Press Releases

February 22, 2010

Retirees Praise Obama Health Reform Proposal Takes Several Key Steps to Address Seniors’ Needs

For Immediate Release              

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to the health insurance reform proposals unveiled today by President Obama.

“The health insurance reform proposal released today by President Obama contains several major steps toward improving the health and well-being of current and future retirees.

“President Obama’s plan recognizes the millions of seniors who are struggling to afford to see a doctor or get a prescription filled.  Today’s proposal would close the ‘doughnut hole’ coverage gap in Medicare Part D, make long-term care more affordable for middle-class families, and finally end the $3.60 per month every senior pays in higher premiums to subsidize the big insurance corporations who run Medicare Advantage.

“We are pleased that the proposal significantly delays the excise tax on some health insurance benefits.  This tax, which the Alliance strongly opposes, would disproportionately harm retirees and older workers, as it may lead employers to eliminate or greatly reduce coverage for this age group.  Moreover, these are individuals who sacrificed wage increases over the years in exchange for retiree health coverage.

“President Obama took a bold step today toward ending the gridlock in Washington that has delayed meaningful health reform.  For retirees, continued inaction would be devastating.  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.

“Help cannot come soon enough.  We urge all participating in this week’s White House health reform summit to take bold, swift action to help Americans of all ages.”

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Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275 or

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