Congressman DeFazio is one of the few gerontologists serving in Congress. He has been active in issues that affect seniors and older working Americans for more than three decades, predating his tenure in Congress. He has consistently supported efforts to protect Social Security benefits for seniors and the long-term solvency of the program. He opposed the prescription drug reform bill that created the so-called doughnut hole, and he is a strong supporter of legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs. DeFazio serves as a member of the Congressional Seniors Task Force, a coalition of House Members committed to issues important to seniors.
2010 marks the 75th anniversary of Social Security, and today more people than ever depend on its benefits. We must continue to provide a guaranteed level of benefits which creates a safety net for retired workers. DeFazio is opposed to privatizing Social Security benefits. DeFazio has fought to guarantee a full cost-of-living adjustment and has offered a clear path to long-term fiscal solvency for Social Security.
The recently passed health care reform law strengthens Medicare for seniors. The law will immediately begin to phase out the donut hole under the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program to benefit more than 14,000 seniors in southwest Oregon that fall into the donut hole each year. The bill also boosts pay to doctors in Oregon who accept Medicare patients to improve to healthcare for seniors. The bill also eliminates billions in waste, fraud and abuse and streamlines services which will extend Medicare solvency by at least 9 years, to 2026.