Washington, DC –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today spoke to seniors at the Fox Hill Senior Condominium in Bethesda today about the newly enacted
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
and how the new law will affect them.
“I am proud that the United States of America has finally joined every other industrialized nation in the world to say that health care is now a right and not a privilege. This is fundamental to the new health care reform law and so essential to our seniors, who are the biggest users of our health care system,”
said Senator Cardin. “This bill will cover 98 percent of Americans when it is fully implemented in 2014 and will extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.
“My goal is to ensure that seniors have the facts about this new law so they and their families can make smart health care decisions.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act opens the doors to greater access to preventive health care services and aggressive use of technology to share information between doctors, particularly during emergencies, both of which will help keep our seniors healthier. We know that if we manage major diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol that we will save lives and save costs.”
During today’s forum, Senator Cardin talked about specifics of the healthcare reform bill that was signed into law on March 23, including greater use of health information technology; closing the Medicare Part D “donut hole” for prescription drug coverage by 2020; elimination of deductibles, co-pays and other cost sharing for preventive care beginning in 2011; free annual wellness checkups beginning in 2011; and the creation of a voluntary long-term care insurance program in 2012.
Also participating in the forum were Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett; Uma Ahluwalia, Director, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services; Elaine Binder, Chair, Montgomery County Commission on Aging; Dr. Ulder J. Tillman, Public Health Officer, Montgomery County; and Leta Blank, Director, Senior Health Insurance Program.