One look at the town hall health care reform meetings taking place across the country shows how emotional the topic is, and AARP is trying to help. They call themselves health care reform "myth busters." They are AARP volunteers at work in Wyoming and across the country, helping people understand health care reform proposals amid allegations that the plan will ration care and reduce Medicare benefits.
Sheridan resident and retired Highland Park Elementary School principal Les Engelter now serves as president of AARP Wyoming. He says their office has received several calls from those in the 65-plus set who are concerned. Engelter indicates that the good news is that the only Medicare issues on the table are beneficial, such as narrowing the "donut hole" in prescription coverage.
Engelter says another piece of good news from Medicare includes an after-hospitalization care component to try to curtail the high re-admission rate for those who have been treated at a hospital.
And another "myth," according to Les: reform is socialized medicine. He says Congress is preserving the employer-based system for most people, while offering an option for those turned down by private insurance companies, or those who cannot afford private market offerings.
However, even with those rebuttals, opponents cite concerns about cost and say the plans being considered do nothing to control rising medical expenses.