Thursday, November 05, 2009

Health care reform shorts:
Why the House bill is better for elders

Elderbloggers, listen up:
Here's Harold Meyerson at the Washington Post explaining how the proposed reform that Nancy Pelosi is working through her chamber is good for older people.

The House bill ... offers a lot more assistance to Medicare recipients by reducing the cost of their prescriptions. While the bill that emerged from the Senate Finance Committee renews the Bush administration's mega-bucks gift to the drug companies by continuing to prohibit Medicare from negotiating drug prices with them, the House bill authorizes those negotiations. The Senate bill reduces by half the payments that Medicare recipients must make for prescription drugs that fall into the "doughnut hole" (annual drug expenses are covered up to $2,700, and coverage kicks in again at $6,100, but for all purchases in between, Medicarians are on their own). The House bill would cover all prescription purchases by 2019.

He goes on to explain why this is good politics for the Democrats: we elders vote, especially in non-Presidential years like the upcoming midterm elections. If Democrats are running a little scared after defeats in New Jersey and Virginia yesterday, they'll pay attention.
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The photo of Obama speaking to the AARP in July comes from the Whitehouse online photostream. Apparently AARP is poised to endorse health care reform.

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