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

Last night, voters in Western New York sent a clear message that the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it is the wrong choice. But today, Senate Republicans chose to ignore that message and instead voted for the Republican budget that does not balance and puts insurance company bureaucrats in charge of seniors’ health care – a move that will more than double seniors’ health care costs.


This week, Senate Republicans vote on the Republican budget that makes the wrong choices for how to address our nation’s deficits: it ends Medicare as we know it, raises costs for seniors, and gives tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.


But though Hoyer called for compromise, he minced no words calling out Republicans for their refusal to support using increases in tax revenue, achieved by tax reform, to help close the deficit gap. He suggested that Republicans still believe that tax cuts are ‘a fiscal and economic cure-all,’ despite the economic growth experienced under higher tax rates during the Clinton administration and the assertions of economists that the Bush administration’s tax policy is a major driver of the national debt.


If the United States fails to pay the bills it has incurred, it ‘would be a financial disaster not only for our country, but for the world economy.’ Those are the words of Speaker Boehner in January...


Budgets are about values and priorities – and the Republican budget makes the wrong choices, financing tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans on the backs of seniors and the disabled.


"In recent days, we have seen starkly contrasting budget plans. The plans put forward by President Obama and House Democrats are balanced approaches to getting our country out of debt while protecting investments in job creation and the future of our economy. But the Republican plan has a higher priority than balancing the budget or investing in our future or looking out for working families—its highest priority is cutting taxes even further for the wealthiest Americans...


Well, I thought the President's speech was an excellent speech and what he essentially outlined was the vision that he sees going forward. First of all, he recognized that the deficit is a critical problem we must confront but we must confront it according to the President, and I agree with him, within the framework of the values that we hold dear in this country. And that is, as your previous discussion indicated, making sure that we take care of one another. He did contrast his vision with that of the Republican budget offered by Mr. Ryan, the Budget Chairman in the House, a vision which gets to the same objective of cutting $4 trillion in spending and getting toward balanced budgets but also indicated it should not be in the context of doing away with Medicare as we know it, substantially putting those on Medicaid at great risk by eliminating its guarantees, by cutting such programs as Head Start and other early education and investment in the education of our children so we will be competitive internationally; and at the same time, giving $1 trillion worth of tax cuts to the wealthiest in Americaa.


Today, President Obama outlined a fiscally-responsible plan that would reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. It subjects our entire budget, including defense spending, to the scrutiny we need to find savings. And it calls for a fairer, simpler tax code that would mean lower rates for businesses and families.


This week, the House will consider the Republican budget proposal for fiscal year 2012. Budgets are about choices, and the Republican budget makes the wrong ones. Democrats believe we can reduce the deficit while also protecting investments that grow the economy and create jobs. It’s not a question of whether we should reduce the deficit, but how we reduce it. The Republican budget proposes we balance the budget on the backs of the working families and seniors by cutting important investments in our future, ending Medicare as we know it and dismantling Medicaid.


Republicans had a clear opportunity to live up to their promises of a fair and open process in the 112th Congress with the consideration of their Patient’s Rights Repeal Bill. By all accounts the broke that promise, refusing to allow any Democratic amendments and bringing it straight to the Floor without committee consideration. With virtually no discussion of the consequences, Republicans are bringing to a vote a bill that takes away the new freedoms that Americans have in their health care and takes us back to the days where insurance companies can deny care if you have a pre-existing condition, cancel coverage when you get sick and arbitrarily limit the amount of care you receive.


I am pleased that today the House passed a year-long extension of the current Medicare physician payment rates and will now send the bill to the President’s desk for his signature. While this legislation will provide seniors with the security of continued access to the physician of their choice and our physicians with at least one full year of SGR relief, this remains a long-term problem that requires a permanent solution. It is my hope that we will revisit this problem in the coming months and that Republicans will join our efforts to secure a long-term solution.


I am pleased that today the House passed a one-month extension of the current Medicare physician payment rates and will now send the bill to the President’s desk for his signature.


Tonight, the Senate passed a one month extension of the current Medicare physician payment rates. It is my intention to schedule this bill for consideration when the House reconvenes on November 29th, so we can send it to the President's desk prior to the November 30th expiration date of current SGR relief.


The Republicans unveiled their "Pledge to America" last week and, just as we thought, it contained no new ideas and was a return to the "exact same" failed agenda as President Bush. Their agenda to return to their previous policies makes it clear who they stand with—big corporations and special interests, instead of middle class families.

If Republicans are serious about governing responsibly, they have an odd way of showing it. And for politicians who purport to hate the deficit -- odder still. The House Republicans' "Pledge to America," unveiled with fanfare Thursday at a Sterling hardware store, mixes irresponsible tax cuts with implausible spending caps and unspecified actions to control entitlement spending. The resulting concoction is a profile in cowardice.

Today, Republicans unveiled their agenda to give insurance companies control over Americans' health care. They have no real reform plan to rein in costs and protect patients. In fact, Republicans would take us back to the status quo of skyrocketing health care costs and unfair insurance practices.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — President Obama's $787 billion stimulus — has been marketed as a jobs bill, and that's how it's been judged. The White House says it has saved or created about 3 million jobs, helping avoid a depression and end a recession. Republicans mock it as a Big Government boondoggle that has failed to prevent rampant unemployment despite a massive expansion of the deficit. Liberals complain that it wasn't massive enough.
"For 75 years, Social Security has stood as an unbroken promise to America's seniors: that after a lifetime of hard work, they have the assurance that they can retire with real security. Where many seniors were once faced with a life of poverty, for the last 75 years they have instead been able to lead a life of dignity.
Statements celebrating social security anniversary from House and Senate leadership.
"Today's report shows that as a result of the health care reform law, Medicare will remain solvent for an additional 12 years beyond what was projected last year. Congress must remain committed to achieving the cost savings laid out in the health care reform law, so that we ensure Medicare remains available for seniors for years to come.
Today marks the 45th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid—two essential programs that have brought better health, security, and peace of mind to generations of seniors and families in need.

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, two programs Democrats have long supported.

For 75 years, Social Security has been more than a retirement program: it has meant dignity, security, and peace of mind for generations of our seniors.

In the longer term, they should heed the example of House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who gave a brave speech this week not only setting out the fiscal challenge but offering specific, credible suggestions for savings.