Older Americans & Seniors

Democrats are steadfast advocates for America’s seniors, their peace of mind, and the issues they care about— including retirement security, Medicare, and the high cost of prescription drugs. While Democrats strongly support Social Security and Medicare and oppose efforts to privatize them, President Trump and Congressional Republicans are proposing to drain the Medicare Trust Fund and undermine Social Security.
For years, Democrats have worked to ensure the strength and long-term solvency of those vital programs, so that they can support not just today’s seniors, but the generations to come. Democrats improved and modernized the Social Security program by investing in technology to enable the Social Security Administration to more efficiently process the increasing number of retirees and claims, and by improving the speed and quality of services for retirees. Last Congress, Democrats in Congress helped reauthorize the Older Americans Act, which provides help to seniors including funding vital programs like Meals on Wheels.
Democrats also consistently fight to strengthen the Medicare program and help ensure that seniors can see their doctors. The Affordable Care Act extended the fiscal solvency of the Medicare program, while improving Medicare benefits, nursing home care, and chronic disease coverage, and reining in waste, fraud, and abuse. The law also lowers prescription drug costs for seniors by offering discounts of up to 50 percent on prescriptions for those in the Part D coverage gap, and closing the coverage hole completely over the next several years.
In contrast, President Trump and Republicans in Congress supported legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that would discriminate against older Americans, forcing millions off of their coverage and drastically increasing health care costs for millions more.  TrumpCare also cut Medicaid by $800 billion, jeopardizing access to long-term care for seniors in nursing homes, as well as home- and community-based health care services.
Democrats’ priorities stand in stark contrast to the Republican budget that makes the wrong choices and attempts to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. We are committed to protecting and strengthening programs that assist seniors and support a balanced approach to deficit reduction that will strengthen the solvency of our entitlements and protect America’s seniors.

Older Americans & Seniors Related

Really, Speaker Ryan? “Nobody has a problem” with the Upton amendment?


I want to thank my friend Rep. Sandy Levin for his service as Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee and, previously, as its Chair.


House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at a press conference today with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Democrats in support of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. 


“Tonight, President Obama reminded Congress and the nation that what makes America great is the spirit of service and hard work that manifests from realizing we are all bound together by a common cause. ...


This week, House Republicans unveiled their budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2016. Congress should be making the tough choices needed to grow our economy and expand middle-class opportunities for American families, while promoting fiscal responsibility.


Today’s announcement that 8.2 million seniors and Americans with disabilities caught in the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ have now saved more than $11.5 billion on prescription drugs since 2010 is further proof that the Affordable Care Act is working as intended to help seniors save money and see their benefits improved.  


As Budget Chairman Paul Ryan continues his “poverty messaging tour” today, with both a Budget hearing and CBC meeting, your ever-helpful Democratic Whip press shop put some questions together for you to ask him. There’s a lot to choose from, including his budget that disinvests in the majority of critical programs that prevent poverty and help people get out of it, and a voting record that doesn’t reflect an interest in ending poverty. Here are just a few questions to get you started:


“I thank the Gentlewoman from California, Barbara Lee for leading this special order and for chairing the House Democratic Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity.


“Today’s report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is further evidence that the Affordable Care Act continues to provide access to quality, affordable health care to Americans, including millions of seniors who are saving money on their prescription drugs.  


While House Republicans continue to deny the implications of not raising the debt ceiling against the advice of bipartisan economists and officials, several government agencies are preparing for the worst. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Social Security Administration is just one of the agencies that could be forced to default on its obligations:


The House Republican budget has been officially unveiled, and the reviews aren’t pretty. It appears that the early predictions were correct: while the Republican budget includes no major surprises, it does offer plenty of disappointment. The reaction so far is that the Republican budget cannot be taken seriously, it offers more of the same, targets the most vulnerable and leaves us with unanswered questions.


“The Republican budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2014, which Chairman Ryan introduced this morning, once again heaps the burden of deficit reduction onto the backs of those who can least afford it while asking nothing of those at the top.  Yielding to the extreme wing of his party, which has demanded that he balance the budget in only ten years but refuses to consider any new revenues necessary to do so, Chairman Ryan flouts mathematics and fiscal common sense by imposing severe cuts to programs vital to seniors, women, veterans, federal employees, low-income families, and America’s middle class. 


In what is likely to be the latest installment in a tragic budgetary trilogy, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on Tuesday will introduce a Republican budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 that purports to balance within ten years. While an improved economic outlook and new revenue from the fiscal cliff deal make the task of balancing the budget somewhat easier, this plan, much like Ryan’s previous budgets, is expected to rely on spurious budget trickery to reach its goal.


Rep. Paul Ryan may not have officially unveiled his budget proposal yet, but he gave a pretty clear indication of his plans this weekend. As expected, it appears the Republican budget will be based on false realities, gimmicks, and rejected policies.


The reckless, across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester could have a disproportionate impact on critical programs that serve those in our nation’s most vulnerable communities. Instead of asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share by closing tax loopholes, Republicans have threatened many programs that seniors, working mothers, veterans, and many other Americans rely on.


Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) announced the creation of the new Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, and that he has appointed Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) to serve as its chair. The Task Force will work to raise the awareness of Members of Congress and the American people about the ongoing crisis of poverty, as well as the need for a comprehensive national effort to eradicate poverty and remove barriers to opportunity that prevent low-income Americans from reaching the middle class.


“I appreciate this opportunity to discuss the dangerous impact of the Ryan-Romney-Republican House budget on Medicare and the positive impact of the Affordable Care Act Democrats passed in 2010.


Funny how the closer we get to an election, the more vocal Republicans get in speaking out against their own Party’s budget plan introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan. The GOP’s draconian budget plan would end Medicare as we know it and slash the social safety net in order to provide tax breaks for the wealthiest among us. No wonder several prominent GOP members are already throwing the plan “under the bus.”

From Politico’s Huddle:


Mr. Speaker, the challenging times we live in force us to make difficult choices about our priorities. The reconciliation bill before us today is an example of choosing the wrong priorities.


Democrats are committed to a deficit reduction plan that asks all Americans to contribute their fair share and prevents sequestration from occurring through a balanced mix of spending cuts and revenues. Unfortunately, the Republican plan is not balanced and makes the wrong choices by ending the Medicare guarantee and targeting the most vulnerable among us, while cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires.


This week, Republicans will continue to outline additional details of their extreme budget that ends the Medicare guarantee, destroys jobs, and cuts taxes for the wealthy. In Committee hearings this week, Republicans are expected to lay out cuts that undermine health care coverage and target our federal employees in order to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy.


Today’s report by the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees demonstrates that both programs will continue to serve seniors and disabled Americans who rely on them well into the next decade. Because of the Affordable Care Act, which took significant steps to strengthen Medicare through cost savings and reforms that will improve quality and efficiency, the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund was extended by eight years. Further, as evidenced by a report released this morning by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act has also translated into savings and lower costs for Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers that will total $200 billion in savings through 2016. However, Congress must do more, and it has an obligation to protect Social Security and Medicare to ensure they remain strong for generations to come.


This week, Republicans are rolling out more specific details of their extreme budget that ends the Medicare guarantee, destroys jobs, and cuts taxes for the wealthy.  Committees are holding hearings on the specific spending cuts to critical programs that Republicans want to make in order to keep funding tax cuts for the wealthy.