We've now got specifics from the House on their version of health care reform legislation. The National Committee has worked hard to mobilize support for Medicare proposals that would improve efficiency and care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries while also providing savings for system-wide health care reform efforts. As President Obama has said, America does not face an entitlement crisis; we face a health care crisis.  That's why we believe it is imperative that health reform addresses cost growth throughout the entire health care system, not simply in the Medicare program.  Here's Barbara's statement from late Friday night after the Energy & Commerce committee vote:

"American seniors have a lot at stake in this health care reform debate and the National Committee applauds the House for taking an important first step in reforming our health care system for Americans of all ages.  The three Committee bills reported out of the House include several important reforms for Medicare beneficiaries such as, closing the Part D doughnut hole, allowing government negotiation of drug prices in Part D and eliminating billions of dollars of wasteful subsidies to private insurers in Medicare. But there is more work to be done to ensure the final health care reform package sent to the President  provides improved access and care to the insured, the uninsured, and beneficiaries in Medicare." Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEO

Next up, we should see the Senate Finance Committee version of health care reform and it will undoubtedly look alot different than what we've seen in the House. Meanwhile, we'll keep urging Congress to support meaningful health care reform legislation, which protects Medicare's 44 million beneficiaries while also improving care and access for all Americans.