Health Care Reform 2: Advantages for Seniors

This article is the second in a series that attempts to separate outright lies and scare tactics from the reality of what health care reform portends. 

Over the course of the past two years, grassroots groups with a focus on political issues have organized in every corner of the country.  One such group has been especially successful organizing senior citizens.  That group is called Organizing for America. 

A Senior in Florida recently wrote about the advantages of health care reform for senior citizens.  She encouraged her article to be shared with everyone.  Thus SCJ is reprinting the heart of her article, with her permission.  Her name is Connie.

“Special interests and insurance companies are spreading lies and trying to scare seniors into opposing health reform that will help us — just so they can protect their own profits. It’s shameful.

“My name is Connie, and I’m a senior and a volunteer with Organizing for America in Florida. I’m working to set the record straight, so I wanted to share with you a list of reasons reform will help seniors.

“I’ve already emailed this to folks I know, and printed it out to hand around — please do the same! We all need to get the truth out to as many friends and family as possible to fight these shameful lies.

“President Obama’s plan for health insurance reform is good for seniors, because reform…

“… will STRENGTHEN Medicare. Reform will improve Medicare’s quality of care by cutting down on paperwork, focusing on wellness and prevention, and rewarding doctors for the care they provide instead of how many procedures they do. This all adds up to more choices and better care.

“… will NOT cut our Medicare benefits. President Obama has clearly said, “nobody is talking about cutting Medicare benefits.” And AARP agrees that reform will simply eliminate billions in giveaways via the Medicare Advantage program that boost insurance company profits — but don’t help folks like us.

“… will SAVE us money. Reform will close the doughnut hole in Medicare Part D that’s costing people so much money for prescription drugs, and eliminate co-pays for preventative care like cancer screenings and immunizations.

“… will SAVE Medicare in the long run. If we do nothing, costs will keep rising and the Medicare trust fund will be at risk of going bust within a decade. Reform will save Medicare from bankruptcy and ensure we get the care we need for years to come.

“… will HELP our loved ones.I have three children with pre-existing conditions. I live in fear that I will have to mortgage everything to pay for their care if they lose their jobs, and can’t get coverage. Reform will extend coverage for young people, stop insurance companies from charging women more or cutting care when you need it most. And most importantly to me, reform will make it illegal to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

“In so many ways, reform will help every American struggling with our health insurance system — especially seniors.

“But insurance companies that want to protect their profits and partisan attack groups that want to weaken President Obama at any cost are spreading rumors to scare folks like us into opposing the reform we need. It’s outrageous.

“Each of us probably knows at least one person who is uncertain about reform. So it’s up to us to let our friends and neighbors know that reform will help them, not hurt them.

“You can start by forwarding this to everyone you know today! You can also click here to print out a fact sheet for seniors that you can give to friends and family.

Health care reform is not a panacea for every health problem faced by every senior citizen in the country.  But the benefits clearly outweigh the disadvantages.  We already experience the benefits of Medicare; much of health care reform is patterned after the Medicare program.  We need to stick with understanding the truth about reform.  Lies and scare tactics have no place in civilized society.