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Chairman Becerra: Medicare Is Not A Luxury; It's Indispensable And We Have To Fight For It

Press Conference

Date: Oct. 7, 2015
Location: Washington, DC

Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (CA-34) joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Joe Crowley, Seniors Task Force Co-Chairs Doris Matsui and Jan Schakowsky, and American seniors this morning to call for swift action to prevent a cost hike in Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles that would go into effect on October 15th.  An excerpt of the Chairman's remarks follows below.

"Unfortunately, this is a Congress that is accustomed to taking America to the brink. Just a week ago today, 151 of our Republican colleagues voted to shut down our government. Fortunately, we avoided that. But two years ago, we saw the same fate where they did shut down the government.

"They're now talking about not paying America's bills and defaulting on what we owe. Things that we've done already, not paying for those debts. This Congress should not take our seniors, who worked for their Medicare, to the brink, but that's what we're facing today.

"Fifty-five dollars [of a Medicare Part B premium increase] may not sound like a lot to some Republicans, especially when you consider that over the last several months they passed legislation that provided tax breaks to the tune of one trillion dollars, mostly to Wall Street and very large corporations and very wealthy Americans.
"It's time to stop and get to work. Because for most seniors, Medicare is not a luxury; it's indispensable. Most seniors pay about three times as much for their health care than the average American because they are a little older and some of those aches and pains are coming out a little bit more.

"It's time for us to recognize that this is not something we're giving people; this is not something we're giving to be charitable. Every single American who receives Medicare earned it. They paid for it with their taxes and they've earned it and we have to fight for it."