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Health Insurance debate leaves Maine seniors questioning

Jenny Decker RN's picture
Senior citizens concerned about health insurance and Medicare

At a health care roundtable that was co-sponsored by AARP, the guest speaker, federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius attempted to ease the fears of seniors from the state of Maine about health care and health insurance coverage. Maine seniors are concerned about Medicare and getting their benefits cut with the new health care reform legislation. Chair of the National AARP board Bonnie Cramer is tired of the critics of health care reform taking the health care proposals, mischaracterizing them and then scaring the seniors, writes the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

AARP has lost around 60,000 members over concerns from health care reform. Though AARP has over 40 million members, it says that losing even one member is too many. AARP has been trying to get information out to seniors on what really is happening with health care reform so that they are better informed on the changes occurring in health insurance legislation.

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Maine seniors are no different than those around the country. They have the same concerns and worries. Some are on board with the legislation. Others mistrust politicians, while some worry about the price tag on getting the health care legislation passed in the first place.

Concerns include cuts from Medicare and being able to get in to see their doctors without having to wait in line, like the health care system from Canada. AARP is working to alleviate these concerns. It is likely that the “doughnut hole” in drug coverage will be sealed. The Medicare cuts discussed at Washington include cuts from those providers who have been overpaid from fraud, abuse, and waste. With the change in health care insurance, it is anticipated that the relationship between the physician and the patient will be preserved. In addition, tax hikes are only being considered for those who make $250,000.

Seniors should become involved and make their voices heard about the types of health care and health insurance coverage as they are the largest group influencing legislation today. AARP is the country’s largest advocacy for older Americans and is determined to get the message out to seniors about what really is going on with health care reform.