Rep. Chu speaks with senior citizens at the AltaMed Health Services in El Monte.
Seniors are the bedrock of our communities. They have worked hard all their lives and built our nation. Now, like so many Americans, they are struggling and face particular challenges including high health care costs and income insecurity. America pioneered a social safety net to provide for people as they enter retirement – and they have earned it! We must never neglect that responsibility to our seniors.
I share seniors strong concerns about protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That’s why I have continually fought to protect these programs that provide vital resources for retirees who have worked hard and rely on them in their golden years.
Protecting Social Security
Eighty years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, creating an enduring promise to America’s seniors that the retirement program they paid into their entire working lives would provide them a stable source of income.
One of my top priorities is to preserve — not privatize — Social Security.
In an effort to protect Social Security from cuts and to strengthen it for years to come, I support:
• H.Res.393 – Resolution expressing support for policies to protect and expand Social Security and secure its long-term future in a fair and responsible manner. In my district, 108,000 seniors depend on Social Security, and I intend to make sure it’s always there for them and also for their children. With an average benefit of $1,188 a month, Social Security keeps beneficiaries in my district able to afford necessary expenses and maintain their independence in their golden years.
• The One Social Security Act (H.R. 3150)to prevent benefit cuts in 2016. Social Security's Disability Insurance Fund is set to start running out of money in late 2016, which would require a 20 percent cut in benefits and impact 11 million people. This is simply unacceptable. This bill would merge the two trust funds, Disability Insurance and Social Security, into a single trust fund covering all of Social Security. This action would prevent a benefit cut to all Social Security beneficiaries. I will continue to support legislation that puts seniors first and prevents benefit cuts.
Medicare is a bedrock promise to American seniors. After a lifetime of work, Americans can count on the stability and security of reliable, dependable, high-quality health insurance.
• I Oppose the Republican Budget Plans to End Medicare. Since 2011, Republicans have been including in their budgets plans to privatize Medicare through a voucher system, also known as “premium-support”. A voucher system would mean less benefits and higher out of pocket health care costs. Beneficiaries would receive a premium-support payment that may not completely offset the premium for the Medicare plan of their choice. This would leave many beneficiaries out in the dark as they struggle to figure out how they would foot their medical bills. This is clearly a terrible deal for seniors.
I voted against the Republican budget because i believe we need to support Medicare, not privatize it.
• I voted for H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This bill, which President Obama signed into law in April 2015, scraps the old Medicare payment system, known as the “sustainable growth rate,” or SGR, and phases in a new one meant to reward doctors who provide high-value care, not just high-volume care. This will ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to high-quality care and providers will continue to treat Medicare patients.
Health Care Reform for Seniors
Seniors and older Americans age 55 to 64 face unique and often daunting challenges in finding affordable, high-quality health care. Their costs tend to be higher than the rest of the country, they are more likely to have chronic conditions, and they are more likely to be denied care when they get sick. They also have to deal with insurance companies that charge older Americans substantially more for the same coverage as younger Americans — sometimes as much as 11 times more.
That’s why I voted in favor of the historic Affordable Care Act, which:
• Closes the Donut Hole: Health care reform gives seniors in the Medicare Part D prescription drug "donut hole" coverage gap a $250 rebate. And it later completely closes the dreaded donut hole, a coverage gap that is life-threatening for many.
• Provides Free Preventive and Wellness Care: Health care reform addresses many of the vulnerabilities seniors face in obtaining and paying for quality health care. One of the biggest reforms in the bill is free preventive and wellness care for all Medicare beneficiaries.
• Makes Seniors Healthcare More Affordable: Health care reform ends the insurance company practice of pricing people out of coverage because they have an existing health problem or arbitrarily limiting the amount of care someone can receive. It also makes insurance more affordable for seniors by limiting an insurance companies’ ability to charge higher premiums based solely on age.
• Extends Medicare’s Solvency: By reducing waste, fraud and abuse, and slowing the cost growth in health care, Medicare will be solvent. In fact, the 2015 report of Medicare's trustees finds that Medicare's trust fund will remain solvent through 2030.
More on Seniors
Accomplishments During the 114th Congress (2014-2016)
Bringing more federal resources to the San Gabriel Valley is one of my top priorities. This is why I partner with federal agencies to ensure that we have access to federal programs and funding that could benefit our region. I am proud to have worked with these agencies and the President’s Administration on the following initiatives.
PASADENA, CA – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement on the 81st anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act by President Franklin Roosevelt: