March 21, 2010

Pennsylvania Retirees Praise Historic Health Reform Vote

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 For Immediate Release                                                                                   Contact: Adam Swope (202)-341-7821
March 21st, 2010                                                                                                

Pennsylvania Retirees Praise Historic Health Reform Vote


Will Help Seniors Afford to See a Doctor, Fill a Prescription

The following statement was issued by Jean Friday, President of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to the health care reform vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“This historic vote is a bold step toward helping retirees in Pennsylvania and across the country enjoy longer, healthier lives.  It will help seniors better afford to see a doctor and get a prescription filled.

“This landmark act will help current and future retirees in several specific ways:

  • Closing the Medicare “doughnut hole” coverage gap so seniors will no longer have to cut dangerous corners on their medications;
  • Eliminating co-pays for preventive screenings to help older Americans more quickly and affordably identify and treat diseases such as cancer and diabetes;
  • Cutting wasteful spending to extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund so seniors can better afford premiums which have doubled over the past eight years; and
  • Reducing costly health problems by assisting pre-Medicare retirees with insurance costs and banning discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.

“This was not an easy vote for some House members.  Retirees owe a debt of gratitude to those who displayed political courage by standing up to an insurance industry willing to pay any price to protect its record profits.  Some members, such as Erie-area Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper and Northeastern PA Congressman Christopher Carney, were the victims of relentless, misleading attacks from opponents of the reform effort; and yet still chose to act in the best interest of our nation over concerns about their political futures.  I hope their constituents will eventually see through the smear campaign and thank them for their “yes” votes, along with all of Pennsylvania’s other pro-reform representatives.

“Our work is not done.  Today’s milestone is not the final step in the legislative process, and I urge Congress to complete its work on health reform as quickly as possible.  Senators Casey and Specter, Pennsylvania retirees are struggling to get by and cannot afford to wait any longer!”

“On behalf of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, I want to thank Representatives Brady, Fattah, Dahlkemper, Sestak, Patrick Murphy, Carney, Kanjorski, Schwartz and Doyle for bringing us to this historic moment in health care reform.”

The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans is a non-profit, non-partisan organization representing 300,000 senior activists and retired workers in Pennsylvania and has over 130 affiliated organizations throughout the state.  It is a state affiliate of the Alliance for Retired Americans, a national grassroots organization representing 3 million retirees.

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