14 June 2010

Obama Talks to Seniors

 Tele-Town Hall Reached Out to Seniors

The Alliance for Retired Americans continues its involvement in the implementation process of the health care reform that President Obama signed into law in March.

Last Tuesday, the Alliance, along with several other organizations, helped the White House and President Obama organize a tele-town hall meeting to explain the new health care law to seniors.  The president emphasized that his administration has already started to send out $250 rebate checks for those who fall into the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” prescription drug coverage gap. 

Just days ago, (Thursday, June 10th - three weeks earlier than initially scheduled), checks from the federal government began to go out to some 80,000 seniors who hit the doughnut hole earlier this year.  The President went on to remind seniors that in 2011, those who fall in the doughnut hole will receive a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs, and that by 2020, the doughnut hole will be eliminated. 

Alliance members joined Obama in person at his Wheaton, Maryland forum.  Barbara Franklin, President of the Illinois Alliance, asked Obama a question by phone which highlighted the fact that the new health care law will end the federal government’s practice of distributing unfair, unnecessary subsidies to private insurers under Medicare Advantage.  The question came a day after Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, sent a letter warning insurance companies offering Medicare plans that if they don’t keep their costs in check, they will be subject to harsh penalties.   

The Alliance also hosted 25 “watch parties” and related events elsewhere across the country.  “Retirees are grateful for President Obama's strong support for America's seniors and his personal commitment to help them become better aware of the new law's many benefits,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance.  To see pictures from the  Maryland event, check out the slide-show at http://bit.ly/9gnyFK.

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