From Barbranda Walls
Health care reform may not dominate the news to the extent it did in the hot days of August, when tempers boiled over at Town Hall meetings; the balloon boy, the war in Afghanistan, and the mystery of the Northwest pilots have pushed it ever-so-slightly to the background.
But it’s a complex topic that remains a major concern among AARP members, as evidenced by interest in the Vegas@50+ session “Don’t Roll the Dice: Find Out What’s Next in Health Care Reform and What It Means For You.”
AARP board member Allen Douma, M.D., and John Rother, head of AARP policy and strategy, were peppered with questions about the public option and how to better understand the complex issue of health care reform. The two men laid out AARP’s criteria for an acceptable health care reform bill; how reform will impact members and other Americans; and what’s in the five House and Senate bills currently under consideration in Congress — from which one bill in each chamber is expected to emerge this week. If the bills pass on the floor of each chamber, they would then need to be reconciled before going to the President’s desk for his signature.
AARP has not endorsed any of the five bills, but Rother said that whatever bill emerges “would be a substantial improvement over the status quo.”
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