Health Care Reform

AARP Praises House Passage of Health Care Reform Bill

WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)–November 7, 2009.  AARP CEO A. Barry Rand released this statement following tonight’s passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) by the House of Representatives:

“AARP is pleased that the House has passed the Affordable Health Care for American Act. This bill meets our goals of improving Medicare’s benefits and making critical health insurance market reforms that make coverage more affordable.”

“Our nation is now closer than ever to a health care system that actually works for all Americans. For too long, insurance companies have taken advantage of discriminatory practices to cherry pick the most profitable customers. And for too long, the high costs of prescription drugs have forced seniors to choose between their medications and other necessities.”

“We must fix this broken, inequitable system.”

“This legislation protects Medicare and ensures that it will be there for today’s seniors and for the future generations. The bill makes prescription drugs more affordable for people in Medicare by closing the program’s dangerous gap in drug coverage and allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. It adds cost-free preventive services like cancer screenings and cracks down on waste and fraud to protect and strengthen traditional Medicare benefits. In addition, the legislation provides benefits to help seniors and people with disabilities live in their own homes and communities by establishing the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program.”

“For all Americans, especially those age 50 to 64 who often struggle to find affordable insurance, this plan strictly limits how much more insurance companies can charge based on age, and stops insurers from denyinig coverage based on a person’s health history or gender. For those who still cannot find affordable coverage on their own, this bill offers help so they can purchase insurance.”

“We thank those representatives who voted for this landmark legislation, and we urge those members who did not support health care reform tonight to reconsider the needs of their constituents when this issue returns to the House for a final vote.”

AARP members can see how their representatives voted on health care reform by going to AARP’s Government Watch. AARP’s Government Watch is a one-stop online portal that will be tracking and publicizing every designated key vote on issues facing Americans age 50-plus. A “Key Vote Summary” highlighting votes on these issues will be published at the end of each congressional session.