Health Care Briefs on the New Law: Improving Medicare


by Frank Samuelson

Improving Medicare.  If you have Medicare, or have a relative or friend who does, the new Health Care Affordability Act expands and strengthens that coverage. The infamous “donut hole” will be reduced beginning this year and gradually eliminated by 2020. Beginning in 2011 most preventive services, including an annual check up, will be available without co-pays or deductibles. “Medicare Advantage” plans, which benefit private for-profit insurers, will be tightly regulated to reduce current waste, fraud and abuse. Don’t let opponents of better health care take these new benefits away.

–from Faithful Reform in Health Care

These brief summaries of benefits in the new health care law were prepared by Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) of the Quad Cities, based on research by Faithful Reform in Health Care
which represents many churches and other faith communities. (See the
list of members on their website.)  Faithful Reform seeks to speak the
“whole truth” about health care issues instead of the many half truths
that abound. If you, or someone you know, has had a personal experience
with this or another benefit of the new law, please share it with the
Health Care Reform Forum of PACG (

Frank Samuelson is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a member of the Health Care Reform Forum of PACG and has been active in the Anti-racism ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA.

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