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Health Reform – What Immediate Changes in Store for NV?

March 26, 2010

LAS VEGAS, NEV. - President Obama spent Thursday promoting the benefits of the nation's new health care reform plan as Congress worked on the final details of reconciliation.

Deborah Jaquith, communications director for AARP-Nevada, says the plan provides some immediate relief to seniors and others on Medicaid who fall into the so-called doughnut hole in prescription drug coverage.

"Over 16,000 people had to pay 100 percent of their prescription drugs costs. Now, this year, they'll get a $250 credit towards those costs, and next year 50 percent will be covered."

Coverage will increase so that, eventually, the doughnut hole will be closed, says Jaquith. As for the rest of the plan, Republicans identified technical flaws in the measure that required one final round of votes in the House and Senate to repair. Pres. Obama told a rally in Iowa that costs will come down for families and businesses under the plan, which he says will reduce the national deficit by $130 billion over the next decade.

The Health Reform Plan will provide access to affordable health insurance for hundreds of thousands of Nevadans, says Jaquith, who adds many Nevadans are too young for Medicare, but in great need of coverage.

"In Nevada, there are 70,000 uninsured people aged 50 to 64; with the new Bill, they'll be able to access insurance through the exchange."

While it will take some time before the insurance exchanges are ready to provide coverage, Jaquith says under the Health Reform Plan there is immediate relief for anyone denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition because they will be provided access to a high-risk pool.



Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV