Issue Position: Senior Citizens

Issue Position

Quality support services for our senior citizens in their golden years

In April 2007, Scott Garrett sponsored his first annual Senior Expo, bringing together representatives from a wide variety of senior services for easy one-stop access to information. Exhibitors included health care services, like blood pressure tests and glaucoma screenings; prescription drugs; assisted living and adult communities; crimes against the elderly; and more. The Senior Expo followed on his two successful Health Fairs in 2006, at which Scott Garrett invited representatives who could help seniors walk through the online application process for the brand new Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

In addition to these services, Scott Garrett regularly sends his staff right into your hometown to help you when it's most convenient for you. Through the Mobile Constituent Service program, Fifth District residents can meet with Scott Garrett's staff in more than 30 towns district-wide to get information, share their thoughts, or seek help cutting through red tape related to Medicare, Social Security, veterans benefits, and any other Federal program. Periodically, Mobile Constituent Service Hours are added to the regular schedule at senior centers and assisted living facilities.

Scott Garrett has been a strong support of programs to help seniors age in place, securing funding a local demonstration project to develop NORCs, or Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities. An estimated 27% of seniors live in NORCs, and it is an increasingly popular option.

Scott Garrett also works hard to ensure that access to medical care for Medicare beneficiaries remains full and fair. In 2006, he successfully led the effort to stop Governor Corzine's proposed $430 million tax on hospital beds that would have shut crippled the ability of New Jersey hospitals to provide services to seniors and others. He also successfully lobbied to restore funds to providers who serve Medicare beneficiaries.

Through his work on the Budget Committee, Scott Garrett has closely monitored the explosion of entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. He is increasingly concerned about the unsustainable costs that will be borne by our children and our children's children. It is abundantly clear that we must review how we can strengthen such programs. Out of basic fairness, there can be no changes to Social Security for those seniors now receiving benefits or close to retirement. Furthermore, we cannot find a solution that increases payroll taxes on American workers. Finally, we should consider allowing tomorrow's seniors the opportunity to voluntarily save a portion of their payroll taxes in personalized accounts for their own use during their retirement years.