The economic struggles of the past few years have been particularly hard on seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes. Congressman Pallone is committed to protecting the programs that seniors rely on, like Medicare and Social Security, while also making them stronger and more secure.
Congressman Pallone opposed a Republican budget that would end the Medicare guarantee and turn Medicare into a voucher system that would shift costs to seniors. Turning Medicare seniors over to the private insurance companies would break the underlying promise of the system and ultimately end up costing seniors more. Based on estimates, it would increase seniors’ health costs by over $6,000 each year.
Congress created Social Security as a promise to all Americans that they or their loved ones would have a source of income when they retired, were widowed, disabled, or had survivors. For the past 75 years, it has lived up to this promise and is not in trouble financially. Congressman Pallone opposes all efforts to privatize Social Security, and put seniors at rick financially.
Affordable Care Act
Seniors have benefitted significantly from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), co-authored by Congressman Pallone, which strengthens Medicare and provides cost-savings to seniors. All Medicare beneficiaries now have access to preventive care and services like annual wellness visits, mammograms and colonoscopies without any co-pay, coinsurance, or deductible. More than 32.5 million seniors nationwide received one or more free preventive services in 2011, including almost one million in New Jersey.
The ACA closes the infamous Medicare Part D “donut hole” and provides a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs. Since the law was enacted, New Jersey reisdents with Medicare have saved more than $237 million on drugs. In the first nine months of 2012, 117,713 people with Medicare received the 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount has resulted in an average savings of $881 per person.
By 2020 the law will close the donut hole.
Stopping Elder Abuse
Seniors lose a minimum of $2.5 billion each year to financial abuse. Congressman Pallone worked to pass the Elder Justice Act in 2010, a comprehensive elder abuse prevention law to protect seniors from elder abuse, which can come in many forms – including physical, emotional and financial.