The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act made necessary and long overdue improvements to the insurance system while also providing incentives to the private sector that help us achieve our goals of healthy aging. With a longtime commitment to seniors’ issues, B’nai B’rith considers lifetime access to good health care imperative to ensuring a healthy aging population.
“Access to affordable, quality health care should be a right, not a privilege, and the new law recognizes that,” B’nai B’rith President Dennis W. Glick said. “Passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, this measure catches people who were falling through the cracks.”
The passage of health care reform last year gave millions of Americans an opportunity to enter a system that for many was previously out of reach.
The law includes such improvements to the system as: free preventive care for Medicare patients (the disabled and people over 65); better coordinated care in Medicare designed to facilitate better health outcomes; relieving the burden of the "donut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage that had many seniors paying exorbitant fees for prescriptions; making continued health care coverage possible for more early retirees; ending the outrageous discrimination against older uninsured adults in the private market, and completely ending the discrimination against women of all ages; and expanding Medicaid eligibility for low-income adults to make sure gaps in employment don't lead to gaps in health care, which can have lifetime repercussions.
“The health care reform law was greatly necessary when it passed last year, and the need is still great now,” B’nai B’rith Director of Aging Policy Rachel Goldberg, Ph.D., said. “We urge Congress to reconsider any moves to dismantle the measure that finally levels the playing field for so many Americans, especially seniors, in need.”
Rather than working to reverse legislation that makes important improvements, we should focus on implementation and making further enhancements wherever possible.