NRLN Action Alert from Bill Kadereit, NRLN Vice President – Legislative Affairs

 

The U.S. House of Representatives has an opportunity to improve healthcare for grandparents, their children and grandchildren through the passage of H.R. 3162, the Children’s Health And Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act.  The leadership of the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees unveiled on Tuesday evening (July 24) the bill that would improve healthcare for our generation and future generations.

 

Your assistance is needed to write to your U.S. Representative to urge him/her to support H.R. 3162.  In addition to addressing the healthcare needs of 11 million uninsured children, the bill would improve several aspects of Medicare for older Americans.

 

A few of the key provisions that the NRLN endorses for Medicare participants include:

 

  • Reduce the asset test in Medicare Part D and streamline the application process, thereby helping millions of Americans with modest savings gain access to affordable healthcare;

 

  • Provide an interim solution for physicians facing a 10-percent cut to Medicare payments on Jan. 1, 2008. According to the American Medical Association, more than 60 percent of doctors say they will limit the number of new Medicare patients they will treat if the cut goes through. The bill would block impending cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, giving them a modest increase in fees in each of the next two years while Congress tries to devise a new payment policy;

 

  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the government paid private Medicare plans, on average, 12 percent more than it would have cost to care for the same people in traditional Medicare. Moreover, it said, payments to the fastest-growing type of plan, known as private fee-for-service plans, are 19 percent higher than the cost of traditional Medicare. The bill would gradually reduce these payments so that Medicare would pay the same amount, regardless of whether a beneficiary was in a private plan or in traditional Medicare;

 

  • The bill would prohibit private Medicare plans from charging higher co-payments than traditional Medicare;

 

  • The Secretary of Health and Human Services would be authorized to expand Medicare coverage of preventive services such as certain disease-detection screenings. To encourage use of these benefits, the bill would eliminate most co-payments and other charges.

 

While there are a number of other provisions in the bill that would strengthen Medicare, those listed above should provide a sufficient incentive for you to urge your U.S. Representative to support the CHAMP Act.  A sample letter is available for you to send to your Congressman or Congresswoman. Please go to the NRLN website at http://capwiz.com/abtr/home and look for the Action Alert with the headline URGE YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO SUPPORT CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND MEDICARE PROTECTION ACT.  After you click on “Take Action” you will see a box to type in your zip code. The Representative to receive your letter will be identified based on your zip code.

 

If you have a problem accessing the Action Alert, through the link above, go to the NRLN Website Home Page at http://www.nrln.org. In the "Take Action Now" paragraph near the top of the NRLN Home Page, click on the "Click Here" link to take you to the Action Alert.

 

Please take this opportunity to encourage your elected representative to support H.R. 3162. Invite your family members and friends to also ask their Representative to support the bill.
 

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