Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) met with seniors at Matisse in Belmar, NJ to discuss the future of Medicare, Social Security and the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The lawmakers also talked about Republican efforts to end the Medicare guarantee and reopen the Medicare Part D "donut hole" by repealing the ACA. Pallone and Menendez were joined by Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty.
"Republicans in Congress have launched an all-out assault on seniors," said Pallone. Whether it's through their budget, which ends Medicare as we know it and turns it into a voucher program, or their attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has done so much to make health care more affordable for seniors, Republican policies are hurting seniors. Senator Menendez and I will continue to fight to maintain the programs that are so critical for New Jersey's seniors."
"Respecting seniors in this country means protecting Medicare and Social Security, not cutting them so we can give tax breaks to Big Oil Companies and tax cuts to billionaires who don't need them. I will continue to do all I can in Washington and here at home to keep our promise to seniors." said Menendez.
The Republican House Majority recently passed a budget that slashes $1 trillion from Medicare over the next decade and ends the Medicare guarantee, shifting costs to seniors by privatizing the program and creating a voucher system. Based on estimates, this would increase seniors' health costs by over $6,000 each year.
The Affordable Care Act, which was eliminated in the Republican House budget, has already resulted in real benefits for New Jersey's seniors. Almost a million New Jersey seniors have taken advantage of free preventative health services now covered under Medicare, such as colonoscopies and mammograms. New Jersey seniors also saved more than $95 million on prescription drugs in 2011 because of discounts provided for in the health care law.