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AARP Hosts Rep. Bill Foster In Health Care Reform Forum

Association Discusses Key Provisions of Legislation, Continues Push for Progress on Health Care Reform

ST. CHARLES, Ill., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the U.S. House of Representatives passing the landmark Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), and the Senate moving key health reform legislation forward, Congress has taken decisive steps to fix our nation's broken health care system. Today, AARP hosted an educational forum to discuss the provisions of the legislation and what it means for Illinoisans. U.S. Representative Bill Foster (D-14), who voted in favor of the House bill, was the featured speaker at the event.

"AARP is committed to fight for reform that protects benefits for people in Medicare, improves health care affordability, and improves the health of every American," said Merri Dee, State President for AARP Illinois. "We thank Representative Bill Foster for supporting legislation that brings us one step closer to those goals. We also look forward to continuing our work with the U.S. Senate on legislation that permanently fixes what's wrong with our health care system."

The House plan makes prescription drugs more affordable by allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and closing the Part D coverage gap known as the "doughnut hole." It also adds important preventative services, such as cancer screenings, to the array of guaranteed Medicare benefits while cracking down on fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare.

For individuals under 65, the House plan prevents insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions and makes coverage more affordable by strictly limiting how much more insurance companies can charge based on age. Americans who cannot afford insurance will receive help to purchase affordable coverage.

"I supported H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act because this legislation, while not perfect, included many of the principles that I believe to be critical in improving how Americans receive health insurance," said Representative Bill Foster. "For example, I am pleased that the bill eliminates pre-existing conditions and protects and strengthens Medicare - particularly by closing the donut hole in Medicare Part D over time."

In early November, AARP released a survey of Illinois members that shows strong support across party and ideological lines for key elements of health care reform included in the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Illinois AARP members support the health care reform legislation by more than a 2-1 margin (67 percent who "strongly" or "somewhat" support it, versus 27 percent "strongly" or "somewhat" oppose it).

The AARP survey can be accessed online at:


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