US Rep. Niki Tsongas told a group of Marlborough seniors Thursday that the Affordable Care Act will make health care less expensive and more readily available to those who need it.
Tsongas said "Obamacare," the common moniker for the health care legislation, created a number of ways in which health services are enhanced for seniors and will create efficiencies nationwide.
"There are many aspects of the Affordable Care Act that say, "How can we save money?" she said. Much of the initial legwork is in information-gathering on possible ways to streamline the system, like identifying instances in which generic medications can be provided at a much lower cost that brand name drugs and will achieve the same results.
Tsongas, speaking to about a dozen seniors at the Senior Center, said the system will also adopt electronic record-keeping, which, while expensive to implement at first, will improve communication between medical specialists and will cut down on redundant services.
"The goal, again, is to keep people well, to make sure they have great care, but not pay duplicate costs," she said.
Tsongas is the current congresswoman for the Fifth Congressional District. Due to redistricting, the district shifts to the new Third in January, which will include Marlborough. She will face the winner of Sept. 6 Republican congressional primary, either John Golnik and Tom Weaver.
Tsongas said that for seniors, many preventative procedures and services no longer require copays, which she said is an added cost up front, but will prevent illnesses going on undetected and will save money in the long run.
Tsongas said the legislation is the best way to create efficiencies as the massive baby-boomer generation ages and requires more medical care.
"I am the first of the baby boomers," she said. "There are a lot of us coming after.
One Marlborough resident, Richard Busa, told Tsongas that he was sick of politicians "talking about Social Security as an entitlement."
Tsongas said that Social Security will remain viable, but said legislators need to figure out ways to ensure its solvency without privatization.
"I am fundamentally opposed to any effort to privatize Social Security," she said.