Friday, September 02, 2005

Disaster Relief Medicare for Gulf States

THANK YOU to Nancy Rodenski for posting this to the SIDemocrat YAHOO! Discussion Group. It is something for Congress to consider. It is a press release from the Medicare Rights Center:

Plea to Congress and White House to Launch Disaster Relief Medicare for Gulf States

New York, NY - Below is a statement from Robert M. Hayes, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a national consumer service group, seeking immediate launch of Disaster Relief Medicare for victims of Hurricane Katrina:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are facing protracted refugee status in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Millions of Americans from the afflicted states have lost homes, businesses, jobs or savings. Forced interstate migrations continue.

The most practical way to bring needed health care to disaster victims is to create Disaster Relief Medicare for Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Virtually all physicians, hospitals and health clinics accept Medicare in every state of the union. Immediate eligibility for Medicare coverage for disaster victims would open America's existing health care infrastructure to men, women and children in this time of dire need. Automatic inclusion in a federalized version of the existing Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program would allow the tens of thousands of impoverished refugees to find the health care that they need today, and will need in the grueling months ahead. Medicare can arrange for immediate prescription drug coverage through agreements with pharmacy chains and major pharmaceutical companies.

Middle class families quartered with friends, relatives or in hotels far from home will have little or no access to affordable health care during the duration of their exile. Poor mothers and children bussed from New Orleans to shelters in Texas will face both immediate and ongoing need for care. A jerry-rigged emergency health care system in sports stadiums and school gymnasiums will fail to meet the most basic health needs of most disaster victims.

Medicare is a national treasure providing good health care to older Americans for nearly 40 years. In these desperate times, Medicare is a ready made life saver for millions of Americans facing unspeakable deprivation. Congress and the White House could enact this program today. It could begin saving lives tomorrow.

The Medicare Rights Center, founded in 1989, is the largest independent source of information and assistance on health care rights and benefits for older and disabled men and women in the United States. For more information about MRC, call 212-204-6219, or visit the MRC web site.

Contact: Michael De Dora, Communications Assistant (212) 204-6233
Bob Hayes (212) 204-6215 or (917) 583-6620


At 04 September, 2005 19:02, Blogger Kankakee Voice said...

This is an excellent idea. I suppose no one in a position of authority in the government had thought about this, either. Disaster Relief Medicare for Americans should be enacted immediately. I shudder to think about all the people who right now have absolutely nothing and need a least one kind - if not several - of medicine.


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