employees.
From the setting of minimum standards of what must be included in every health insurance plan to helping employers pay for retiree costs and establishment of competition to drive down rates and ending over-payments to Medicare while preserving the existing doctor of choice, PPACA 2009 remedies many of the ills of the current system and insures that older Americans are not left behind in the process.

Okay, it is not perfect. Granted. But, it is what is available right now and if we miss this opportunity the likelihood of ever achieving equitable health care for all Americans diminishes greatly. The drug Tsars and insurance oligarchs will have won again.

Coming Tomorrow: Have a real effect on the debate. Adopt a key senator!

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