Obama: Healthcare bill would help seniors on Medicare

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The healthcare reform package, if passed, will add almost a decade of solvency to the Medicare program, President Obama told seniors Monday during a stop in Ohio.

Obama highlighted other potential benefits for seniors during his speech at the Walter F. Ehrnfelt Recreation and Senior Center in Strongsville, OH. The proposal would make preventive care free, eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for tests, as well as reduce the monthly cost of Medicare, Obama said. It would also close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap.

The stop is part of the president's latest effort to persuade the public to support healthcare reform. In related news, several congressmen signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), urging her to include a key Medicaid provision in a final bill. The provision would establish a temporary four-year program of supplemental payments directly from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to dually certified nursing facilities with high percentages of Medicare and Medicaid patient days. The American Health Care Association praised U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-WI), who directed the effort. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a Senate version of healthcare reform this week.