November 09, 2009

Pennsylvania Retirees Praise House of Representatives Passage of Health Care Reform Bill: HR 3962

For Immediate Release

Pennsylvania Retirees Praise House of Representatives Passage of Health Care Reform Bill: HR 3962  

Will Lower Drug Costs, Shrink Seniors’ Medical Bills, Help Pre-Medicare Retirees, Improve Long-Term Care and Ensure the Long-Term Solvency of Medicare

The following statement was issued today by Jean Friday, President of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to the U.S. House vote on H.R. 3962, The Affordable Health Care for America Act.

“Retirees in Pennsylvania owe a debt of gratitude to the 10 members of our Congressional Delegation who voted “Yes” on HR 3962 for having the courage to stand up to the big insurance lobbyists and voting to help seniors better afford to see a doctor and get a prescription filled.  Thank you Representatives Bob Brady, Chaka Fattah, Kathy Dahlkemper, Joe Sestak, Patrick Murphy, Chris Carney, Paul Kanjorski, Jack Murtha, Allyson Schwartz and Mike Doyle.”

“We are getting closer to the day when we can finally close the ‘doughnut hole’ coverage gap in Medicare Part D, lower prescription drug costs through common-sense price negotiation, lower the co-pay for preventive screenings, and help make long-term care more affordable.  We have the opportunity to create a high-quality public option as a competitive alternative to the big insurance companies who profit by denying care and discriminating against pre-existing conditions.”

“The stakes could not be higher for retirees.  If we fail to act this year, Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs would soon eat up more than one-third of a retiree’s Social Security benefits.  A typical older couple would need to save $300,000 for medical bills not covered by Medicare.  Furthermore, without significantly controlling costs in our health care system, the solvency of Medicare could soon be in jeopardy.”

“As the debate over Health Care Reform continues, grassroots activists with the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans will continue their efforts to educate and mobilize seniors to help improve the quality of life for Americans of all ages.  We urge Senators Casey and Specter to work for the speedy passage of their Health Care Reform package, and to fight to make sure that the important provisions of the House Bill discussed above appear in the Senate version as well.  Furthermore, the Pennsylvania Alliance will also do our best to make sure that our members know whether their Member of Congress stood with seniors and their health care needs or with insurance companies and their profits on this important vote.”

The Alliance for Retired Americans, led by President Jean Friday of Pittsburgh, has over 300,000 members and 137 affiliated organizations in Pennsylvania.  For more information about our organization, visit http://www.pennretiredamericans.org/

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