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AARP Idaho Key Vote News Alert

Sunday, November 8, 2009 General News J E 4
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AARP Praises House Passage of Health Care Reform Bill

Critical legislation would strengthen Medicare, improve coverage for all Americans

BOISE, Idaho, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the United States House of Representatives passed critical health care reform legislation that would strengthen Medicare for seniors and end discrimination by insurance companies that prices millions of Americans out of affordable health coverage.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) makes prescription drugs more affordable for seniors by closing the dangerous gap in Medicare drug coverage and allowing the program to negotiate lower drug prices. It adds cost-free preventive services like cancer screenings and cracks down on waste and fraud to protect and strengthen traditional Medicare benefits. In addition, the legislation provides benefits to help seniors and people with disabilities live in their own homes and communities by establishing the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program.

For all Americans -- especially those age 50 to 64 who often struggle to find affordable insurance -- this plan strictly limits how much more insurance companies can charge based on age, and stops insurers from denying coverage based on a person's health history or gender. For those who still cannot find affordable coverage on their own, this bill offers help so they can purchase insurance.

"It's disappointing that Representatives Minnick and Simpson voted against this bill and the opportunity to fix our health care system," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho. "When millions of older Americans are struggling to afford quality insurance and millions of seniors must choose between their prescriptions and other necessities, we know this legislation must move forward. We hope they will reconsider their votes when a health care bill returns to the House for final approval."

AARP notified the 111th Congress that it was tracking roll call votes on key legislation important to its nearly 40 million members and reporting the outcomes of these votes back to its members.

"When Americans understand the issues and where their lawmakers stand, they can make smart decisions," added Wordelman. "AARP will be there to give our members, as well as all Americans, the most accurate information we can."

AARP members 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 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's nearly 40 million 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.

IDAHO VOTED YES ON THE VOTED NO ON THE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR AMERICA ACT FOR AMERICA ACT ----- ------------------------- ------------------------- Minnick, Walt X Simpson, Mike X *Did not vote ** 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.

SOURCE AARP Idaho
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