Linda Douglass, White House Office of Health Reform: Hi, I'm Linda Douglass. I'm the Director of Communications at the White House Office of Health Reform, and outside of the President's town hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire the other day, there were many people who wanted to go in and ask questions of the White House. So what we're trying to do is answer some of those questions, and here is one from Lorna.
Questioner: My name is Lorna Andosia (phonetic), and I'm from Nashua, New Hampshire, and I have a lot of concerns about the healthcare, but my major concern is section 1177 of the HR 3200, which deals with the disabled, the special needs, and how that is to be put off for a future study and how the Secretary of Health and Human Services will be -- have a large part in deciding as to how their healthcare plans will be treated. And my question is, why are they being treated different? And I have a concern for this because I do have a son who has disabilities, and I'm concerned that he's being treated differently. Our country has fought hard to get people with disabilities on an equal level, and this just -- to me, this just sets it back by leaving that up to the future. And I'd like to know why my son isn't worth consideration before they sign this bill?
Linda Douglass: Well, thanks for asking the question, Lorna. Now, what the provision that you are talking about does is it extends the availability of some voluntary programs for people with special needs to look at ways to improve the way that care for people with special needs is handled. Now, if you or a loved one is already enrolled in the traditional Medicare program, nothing will change for you. That's absolutely going to stay the same. But if you should want to enroll in one of the voluntary programs, you now have the opportunity to do that. So what this provision really does for people with special needs is give them more choices, not fewer. So, Lorna, I hope that answers your question. If you have any more questions, please come to whitehouse.gov. We've got a whole series of question-and-answers on the web site, and I hope that they'll be helpful.