At 1:30 today, the President will participate in a tele-town hall on health care reform at AARP headquarters. The President will take questions from the audience, and through a conference call with tens of thousands of AARP member.
As you may remember, the AARP recently endorsed the President’s plan to close the Medicare "doughnut hole" as part of the health care reform bill. The historic compromise with pharmaceutical companies will lead to an $80 billion reduction in costs, providing relief for millions of seniors. But this isn’t the only way the President’s plan will benefit Americans, whether you have insurance or not. You can read more about his plan in an op-ed published today by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Here is an excerpt where she explains how the administration’s plan will work to reduce costs, while providing quality care and choice – core principles that have helped develop the consensus we've seen emerging:
First, to provide Americans with more affordable choices, we’ll set up a marketplace where you can compare plans and pick the one that’s right for you. None of the plans would be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. And one of the options should be a public plan that would increase competition and keep private insurance companies honest.
Second, we have to align incentives for doctors and hospitals so that they’re rewarded based on the quality of care they provide, not on how many tests or procedures they prescribe.
Third, we need to move from a sickness system to a wellness system. By investing in prevention and emphasizing healthy lifestyles, we can save money while improving health.
Finally, reform must not add to our deficit over the next ten years. To that end, we have already identified hundreds of billions of dollars in savings – savings from money that’s already being spent on health care, but is funding waste and overpayments to insurance companies.