Pallone Talks with Seniors at Piscataway Senior Center

Mar 23, 2015 Issues: Health Care, New Jersey, Seniors

On ACA Anniversary, Highlights Threats Posed to Medicare by GOP Budget

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) met with Piscataway seniors to discuss issues important to them.  One issue addressed was the threat posed to seniors’ health care in the latest Republican budget, which seeks to privatize Medicare, converting it into a voucher program. Congressman Pallone, who vowed to protect Medicare's guarantee of benefits and safeguard these critical programs from cuts, also highlighted the improvements that have been made to care for seniors thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law five years ago today.

“Seniors who have worked hard all their lives deserve to have the security of knowing they will have comprehensive health coverage when they need it,” said Congressman Pallone. “However, the latest Republican budget once again forces seniors to pay more for significantly less care.  We have a responsibility to all seniors to ensure that Medicare's historic record of success is respected and preserved, not dismantled for the purpose of budgetary gimmicks.”

The latest House Republican budget ends the Medicare guarantee for future retirees and would increase prescription drug costs for more than 4.3 million seniors, including 192,000 seniors in New Jersey. 

“Five years ago, the ACA was signed into law and, in the five years since, millions of Americans have benefitted from expanded health care access, lower health care costs, and protections from the insurance industry's most abusive practices,” added Pallone.  “Apparently, 56 failed attempts to repeal or undermine health reform is not enough for House Republicans.  Now, they're using their latest budget to undermine guaranteed coverage, passing on these costs to our nation's seniors—many of whom are living on fixed incomes.”

The Republican budget undoes improvements made to health coverage for seniors thanks to the ACA and increases costs to current seniors by repealing improvements made to Medicare benefits in the historic health care law.  Since the ACA was enacted, 9.4 million seniors have saved more than $15 billion on prescription drugs, thanks to a provision in that law that closes the Part D coverage gap, commonly known as the “donut hole.” 

Pallone visited with seniors during lunch, which is provided by the Center through the Senior Meal Program.  The Senior Meal Program is available for Middlesex County seniors aged 60 and older and is provided, in part, by federal funds.  Lunch is served Monday through Friday at the Piscataway Senior Center, as well as seven other locations throughout Middlesex County, for the affordable price of $2.25 per meal.  Each dining location in the County sponsors guest lecturers, holiday parties, health screenings, entertainment, and a unique social atmosphere for attending seniors.