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Friday, January 29, 2010

Medicare after health reform

Tara Bostock

Staff Writer

My grandparents are monumentally confused about health care reform. And rightfully so-opponents of health reform have told them that they're going to lose their Medicare, and that they will have to defend their life in front of a death panel.

Today, at the Families USA Health Action Conference, I attended a workshop that gave me information that will assuage my grandparent's fears. Speakers at the Medicare after Health Reform workshop outlined how Medicare will really change with reform: How the claims of opponents are far from the truth.

Let's start with Medicare program cuts. There will be no cuts in guaranteed benefits. And, instead of losing benefits, benefits will be improved. For example, preventive care will be free. That way, seniors will be able to catch health issues before they become deadly. And I will make sure that my grandparents take advantage of this new benefit.

Also, many seniors are scared they will fall into the doughnut hole, the gap in the Medicare prescription benefit where seniors have to pay for prescriptions out of their own pockets. Without reform this gap is projected to grow, and every year, millions of seniors who land in the doughnut hole are forced to pay thousands of dollars for the medicines they need. Health reform will reduce or completely eliminate the gap. Reforms will also stabilize Medicare fiscally, ensuring it will be around for generations to come.

These facts will reassure the seniors in my life and the seniors in your life too. Make sure to share them with someone you love. If you have any questions about what will happen with Medicare in reform go to or to get your questions answered.