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

This week, House Republicans will vote again for their budget that ends the Medicare guarantee and puts our economic recovery at risk, while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Back in their districts, it was poorly received by voters who are concerned about the impact of the budget.


But there is no balance in this proposal. Seniors, middle class, vulnerable, working Americans are asked to pay the price of this agreement. And, indeed, not only are they asked to pay the price, but the best-off among us is asked to do the least. That's not the America of which we are all proud that has worked together, sacrificed together at times, to come together to make a joint contribution to the welfare of this country.


The Democratic Whip’s office has created the following online quiz to show how the Republican budget will impact seniors, the middle class, working families, and the most vulnerable by refusing to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute.


The Chairman of the Budget Committee has spoken of a choice between two futures.  He is correct in framing it this way.  The budget he proposes would end the Medicare guarantee, cut taxes for the wealthiest, and place our economic recovery at risk. 


Last week, House Republicans put forward a more-of-the-same budget that ends the Medicare guarantee while protecting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and puts our economic recovery and jobs at risk. While Republicans were clear that they want to protect tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and place the burden of deficit reduction onto seniors, the middle class, working families, and the most vulnerable, their budget left several questions unanswered.


They have offered a budget that is somewhat a reprise of last year's. It savages Medicare, turns the guarantee into a higher cost, problematic benefit. We don't think that's what the American people want. Secondly, it makes again the tax disparities between our people even greater. It shifts resources from the middle class and poor to the wealthiest in America. It gives $150,000 additional tax cut to millionaires and doesn't say how you're going to pay for that, $10 trillion in additional tax cuts, which clearly means you're going to explode the deficit even more. They pretend they will cut out preference items. They also in that process severely undermine investments in our future, investments in education, investments in research, investments in growing jobs, investments in infrastructure. Clearly, with the result of diminishing the quality of our society in the long run, and don't get to balance.


Last week, House Republicans introduced a budget for fiscal year 2013 that is a repeat of the budget they put forward last year. It ends the Medicare guarantee while protecting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and according to the Economic Policy Institute, puts four million jobs at risk. Instead of pursuing a budget that creates jobs, strengthens entitlements, reduces the deficit in a balanced way, and asks all Americans to contribute their fair share, the Republican budget makes the wrong choices.


Today marks the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, a law that is already delivering greater access to high quality care, stronger patient protections, and more predictable health care costs to American families and businesses – all while reducing the deficit.  Today, insurance companies can no longer discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions – a protection that will extend to all Americans by 2014.  They can no longer impose arbitrary caps on coverage, charge women higher premiums than men for the exact same policies, or drop people from their plans when they get sick.  Medicare beneficiaries now pay less for their drugs and nothing for their preventive care, and their premiums have either held steady or outright declined.


Two years ago today, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It was a major step forward in our efforts to provide access to affordable health care to more Americans. Today, millions of Americans are already seeing the benefits.


Yesterday, Republicans unveiled a more-of-the-same budget for fiscal year 2013 that ends the Medicare guarantee while protecting tax cuts for the wealthy, and puts our economic recovery at risk. The Republican budget makes the wrong choices and places the burden of deficit reduction onto seniors, the middle class, working families, and the most vulnerable by refusing to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute. Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan called on the American people to make a choice between two futures for our nation. Here’s a look at our future under the Republican budget – and the future Democrats envision instead.


Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 165 million Americans with private insurance and 48 million seniors and disabled Americans with Medicare are experiencing better coverage and enjoying lower health care costs or seeing costs grow more slowly. 


The Republican budget introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan today is a repeat of last year’s budget: it once again ends the Medicare guarantee while protecting tax cuts for the wealthy.  It slashes investments in innovation, education, and infrastructure, which puts our economic recovery at risk and threatens American jobs.  It does not reduce the deficit in a responsible way, instead placing the burden of deficit reduction onto seniors, the middle class, working families, and the most vulnerable by refusing to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute.


Two years ago this month, President Obama signed health care reform into law, providing Americans with new patient protections and greater health care freedoms. While Republicans have voted 14 times to repeal patient protections and put insurance companies back in control of health care without a comprehensive plan of their own, Democrats are committed to protecting the benefits health care reform provides Americans.  


Over the past year, House Republicans have claimed over and over again that their focus is on jobs and the economy. Unfortunately, their record doesn’t match up with their rhetoric.


It is December 20th, and the Republicans are using it as a day to dissemble, pretending to support a tax cut for working Americans, while making it uncertain and delayed. We – of course, as we all know – could pass the Senate bill by 2pm today, send it to the President, and provide certainty to working Americans, come January 1st, that their taxes will not go up.


Today’s jobs report shows that we need to take action on jobs immediately. But after more than 300 days in the majority, Republicans have done little to address job creation despite their repeated claims that they would focus on Americans’ top priorities: creating jobs and growing the economy. However, Republican rhetoric doesn’t match their actions.


We here in the Democratic Whip Press Shop will leave the political analysis of last night’s Republican debate to the pundits, but a few comments from the current Governor of Texas certainly stood out.

Rick Perry made waves when he reiterated his belief that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme,” and a “monstrous lie.”


Republicans took the House majority six months ago and have done little to live up to the promises in their Pledge to America.


Forty five years ago today, President Johnson launched the Medicare program, providing safety and security to generations of America’s seniors. This bedrock program has provided coverage and retirement security to millions of seniors, including an estimated 39 million seniors in the program today.


Since launching the Medicare program on July 1, 1966, Democrats have fought to improve health care security for America’s seniors by ensuring reliable and affordable health care coverage. For forty-five years, Medicare’s guaranteed set of benefits and affordable premiums have improved health care coverage and quality of life for seniors substantially.


When Republicans took the House majority, they pledged to focus on creating jobs and growing the economy. But after six months, they still haven’t put forward a comprehensive jobs agenda. While Democrats are focused on the Make It In America agenda, a plan to support job creation and boost working families, Republicans are pursuing a partisan agenda that has the wrong priorities.


It’s clear Republicans haven’t lived up to their pledge to focus on job creation in the past, but we hope, for the sake of the American people, that this summer is different. Democrats stand ready to work with Republicans so that we can create jobs, grow the economy and enact a plan to reduce the deficit.


Yesterday, House Republicans voted in lockstep to deem the Republican budget passed. Their budget makes the wrong choices—ending Medicare and raising costs for seniors while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.


After this week’s stunning electoral upset in Western New York, Republicans have gone into overdrive trying to defend their misguided budget plan to end Medicare as we know it and more than double costs for seniors.