Retirees Praise Historic Health Reform Vote

March 21, 2010

For Immediate Release   
Retirees Praise Historic Health Reform Vote

Will Help Seniors Afford to See a Doctor, Fill a Prescription

The following statement was issued by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to today's health care vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Today's historic vote is a bold step toward helping our nation's retirees enjoy longer, healthier lives.  It will help seniors better afford to see a doctor and get a prescription filled.

"This landmark act will help current and future retirees in several specific ways:

  • Closing the Medicare "doughnut hole" coverage gap so seniors will no longer have to cut dangerous corners on their medications;
  • Eliminating co-pays for preventive screenings to help older Americans more quickly and affordably identify and treat diseases such as cancer and diabetes;
  • Cutting wasteful spending to extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund so seniors can better afford premiums which have doubled over the past eight years; and
  • Reducing costly health problems by assisting pre-Medicare retirees with insurance costs and banning discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.

"This was not an easy vote for some House members.  Retirees owe a debt of gratitude to those who displayed political courage by standing up to an insurance industry willing to pay any price to protect its record profits.

"Our work is not done.  Today's milestone is not the final step in the legislative process, and I urge Congress to complete its work on health reform as quickly as possible.  Retirees are struggling to get by and cannot afford to wait any longer.

"On behalf of the 4 million members of the Alliance for Retired Americans, I want to thank House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her leadership in bringing us to this historic moment in health care reform."

# # #

Contact:  David Blank (202) 637-5275 or