Obama’s health care plan is a good thing, says the American Association of Retired People. The organization, also known as AARP, visited the Lion’s Club in Logan to discuss the new bill and what it means for people receiving Medicare and those aged 50-64 that soon will. Laura Polacheck, the Associate State Director for Advocacy and presenter for the Lion’s Club meeting, feels it is important people realize what the $940 billion plan is and the cuts that come with it actually affect. “We’re hearing misinformation about cuts,” she says. “When they hear savings out of Medicare they assume that means cuts. It absolutely does not mean that.” “The benefits are still 100% guaranteed,” she continues. “The entire Senate voted in favor of that so the cuts will come from more efficiency and cutting up fraud and really updating the ways things are billed, going to an electronic system.” The new health care plan, passed in March, is predicted to lower the deficit by $130 billion in its first 10 years. Steps have already been implemented to improve the health care system. $80,000 has already been spent in the form of $250 rebate checks covering the ‘doughnut hole,’ or the gap in prescription drug coverage in Medicare. “People have a drug benefit but once you reach a certain out-of-pocket dollar limit you aren’t covered until you reach a much higher out-of-pocket limit,” explains Polacheck. “Then your coverage goes way up but you have a wide amount of time where you have no coverage.” More changes are expected in the near future. According to the health care law’s time line, insurance for the ‘high risk pools,’ those who have a pre-existing or an existing condition, will have guaranteed coverage. Better preventative care and free screenings are also expected for 2010. The AARP have been traveling across the country educating people about the new law they are ‘thrilled about.’ “We fought very hard for it,” Polacheck says. “It’s been a major goal of AARP since our founding to make sure people are getting the access to the help they need, when they need it in an affordable way for everyone.” The new law expands coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. For a complete time line and info about the health care plan visit http://www.aarp.org/getthefacts.
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