Press Release             

Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications

Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications

January 28, 2010

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on President Obama’s State of the Union Speech

New York, NY—President Obama last night called on Congress to finish the job on health care reform. The Medicare Rights Center agrees. While the political challenges of passing health care reform are real, they pale in comparison to the real-life challenges that Americans face under our fractured health care system. 

Older adults and people with disabilities in particular continue to face major obstacles to getting the medical care they need. Prescription drugs remain unaffordable to many, preventive services are underutilized and medical care from hospitals and specialists is often uncoordinated and wasteful. Passage of the health reform legislation now before Congress will help on all three counts.

Health reform legislation holds the promise of closing the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in Medicare drug coverage, which forces people with Medicare to pay the full price for their medicines. The health care bills would eliminate copayments for preventive services and provide coverage for an annual health risk assessment to help manage chronic conditions. Both the House and Senate bills would provide incentives for specialists and primary care doctors to coordinate care and for hospitals to improve care after discharge and prevent readmissions. We call on President Obama and members of Congress from both parties to pass comprehensive health care reform.

- end -

The Medicare Rights Center is now on Twitter. Follow us at

Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit 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.


520 Eighth Avenue, North Wing, 3rd Floor  ∙  New York, New York 10018
1224 M Street, NW, Suite 100  ∙  Washington, D. C. 20005  ∙