WASHINGTON – July 26, 2011 –The Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF), ghlf.org, today officially launched ProtectingMedicare.org, an online resource and action center that provides information about the impact of potential Medicare cuts and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) on patients and seniors. Washington has been debating different approaches to contain government spending and Medicare cuts continue to be proposed as a solution by many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“The Global Healthy Living Foundation created this website to provide groups and individuals the information and resources they need to urge Congress to protect Medicare,” said Seth Ginsberg, President of GHLF. “We strongly believe that America’s leaders can effectively control government spending and contain healthcare costs without putting the Medicare program and its patients and seniors on the chopping block.”

GHLF is encouraging senior and patient groups to get involved in the Medicare debate in Washington and call on lawmakers to protect this critical program that tens of millions of America’s patients and seniors rely on. The GHLF Take Action Center on the website enables visitors to contact their Member of Congress, reach out to local media, and share the “Protect Medicare” message on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

“Medicare improves health outcomes in America by providing patients and seniors with access to affordable care and medicines,” said Ginsberg. “Spending cuts that disrupt patient access to Medicare will increase America’s healthcare problems and costs down the road.”

Ginsberg, along with Louis Tharp, Executive Director at GHLF, hosted a webinar series in June and July that drew more than 75 people from advocacy organizations across the U.S. to discuss the importance of the Medicare program, update groups on the latest deficit reduction debate in Washington, and outline ways to reach lawmakers on this important issue. The full presentation can be found on ProtectingMedicare.org.

One government vehicle to cut Medicare costs, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), has already been created by the Affordable Care Act. The controversial board will have the authority to cut Medicare spending on an annual basis in order to meet strict spending targets. The IPAB will be run by a group of unelected officials charged with making critical decisions about patient care and physician payments, which Americans will be unable to oppose.

“More than 300 organizations representing Medicare and Medicaid patients, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, have expressed concerns over the impact that the IPAB could have on Medicare patient access to quality care,” Tharp said. “With two recent Congressional hearings held on the IPAB just this month, we are encouraged that Congress is taking a closer look at the IPAB.”

The Protecting Medicare website includes information about Medicare and the IPAB, and a link where groups can register to receive more information from the GHLF about these issues:  http://conta.cc/rdqiit

About the Global Healthy Living Foundation

The Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy organization based in New York, with the mission to improve the quality of life for people with chronic illness. We accomplish our mission by advocating for improved access to care and by educating communities about the importance of diagnosis, early and innovative medical intervention, long-term lifestyle improvement, and therapeutic compliance.