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Center for Medicare Advocacy Urges Reconciliation for Health Care Reform

For Immediate Release Contact: Vicki Gottlich, vgottlich @ February 24, 2010                Center for Medicare Advocacy, ( 860) 456-7790

Washington DC – Leading up to tomorrow's health care summit, the Center for Medicare Advocacy is urging Congress to use reconciliation to pass health care reform.

According to Vicki Gottlich, Senior Policy Attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, "A range of health care laws and consumer protections have come into being through reconciliation."

Gottlich cites COBRA, the law that allows people who lose employer-sponsored health insurance to purchase the insurance they previously had. "Everyone knows about COBRA, and Congress even set aside money in the stimulus package to extend COBRA, but not everyone knows that the 'R' stands for Reconciliation."

"And it's not just COBRA. Congress has used budget reconciliation to establish protections for nursing home residents, create a health insurance program for children, expand the role of private insurance offerings in Medicare, and change Medicaid eligibility."

Gottlich says, "Congress should remember that the R in COBRA stand for reconciliation and use the same process to extend health insurance protections to all Americans."

The Center for Medicare Advocacy urges Congress to pass health care reform that will:

  • Expand health insurance to 31 million Americans;
  • Make insurance more affordable for everyone, including closing the prescription drug coverage gap known as the "donut hole" for Medicare beneficiaries;
  • Protect against discriminatory practices by insurers;
  • Reduce fraud and waste; and,
  • Reduce the deficit by $100 billion over the next 10 years.

Vicki Gottlich is available for an interview to comment on health reform.

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