Washington, DC – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) pushed back against Republican attacks today by stating that health care reform will actually significantly expand coverage and lower costs for seniors.
“Health reform will benefit our nation’s seniors by strengthening Medicare, closing the “donut hole” to lower seniors’ prescription drug costs, and improving the coordination and quality of care,” stated Congresswoman Edwards. “Reform will also expand home and community-based services to offer people the option to stay in their own homes and out of nursing centers.”
Each year, 3,700 beneficiaries in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District enter the Part D donut hole and are forced to pay full price for prescription drugs. Under the Democrats health reform plan, these beneficiaries will receive a $250 rebate in 2010, 50% discounts on brand name drugs beginning in 2011, and complete closure of the donut hole within a decade. A typical beneficiary who enters the donut hole will see savings of over $700 in 2011 and over $3,000 by 2020.
“Health care reform builds on 44 years of strong democratic support for Medicare,” said Congresswoman Edwards. “When we pass this legislation, seniors can be assured that reform will reduce costs, improve their quality of care, and protect Medicare for theirs and future generations. Seniors have always counted on the staunch support of Medicare from Democrats, and they can do so once more when it comes to health care reform.”
In total, 71,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the 4th Congressional District will experience improved coverage.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
February 22, 2010 Paul Kincaid, 202-225-4289
Cummings Votes To Strip Health Insurance Anti-Trust Exemption
Congressman supports treating health insurance organizations like most other American companies.
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) today voted to pass H.R. 4626, the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act. Once signed by the President, the legislation will take away the anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies, requiring them to compete fairly and adhere to the same anti-trust laws as other companies. The bill passed the House by a tally of 406-19.
It will also give the American people more choice in their health care by requiring health insurance companies to compete fairly and adhere to the same anti-trust laws as other companies.
“Insurance companies have been able to avoid legal accountability for price fixing, dividing up territories among themselves, and sabotaging their competitors in the marketplace in order to gain a monopoly for decades,” said Cummings. “Marylanders have paid higher premiums, had a lower quality of coverage and have been limited in their insurance choices.
“In Maryland, two companies have 63 percent of the insurance business. 96 percent of all health insurance markets are, like ours, “highly concentrated”. Consumers have little or no choice between insurers and it is too easy for insurance companies to collude on prices and practices. Now, anti-trust enforcement will finally be possible, to protect Americans from collusion in the industry and to create more choices.”
Stripping the anti-trust exemption from insurance companies was also part of H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives last year.