Press Release             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Precht
Director for Policy and Communications
202-544-5561

June 11, 2008

Medicare Rights Center Urges Passage of
the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act

New York, NY— Medicare Rights Center President Robert M. Hayes today called for passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (S.3101), bi-partisan legislation that would make significant improvements to Medicare while avoiding a fee cut for doctors now scheduled for July 1.

The legislation would enact a number of changes that the Medicare Rights Center, based on the counseling it provides to people with Medicare, believes will improve access to health care for older adults and people with disabilities. These changes include:

Improving Medicare coverage of preventive and mental health services and prescription drugs; Aligning eligibility criteria and removing bureaucratic obstacles that suppress enrollment in programs that help pay medical and drug costs for low-income people with Medicare; Enacting important consumer protections for enrollees in Medicare private health plans.

In a letter sent to the main sponsors of the legislation, Mr. Hayes said, “This bill represents important progress in improving access to quality medical care for the people Medicare was designed to serve—older adults and people with disabilities.

“I hope all senators will make a sober, nonpartisan appraisal of this legislation and vote for a bill that will provide significant help to their constituents with Medicare,” Mr. Hayes said.

The text of the letter is available at www.medicarerights.org/mippa_2008_letter.pdf.

Medicare Rights Center is a national, not-for-profit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives.

To learn more about improving access to health care for people with Medicare, visit the Policy/Advocacy section of the Medicare Rights Center’s website at www.medicarerights.org/policyframeset.html.

Medicare Rights Center (MRC) is the largest independent source of health care information and assistance in the United States for people with Medicare. Founded in 1989, MRC helps older adults and people with disabilities get good, affordable health care.