The Presidential election is still far on the horizon, but the candidates are already letting voters know their positions on Medicare and the cost of prescription drugs; two subjects near and dear to supporters of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Also making the rounds this week was TSCL’s Legislative Liaison, Joseph Kluck. Mr. Kluck was in town to advance TSCL’s legislative agenda by meeting with multiple Congressional offices.
In a forum this week in Iowa four of the democratic presidential candidates, Former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, all expressed their desire to get a public option added to the Affordable Care Act to expand coverage to more Americans and to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
One of the hottest topics we’re sure to see on the campaign trail is the Medicare for All proposals. Supporters of a Medicare for All option believe that it will bring the U.S. to where many other industrialized nations are; universal healthcare. They believe it will save money and improve overall healthcare in the United States. Those who oppose Medicare for All believe that there are a myriad of other solutions to provide broader health care options to all Americans that will cost significantly less and provide similar outcomes. Republicans have supported comparable, but more incremental, approaches such as; adding a government insurance option but not eliminating all private coverage.
The high cost of prescription drugs was not only a topic of discussion among the democratic presidential candidates this week; it was also the focus of discussion in hill meetings that were attended by TSCL’s own Legislative Liaison, Joseph Kluck. Mr. Kluck visited offices of both Democrats and Republicans in the non-partisan fashion that TSCL is known for. In each office Joe asked that the Member take a look at the extraordinarily high cost of prescription drugs and the numerous pieces of legislation out there that, if passed, would help Americas’ seniors not have to choose between food and their medications. Bills such as the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act (H.R. 478 and S. 61), which is enjoying bipartisan support.
The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support continue to grow for these three bills this week, and we thank the new cosponsors for their support. In the months ahead, we will continue to advocate for the passage of the Social Security Fairness Act, the Social Security 2100 Act, and the Fair COLA for Seniors Act, and we urge Congress to pass this legislation this year.
For more progress updates or for more information about these issues, and other bills that would strengthen the Social Security program and make improvements to Medicare, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website or follow TSCL on Twitter.