On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law healthcare reform. The legislation that President Obama signed addresses publicly funded national long-term care insurance, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act http://www.opencongress.org. It also contains a number of provisions aimed at ending Medicare’s impact of forcing the elderly and disabled, in some states, to move to nursing homes. The bill contains provisions that help protect nursing home residents and other long-term care recipients from abuse and gives families of nursing home residences more information about nursing home facilities. The Elder Justice Act establishes an Elder Justice Coordinating Counsel and provides federal resources to support state and community efforts to fight elder abuse. The law provides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who spend over $2,830 a year on Medicare Part D prescription drugs. Starting January 1, 2011, Medicare will provide free preventive care, including no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services, such as glaucoma screening and diabetes self-management. These and other changes are included in Consumers Guide to Health Reform: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2010/March/22/consumers-guide-health-reform.aspx and What’s Inside the Health Care Reconcilliation Bill at http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2010/03/19/the-health-care-reform-reconciliation-bill/. See also www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20000846-503544.html.
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