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AARP Applauds House Health Insurance Reform Vote

Monday, March 22, 2010 General News J E 4
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BALTIMORE, Md., March 22 SUMMARY: The U.S. House of Representatives voted late Sunday to move forward with a package of health care reforms that will bring needed relief to millions of Americans struggling with the high cost of prescription drugs and discriminatory insurance company practices. By passing this legislative package, Members voted to protect and improve the guaranteed benefits that people in Medicare rely on and make progress toward ending the rampant discrimination used by insurers to deny coverage to those who need it most.

AARP sent a letter to each House office informing them that the Association designated Sunday's vote on the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 as an "AARP Key Vote." AARP will report back to its members and the public how each Representative votes on this legislation.

How a legislator votes on issues is only one factor in evaluating his or her legislative performance, which should also include such things as constituency services and committee work.

"AARP commends Representatives Cummings, Edwards, Hoyer, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, and Van Hollen for their historic vote to improve the Medicare prescription drug benefit so seniors will no longer have to choose between paying for food and other necessities and taking the medication they need to stay healthy," said AARP Maryland state president Jennie Z. Rothschild, Ph.D. "By voting 'yes,' they voted to help ensure Americans 50-plus can get the care and medications they need at a price they can afford."

"We're disappointed that Representatives Bartlett and Kratovil voted against health care reform," said Rothschild. "The alternative to reform is doing nothing, and that is neither acceptable nor sustainable."

"But the job is not finished," Rothschild continued. "The Senate must act quickly to pass key changes enacted today by the House of Representatives that address critical priorities of our members and all older Americans. Most importantly, these changes include a measure to close the dreaded gap in Medicare drug coverage known as the 'doughnut hole.' The Senate must seize this opportunity to ensure that no one in Medicare is ever again forced to split pills in half, or go without the medicines they need."

AARP notified the 111(th) Congress that it was tracking roll call votes on key legislation important to its members and reporting the outcomes of these votes back to its members and all Americans. "AARP members have a strong interest in how their elected officials vote on key issues. We will continue to inform our members and all Americans about how their Representatives vote on important issues," Rothschild concluded.

AARP members and all older Americans can see how their representatives voted on health care reform by going to www.aarp.org/governmentwatch. AARP's Government Watch is a one-stop online portal that will be tracking and publicizing every designated key vote on issues facing Americans age 50-plus. A "Key Vote Summary" highlighting votes on these issues will be published at the end of each congressional session.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

AARP MARYLAND KEY VOTE NEWS ALERT

ATTENTION NEWS DESKS: AARP is recording House and Senate roll call votes on key issues throughout the 111(th) Congress, and informing its members and all Americans of the results of these key votes.

VOTED YES ON HEALTH VOTED NO ON HEALTH MARYLAND INSURANCE REFORM INSURANCE REFORM -------------------- ------------------ Bartlett, Roscoe X Cummings, Elijah X Edwards, Donna X Hoyer, Steny X Kratovil, Frank X Ruppersberger, Dutch X Sarbanes, John X Van Hollen, Chris X

SOURCE AARP Maryland
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