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AARP Calls On Idaho's U.S. Reps To Back House Health Care Reform Bill

Legislation Will Help Hundreds of Thousands of Idahoans Struggling with High Rx Costs, Medicare Gaps & Soaring Insurance Premiums

BOISE, Idaho, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the debate over health care reform reaches a fevered pitch and the House readies to vote on critical health care reform legislation in the coming days - AARP is calling on Idaho's U.S. Representatives to support the bill. The AARP-backed Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), which will close the Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole" and tackle soaring insurance premiums, serves to help hundreds of thousands of Idahoans.

The legislation addresses several key issues at the center of the health care reform debate: soaring insurance premiums, high prescription drug costs and gaps in Medicare coverage. Tackling the issues will help provide relief for Idaho's 212,000 Medicare beneficiaries, 221,000 uninsured (88% of who have jobs), state part-time workers expected to get hit with massive premium hikes, state retires losing health care and residents, families and businesses across the state facing rising premiums and shrinking incomes.

"For Idaho residents living on the brink - who can't afford their prescription drugs, have to live without health insurance or are struggling with soaring premiums for themselves and their families - this legislation will bring needed relief," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho. "AARP is urging Idaho's U.S. Representatives to set politics aside, and focus on the needs of their constituents and support this critical step towards real health care reform."

Key provisions of the Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) include:

  • Lower drug costs for seniors by closing the Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole" and allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices - 27% of Idaho's Medicare beneficiaries fell into the "doughnut hole"- stuck paying 100% of their Rx costs.
  • Provide benefits to help seniors and people with disabilities live in their own homes and communities - Idaho continues to cut budgets for these critical safety-net programs.
  • Provide affordable health insurance options for those who don't have insurance or can't afford it - 221,000 Idaho residents are uninsured, 88% have jobs (75% have full-time jobs), but costs are simply too high for many.
  • Reduce waste, fraud, abuse and inefficiency in the Medicare program.
  • Require Medicare and insurance companies to provide free preventive services such as screenings for diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.
  • Prevent insurers from denying affordable coverage to anyone because of their age, gender or health.
  • Limit how much insurance companies can make people pay out-of-pocket.

"It's time for Idaho's members of Congress to step up to the plate on health care reform - this issue will only get worse with inaction," added Wordelman.


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