B’nai B’rith International Hopeful President and Lawmakers Will Find Agreement On Bi-Partisan Health Care Reform Legislation
B’nai B’rith International is hopeful that the Feb. 25 meeting between President Obama and lawmakers from both parties will push the issue of health care reform back on track. B’nai B’rith has long been an advocate for comprehensive health care reform to help more than 47 million uninsured Americans get vital access to health care.To be effective, any reform needs to meet the goals set forth in the 2008 B’nai B’rith International health care reform principles. Satisfactory health reform must make real health care coverage accessible, affordable, and sustainable for all Americans. We must also take this historic opportunity to plan for a consumer-funded long term care insurance method, and be careful to find ways to control costs, while ensuring fairness in insurance access and financing. In practice, this means that we must address reform comprehensively to make sure that all the interdependent pieces on which success relies are present.
Reforming our system cannot come down to either starting over or sticking blindly to what is already proposed. A workable plan exists. The parties must gather around it and make it work. We hope to see the best ideas for comprehensive reform from all sides incorporated into a final plan that would be approved soon.
“It is encouraging that all sides in the debate will sit together to review their concerns,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “We are well past the point of starting over because much of what has already been passed is really very promising. It’s time to stop the rhetoric and take action, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room to incorporate additional ideas.”
Proper reform of the ailing health insurance system must include lifelong access to health care. Being a healthy senior actually begins decades earlier. Long-time access to preventive medicine, diagnostic testing, and maintenance of chronic conditions could lead to lower health care needs for older Americans.
The age rating that forces older Americans to pay more for coverage simply based on their age is unfair and harmful, and needs to be re-worked.
“It’s now time for the president and lawmakers to get back to the urgent business of reforming our health insurance system,” B’nai B’rith International Director of Aging Policy Rachel Goldberg, Ph.D., said. “We must regain lost momentum to help those who cannot see a doctor when they need it, who cannot afford a life-saving prescription drug, who must choose between food and medicine.”