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Public Statements

Issue Position: Senior Citizens

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Protecting Medicare and Social Security from insolvency for seniors today and our children tomorrow is a top priority for Congressman Pascrell.

Since its creation in 1965, Medicare has dramatically increased insurance coverage, improved access to care, and has saved millions of lives. In 2003, a bill to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare was forced through Congress and signed by the White House. Bill believes this program is wholly inadequate and is appalled that potential cost of this misguided program will reach $1.2 trillion. A large part of this cost can be attributed to the fact that the new law does nothing to address the high price of drugs. Bill believes that seniors deserve a plan that will ensure that they have access to every available drug and provide needed catastrophic coverage. While voluntary, reliable, and guaranteed, most importantly, Bill feels that this plan should make prescription drugs affordable and within Medicare. Any other plan would mean the potential demise of the Medicare program as we know it.

The solvency of Medicare is not the only threat. The baby boom generation has presented challenges to the nation's ability to finance Social Security, a program that has allowed generations of retirees to live with independence and dignity. American families work hard and pay into the system -- they should be able to count on Social Security when they retire. Continually working for the protection of Social Security, Bill has fought against legislation which threatened its solvency. While the Administration has proposed the creation of private accounts within the Social Security system, Bill strongly opposes the privatization of Social Security. This would force deep benefit cuts, increase risk factors, put the nation further into debt, and remove the guarantee that Social Security provides.

Bill also recognizes the changing needs of today's senior population and is supporting new ways to provide the best for our elders. For the majority of seniors who choose not to live in an institutional setting, Bill has been a strong proponent of community based care providing a range of services from coordinated health care to social and housing services in order to promote independence and healthy aging in place. An important part of maintaining independence is mobility. After serving on the House Transportation Committee for ten years, Congressman Pascrell is a strong supporter of increasing transportation access and opportunities for seniors.

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