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 our promise to American seniors. After a lifetime of work, Americans can count on the stability and security of reliable, dependable, high-quality health insurance. As a member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over much of the Medicare program, I am committed to making Medicare work for American seniors.
• I oppose efforts to cut or privatize Medicare to pay for deficits created by the Republican Tax Cut. 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 also do not believe that our deficits should be balanced on the backs of our Seniors. We cannot ask America’s seniors to pay for tax cuts for corporations and billionaires.
• I support expanding Medicare benefits to support our seniors. I believe that Medicare should cover basic services like vision, hearing and dental, and that we should be working to improve services in the Medicare program. I have authored several bills that would expand Medicare access to mental health providers like psychologists, access to Medical Nutrition Therapy for individuals diagnosed with eating disorders, and coverage for custom breast prosthetics for Medicare beneficiaries who undergo mastectomies.
America’s seniors are suffering under the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs in this country. No one should be forced to ration their medication or skip meals in order to afford the medication that keeps them alive and healthy. That is why I support a number of policy proposals aimed at reducing the prices of prescription drugs for our seniors:
• I support giving Medicare the authority to negotiate directly for prescription drug prices. This would allow Medicare to use its considerable negotiating power to get a better price for American Seniors.
• I support increasing the availability of generics, and ending pay-for-delay agreements wherein a brand name drug company pays a generic company to keep their product off the market.
• I support transparency in the prescription drug market and at the pharmacy counter. That is why I support ending pharmacist “gag clauses,” which prevent pharmacists from letting patients know if there is a cheaper, generic option available to them at the pharmacy counter.
More on Seniors
Washington, D.C. – April 29, 2017 marks the 100th day of President Trump’s presidency, a marker used for every President since Franklin Roosevelt. Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement regarding the impact of President Trump’s first one hundred days:
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: