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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Top Obama official heads to Florida to talk Medicare



As the Medicare debate takes center stage in the presidential campaign, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is headed to Jacksonville and West Palm Beach on Thursday to talk to seniors ... about Medicare.

But don't call it political. HHS says the trip is part of an "ongoing" education effort, which means taxpayers will pick up the costs.

"The Secretary frequently travels across the country educating people about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, including access to preventive benefits, like cancer screenings and blood pressure readings, without a co-pay or deductible for Medicare beneficiaries," said HHS spokeswoman Erin Shields. "During her trip to Florida, which has been planned for several months, she will  talk to seniors about the importance of these benefits and how the law has made the Medicare program stronger."

News release:

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will meet with West Palm Beach seniors to discuss how the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, has made  Medicare stronger since it was signed into law two years ago.

Just two weeks after the 47th Anniversary of the creation of Medicare, Secretary Sebelius will highlight important benefits of the law, including providing beneficiaries with preventive health care-- like cholesterol and cancer screenings-- at no additional cost, as well as a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.”

Secretary Sebelius will also talk about new provisions in the law to strengthen the fight against fraud in Medicare.  In 2011, officials recovered nearly $4.1 billion in Medicare dollars, the highest annual amount ever recovered from individuals and companies who attempted to defraud seniors and taxpayers.

She will appear at 9:15 a.m. at the  Area Agency on Aging / Your Aging Resource Center in West Palm.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 7:48pm]


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