Ohio Retiree Leader Says: Kucinich Vote Benefits Seniors

March 17, 2010

Ohio Retiree Leader Says: Kucinich Vote Benefits Seniors

The following statement was issued today by David Friesner, President of the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans in response to Congressman Kucinich’s decision to vote Yes on health care insurance reform:

The Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans and its 230,000 members, thank Congressman Dennis Kucinich for his announced intention today to vote for health insurance reform.

The 84,000 seniors in his district will immediately benefit from several provisions of the bill. The bill will eliminate co-payments for preventive care services such as diabetes and cancer screenings.

The bill would increase payments to primary care doctors, and improve the coordination and quality of care for persons with chronic illnesses, in line with the need to produce better care and lower health costs. The Ohio ARA is a part of the Ohio Campaign for Better Care and its advocacy efforts to implement these reforms as recently initiated in the Cleveland town hall meeting at the Senior Outreach Services in the Fairfax neighborhood February 17.

In addition, the Part D prescription drug doughnut hole gap will begin to close. The legislation will create a reinsurance fund for our employers so that many Alliance members who are pre-Medicare eligible retirees will be able to better afford health care premiums.

Furthermore, eliminating Medicare “advantage” overpayments combined with new waste, fraud, and abuse protections will extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by years.

Restructuring Medicare “advantage” is a fiscally responsible way to correct the unpaid for spending of the 2003 Congress. Enactment of reform stops the bleeding of Medicare that infused profits to insurance companies.

Not passing health care will only increase the financial burden on retirees. Medicare premiums have doubled during the past 8 years and will double again in the next 8 years unless Congress acts to control health care costs. Retirees cannot afford to wait anymore. All Americans need comprehensive health care reform now.

We very much appreciate Congressman Kucinich’s decision to vote in favor of health care reform and the beneficial provisions it contains for retirees and seniors.