Health Care Benefits Highlighted
The state Democratic Party spent time yesterday highlighting some of the first tangible benefits of the Health Care Reform Bill. Craig Carper reports.
This week, Medicare beneficiaries nationwide began receiving $250 reimbursement checks to offset what has been dubbed the Donut Hole, or gap in prescription drug coverage.
Joyce Smith is the retired Executive Vice President of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 2145, which is a part of the AFL- CIO.
Smith: Health Care reform is the most important health legislation since Medicare was created. Starting next year, Seniors will no longer have to skip important health screenings that keep us all healthy, because preventative care will be free under Medicare.
David Mills, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia
Mills: It's kinda remarkable that the Republicans have used this as what they think will be a linchpin in the election. There’s talk of repeal, I think it’s a real mistake. We’re seeing real benefits for real people; between now and 2020, we’re going to see steady improvement that you can measure, that you can track.
Mills: We feel very confident the more that people understand the direct benefit to them for what the Congress has done, the better off we’ll be in general because people will understand the Government is actually motivated and constructed around actually doing something positive for them.
The demographics of the donut hole continue to change over time; someone who falls within it one year may not the following year. Starting in 2011, the Federal Government will begin to assist individuals who fall within the Donut Hole, with up to 50% of their total prescription drug costs.
The Donut Hole will close completely in 2020.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square