Issue Position: Seniors
I am a steadfast advocate for American's seniors and the issues they care about, including retirement security, the health of Medicare, and the high cost of prescription drugs.
I work every day to support seniors and to ensure the strength and long-term solvency of Medicare and Social Security. Since their inception, the Medicare and Social Security programs have assisted seniors with the costs of health care and living. Americans rely on these programs not only for their health and long term care, but also for everyday expenses. Americans have paid into the system their entire lives anticipating that once they retire, they will be guaranteed the benefits they rightfully deserve. While we must work to increase the efficiency of Medicare and Social Security, we cannot abandon our commitment to those who currently rely on them. I strongly oppose proposals to raise out-of-pocket costs or cut benefits for Medicare and Medicaid or proposals that would reduce Social Security benefits. For more information on the Medicare and Social Security programs please visit: www.medicare.gov and www.socialsecurity.gov.
The Affordable Care Act further strengthens Medicare and assists beneficiaries in taking charge of their health care. The law provides important benefits such as free preventative services, free annual wellness visits, and a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs for Medicare recipients in the coverage gap known as the "donut hole." Over 132,000 seniors in New Jersey alone have seen lower prescription drug costs as a result of this law. For more information on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on Medicare beneficiaries, please visit http://www.healthcare.gov/.
In March, 2015, I joined my colleagues in voting to addresses the constant uncertainty that seniors and their doctors have faced over the last two decades as a result of the broken Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. I supported H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which would put the threat of drastic payment cuts behind us so that both doctors and seniors can have the assured continuation of care that they deserve. In addition to getting rid of the SGR formula, H.R. 2 also includes a number of important health care priorities for children, seniors, and families. Specifically, it would expand funding for Community Health Centers, which are critical in ensuring that millions of people have access to primary care. Community Health Centers are often the only point of access for health care for seniors across the country and play a vital role in our health care system. Passing this reform measure is a step in the right direction for the Medicare program.