Hi, my name's Bob Kocher. I work at the White House National Economic Council where I work on health insurance reform. I'm an internal medicine doctor by background and I used to care for patients before coming to this job. I'd like to take -- to a minute and talk about one of the e-mails that we've gotten regarding the health care reform and dispel some myths that people may have -- may perceive. The e-mail says the following: "Convince me that my current Medicare benefits will not be cut or eliminated in any way, shape, or form; and that my health care costs will not increase, but be reduced; and that my health care coverage will be increased along with the quality of care that I now receive through Medicare." First, you will have lower drug costs. Right now in the Medicare program when you reach the point at which the Part D plans do not cover the drugs, you have to pay the full price. Under insurance reform, you will pay lower prices for those pills that you take. There'll be no co pays or costs to get the preventative and needed care you need to prevent cancers, to get the needed immunizations, and that will make it easier for you to maintain your health. You'll have more doctors to choose from. We're going to expand the work force so that it will be easier to get appointments with your primary care doctor, specialty doctors -- and that's true in both urban areas as well as rural areas of America. We're improving the information that your doctor gets so that when you go to the doctor, you will not have to continuously fill out the same forms and paperwork which frustrates you and you worry you get wrong. They'll know what drugs you're taking, so you don't have to write that down every time and bring them in. They'll know what you're allergic to, they'll know what doctors you saw, and they'll know what needs to go on with your conditions because they'll have the right information that they need to take care of you.
Let me also address I think a misperception that's been out there that somehow there is any discussion on Capitol Hill about reducing Medicare benefits. Nobody is talking about reducing Medicare benefits. Medicare benefits are there because people contributed into a system. It works. We don't want to change it. What we do want is to eliminate some of the waste that is being paid for out of the Medicare trust fund that could be used more effectively to cover more people and to strengthen the system.
Please tell your friends the facts about the health insurance reform, and for more information, go to whitehouse.gov. Thank you.