Today, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited Bethany Village announcing his bipartisan legislation Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act.
The bill is a quick fix to a loop-hole in current Medicare legislation in which all hospital stays are covered for seniors regardless if the stay is deemed for “observation status” or “inpatient status.” Currently, “observation status” hospital stays are not covered.
Medicare coverage was “never intended to be this way. (This bill) is a simple fix and the least we can do,” said the Senator.
“[It is] never a good thing when a senior on a limited budget is faced with a very large bill,” said Judy Budi, Vice-President of Residential Care for Graceworks Lutheran Services. “Often it means a decision whether or not they receive the needed care,” she continued.
Senior Delores Chambers shared how her six-day hospital stay, which included two minor surgeries, was classified as an “observation status” stay resulting in a $41,000 hospital bill that was not covered by Medicare. “I told everybody I will die in poverty,” she continued.
Brown’s bill is endorsed by AARP, American Health Care Association, American Medical Association and the Center for Medicare.
Here are some photos of the press conference.