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NCOA Applauds Senate Passage of Medicare Bill

WASHINGTON, July 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release is a statement by James Firman, President and CEO, National Council on Aging (NCOA):

The U.S. Senate made a powerful statement on behalf of older Americans yesterday. Following the dramatic appearance of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), 18 Republicans joined all the Democrats in the Senate and voted in favor of H.R. 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, which protects critical benefits for older people of limited means.

On behalf of the National Council on Aging (NCOA), a national advocacy organization committed to improving the lives of older Americans, and the millions of seniors in need who would benefit from the provisions of H.R. 6331, we applaud Sen. Kennedy for his determination in returning to Washington to voice his support for the bill. We also heartily commend the Democrat and Republican Senators who voted for the legislation, by a veto-proof majority.

NCOA actively supports H.R. 6331, which extends the Qualified Individual (QI) program, a federal assistance program that expired July 1, which pays Medicare Part B premiums for low income seniors. Other provisions that NCOA supports in H.R. 6331 will provide additional, long-overdue improvements such as raising asset eligibility levels for the Medicare Savings Programs, which have never been adjusted to reflect inflation; increasing community resources to find and enroll low-income beneficiaries; translating Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy application forms into other languages; improving access to Medicare preventive care and mental health services.

NCOA urges the President not to veto these important improvements for America's seniors in need.

Founded in 1950, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a non-profit organization with 3,700 members, and a national network of some 14,000 organizations and leaders. Our programs help older people stay healthy and independent, find jobs, access benefits programs, and discover meaningful ways to continue contributing to society.

SOURCE National Council on the Aging, Inc.
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