With some "just praying I don't get sick," Minnesotans share why they support endorsement of the health-overhaul bill, which is nearing a vote.To pay her three most recent health insurance premiums -- $800 payments equal to 70 percent of her monthly income -- Molly Sullivan wrote checks against her Maple Grove home equity loan. "When I was working I wasn't poor," said Sullivan, 62, a retired nurse. "I would buy a cheaper policy, but now I have diabetes and arthritis and they won't sell me one."Sullivan joined other older Minnesotans in St. Paul on Thursday to explain why the AARP, in a step that could prove highly influential, has announced it will endorse a bill in the U.S. House to overhaul the nation's health insurance system.The bill, which may come up for a vote this weekend, would prohibit insurers from denying coverage because of preexisting conditions, eliminate the Medicare "doughnut hole" gap in prescription drug coverage, and allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare."These are very important issues for our members," said Hubert (Skip) Humphrey III, former president of the 700,000-member Minnesota AARP and former state attorney general. Now one of 23 national AARP board members, Humphrey voted last week to endorse the House bill. "It's not everything we'd like, but it's pretty darned close," he said.A final Senate version of the legislation has not been finished. It may be months before a Senate vote.The House bill would cost $1.2 trillion over 10 years and would extend solvency of the Medicare trust fund by five years. It also would start "shifting long-term care from a welfare system to an insurance system," Humphrey said. Care for about two-thirds of nursing home residents is paid by Medicaid, the health program for the poor. The bill would start a voluntary insurance program with automatic payroll deduction....
Friday, November 6, 2009
Original article: http://www.startribune.com/local/69341962.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUBP7hUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUHDYaGEP7eyckcUX
Posted by De Sube at 11/06/2009 09:02:00 AM