Easy Next Steps to Take:
1. Copy one item from each of the sections below, then paste into the box at the bottom of the page
2. Use the links in the right column to find your local newspaper’s online Letter to the Editor contact
3. Paste your completed message into the paper’s letter-to-the-editor form or contact email
Our position: After a lifetime of hard work, seniors will begin the process of no longer having to struggle with medical bills or worry whether they can afford the medications they need to stay healthy. Right away, health care reform will make drugs more affordable for seniors on Medicare Part D by providing a $250 rebate. In 2011, the “donut hole” will see a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs and after 2011 the discounts will grown larger until, by 2020 nobody will pay more than 25 percent of the cost of any drugs in what is now the “donut hole”. Health reform fixes the problems and improves Medicare by expanding benefits and providing more coverage for prevention and medication. It makes care more affordable by reducing waste, fraud, and insurance company subsidies. Health care reform will protect Medicare benefits and ensure future generations have the health care they need when they retire. This is a great step forward our country.
(Note: You can use this text as either the opening or the conclusion of your letter.)
Part 1 – The Problem
Seniors are paying way more than they can afford for medications because of the Medicare Part D “donut hole”, the gap in coverage that begins when the total cost of the senior’s prescription drugs reaches $2,830 and goes until those total costs reach $6,440. Between these amounts, seniors must pay the total costs out of pocket.
Medicare is handing out billions in subsidies to private insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans—costing taxpayers an average of 14 percent more per person than traditional Medicare.
America’s working families are struggling to pay skyrocketing health care costs while their wages remain stagnant and their health benefits sliced. Meanwhile, the CEO of United Health Insurance was paid more than $350 Million in a single year and the industry’s profits keep soaring.
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Part 2 – The Solution
Reform will not cut guaranteed Medicare benefits (this statement needs to be in each letter – this is key) that 45 million older Americans depend on – comprehensive benefits such as doctor visits, hospital and outpatient care, prescription drug coverage, and rehabilitation services.
The savings will actually help fund improvements to traditional Medicare, as well as adding preventive benefits such as cancer screenings free of charge.
Starting in June, seniors who participate in Medicare Part D and have hit the “donut hole” will receive a $250 rebate check. This rebate will help them meet the drug costs they must pay until their Medicare Part D prescription benefits kick back in.
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Part 3 – Your Representative’s Vote
I am glad that I can be proud of my member of Congress, Representative __________, for his/her vote for health care reform. I know that my representative voted to protect the seniors and everyone in our district with access to quality, affordable health care for all of us.
It is unfortunate that my member of Congress, Representative __________, chose to side with the insurance industry over the best interests of the seniors and everyone in our district. I know my representative voted to protect the bloated salaries and bonuses for industry CEOs instead of protecting seniors struggling to pay for prescription drug coverage.
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Part 4 – The Conclusion
After a lifetime of hard work, seniors will begin to have peace of mind and no longer have to struggle with medical bills or worry whether they can afford the medications they need to stay healthy. This is a great step forward our country.
Starting this year, health reform will strengthen Medicare and protect America’s seniors. Health care reform will protect Medicare benefits and ensure future generations have the health care they need when they retire.
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