Millions of Americans are on the cusp of having access to health insurance after the House of Representatives passed a health care reform bill on March 21.The momentous health care overhaul bill would give more than 30 million currently-uninsured Americans access to affordable medical care.
B’nai B’rith has a long-time special interest in issues important to seniors, particularly housing and health care. As the leading Jewish sponsor of supportive housing for seniors over the last 40 years we have seen the impact the lack of life-time access to health care has on people as they age. It is for that reason that we believe expanding access to health care for people of all ages is fundamental to achieving healthy aging for each generation.
As an advocate for America’s seniors, B’nai B’rith is committed to ensuring all Americans have the opportunity to stay healthy as they age. Life-long access to quality health care, which should include prevention, diagnostic, and maintenance of chronic conditions, will ensure everyone can age in good health.
“Increasing access to affordable, quality health care is the very cornerstone of our principles of health care reform,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “The bill would create a voluntary, self-funded, long-term care insurance program, limit or eliminate discrimination based on age, gender and pre-existing condition and health status, and finally help pool risk in the non-employer job market—all of which would have a positive impact for so many Americans.”
The issue of health care reform has taken on a new urgency as the job market has been slow to recover from the nation’s fiscal crisis. It has been nearly impossible for most Americans to afford insurance on the individual market.
“This measure, while not perfect, addresses the top priority of health care reform—getting more people affordable access to care,” B’nai B’rith Director of Aging Policy Rachel Goldberg, Ph.D., said. “For far too long health care was often the domain of the well-off or the lucky.”
The bill passed by the House, parts of which must still be approved by the Senate, also improves Medicare's financial future without cutting into the program’s guaranteed benefits. By making the program more efficient and more geared toward paying for good outcomes, these changes could not only improve the Medicare program but serve as an example for the rest of the health care system.