26 February 2010

Three Things You Can Do to Advance Health Care Reform

Response to President's Health Care Plan and Summit: Three
Things You Can Do

In order to bridge the differences between the U.S. House and
Senate-passed health care bills - and continue to move reform
forward - President Obama unveiled his Administration's own
health plan on Monday. The plan contains several major steps
toward improving the well-being of current and future retirees.

"President Obama's plan recognizes the millions of seniors who
are struggling to afford to see a doctor or get a prescription
filled," said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the
Alliance for Retired Americans. "For retirees, continued
inaction would be devastating. Medicare premiums and
out-of-pocket costs would soon eat up more than one-third of
a retiree's Social Security benefits."

For the Alliance's comparison of Obama's health reform bill
with those passed by the U.S House and Senate, go HERE.

On Thursday, President Obama led a televised health care reform
summit, which focused on discussing ideas and grievances about
the proposed health care bill from both parties. White House
officials named 21 lawmakers the president wanted to attend the
summit: the top leaders in the House and Senate and of the
committees with jurisdiction over the health legislation. Obama
also invited the top four leaders to invite four more lawmakers
each, bringing the total to 37; 20 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

For a specific list of the attendees, go to ATTENDEES LIST.

As a follow-up to the summit, concerned senior activists are
encouraged to do 3 things:

1) Contact your U.S. House member and two Senators by calling
202-224-3121. Tell them that President Obama's proposal would
close the "doughnut hole" coverage gap in Medicare Part D;
finally end the $3.60 per month every senior pays in higher
premiums to subsidize the big insurance corporations that run
Medicare Advantage; and make long-term care more affordable for
middle-class families.

2) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper reiterating
the need for reform. You may find it helpful to use this
language Letter as a guide; and

3) Share Alliance materials like the comparison chart and
the fact sheet
with your friends and neighbors.

Further evidence of the need for reform came last Friday, with
the release of a study by a major consulting firm showing that
spiraling costs are a problem even for seniors with solid
insurance. The Avalere Health study found that premiums for
private Medicare Advantage plans offering medical and
prescription drug coverage jumped 14.2% on average for 2010.
Some 8.5 million seniors and disabled Americans who signed up
for the private plans will therefore be facing sharp premium
increases this year, following an increase of 5.2% last year.

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