New London seniors meet with president, virtually

Anni Smalls of New London watches with other New London seniors at the New London Senior Center during President Obama's address to senior citizens nationally via a televised town hall meeting on health care coverage and the elderly Tuesday, June 8, 2010.
Anni Smalls of New London watches with other New London seniors at the New London Senior Center during President Obama's address to senior citizens nationally via a televised town hall meeting on health care coverage and the elderly Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Tim Cook/The Day Buy Photo

New London — Senior centers around the nation, including one in our backyard, participated in a tele-town hall meeting on the Affordable Care Act with President Barack Obama this afternoon.

Obama's presentation was televised live from the Holiday Park multipurpose senior center in Wheaton, Maryland. Fifteen people tuned into C-SPAN to watch the president at the New London Senior Center.

The president discussed what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act meant to seniors to ensure that they have accurate information about the new law, which passed in March. The health care legislation gives seniors better benefits, they will see a cost savings and higher quality health care, Obama said. Preventative care services like colorectal cancer screenings, mammograms and annual wellness visits will be available free to seniors.

"We made a promise to America's seniors... you can live out your years with coverage. We plan on strengthening that promise," Obama said. "Medicare isn't just something you get when you're 65. It's something you earned and something you worked hard for a lifetime."

Obama spent time addressing those on Medicare who fall into the prescription drug coverage gap known as the "donut hole." Beginning this week, those individuals affected will receive a one-time $250 rebate to cover costs of prescription drugs, because of the new law.

The president spoke for about 15 minutes and then gave seniors a chance to ask questions. He took questions from people watching live from Virginia, Illinois and Nevada. They asked about the timing of the new law, about reimbursement for primary care physicians and whether the money for Medicare and social security will ever run out.

Seniors from New London didn't call in any questions, but stayed to watch most of the hour-long presentation.

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