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AARP Illinois 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

CHICAGO, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the United States House of Representatives passed by a vote of 220-215, 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.

ILLINOIS HOUSE MEMBERS VOTE:

"We applaud those Illinois members of the House who supported this crucial legislation," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois Senior State Director. "This bill will help millions of older Americans get the health coverage they need, while strengthening Medicare for today's seniors and future generations. We look forward to working with these lawmakers to pass the Affordable Health Care for America Act this year."

"It's disappointing that some lawmakers voted against this bill and the opportunity to fix our health care system," Gallo added. "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.

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.

ILLINOIS VOTED YES ON THE VOTED NO ON THE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR AMERICA ACT FOR AMERICA ACT ---------------------- ---------------------- ---------------------- Bobby Rush (D) X Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D) X Daniel Lipinski (D) X Luis Gutierrez (D) X Mike Quigley (D) X Peter Roskam (R) X Danny Davis (D) X Melissa Bean (D) X Janice Schakowsky (D) X Mark Kirk (R) X Debbie Halvorson (D) X Jerry Costello (D) X Judy Biggert (R) X Bill Foster (D) X Timothy Johnson (R) X Donald Manzullo (R) X Phil Hare (D) X Aaron Schock (R) X John Shimkus (R) X

SOURCE AARP Illinois
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