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For Immediate Release Contact: Judith Stein, 860-456-7790
February 17, 2011

The House of Representatives will vote today on an amendment to the 2011 Continuing Budget Resolution that would prevent all spending to implement the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law enacted almost one year ago. “This amendment is not in the interest of Medicare, the current fiscal crisis, or families,” says Judith Stein, executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “Defunding health care reform would endanger children who have pre-existing conditions, deprive uninsured young adults from coverage under their parents’ plans, limit Medicare coverage for preventive services, and end important consumer protections for Americans of all ages.” The amendment to defund health care reform would also eliminate tax credits to small business for providing health coverage to their employees, and would increase the deficit by over $200 billion over the next 10 years.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy has already seen how health reform has improved the lives of millions of people. For example:

  • Our clients who are Medicare beneficiaries no longer have to pay cost-sharing for preventive services, and they are now eligible for an annual wellness visit.
  • Those with high prescription drug costs will pay less out of pocket for their medicine when they enter the prescription drug donut hole or coverage gap.
  • Fewer older people with both Medicare and Medicaid had to change their prescription drug plan in order to be in $0-premium Medicare drug plan.
  • Four of our own Center staff members have young adult children who are now covered by the Center’s health plan; without the coverage they would be uninsured.

If the House votes to defund implementation of health reform, all of these people, and millions like them throughout the country, will lose the protections they have already received.

“This amendment is driven by ideology, not serious concern for the welfare of Americans, Medicare, small business, or the American economy,” continues Ms. Stein. We urge Congress not to move backwards by depriving Americans of increased access to fair, affordable health care. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act should be fully funded and should go forward so that, by 2014, all Americans have health insurance, regardless of their age, income, or health status.

Ms. Stein is available for comment.

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