Democrats are steadfast advocates for America’s seniors, their peace of mind, and the issues they care about— including retirement security, Medicare, and the high cost of prescription drugs. While Democrats strongly support Social Security and Medicare and oppose efforts to privatize them, President Trump and Congressional Republicans are proposing to drain the Medicare Trust Fund and undermine Social Security.
For years, Democrats have worked to ensure the strength and long-term solvency of those vital programs, so that they can support not just today’s seniors, but the generations to come. Democrats improved and modernized the Social Security program by investing in technology to enable the Social Security Administration to more efficiently process the increasing number of retirees and claims, and by improving the speed and quality of services for retirees. Last Congress, Democrats in Congress helped reauthorize the Older Americans Act, which provides help to seniors including funding vital programs like Meals on Wheels.
Democrats also consistently fight to strengthen the Medicare program and help ensure that seniors can see their doctors. The Affordable Care Act extended the fiscal solvency of the Medicare program, while improving Medicare benefits, nursing home care, and chronic disease coverage, and reining in waste, fraud, and abuse. The law also lowers prescription drug costs for seniors by offering discounts of up to 50 percent on prescriptions for those in the Part D coverage gap, and closing the coverage hole completely over the next several years.
In contrast, President Trump and Republicans in Congress supported legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that would discriminate against older Americans, forcing millions off of their coverage and drastically increasing health care costs for millions more. TrumpCare also cut Medicaid by $800 billion, jeopardizing access to long-term care for seniors in nursing homes, as well as home- and community-based health care services.
Democrats’ priorities stand in stark contrast to the Republican budget that makes the wrong choices and attempts to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. We are committed to protecting and strengthening programs that assist seniors and support a balanced approach to deficit reduction that will strengthen the solvency of our entitlements and protect America’s seniors.
In what is likely to be the latest installment in a tragic budgetary trilogy, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on Tuesday will introduce a Republican budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 that purports to balance within ten years. While an improved economic outlook and new revenue from the fiscal cliff deal make the task of balancing the budget somewhat easier, this plan, much like Ryan’s previous budgets, is expected to rely on spurious budget trickery to reach its goal.