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The Latest News on Social Security and Medicare

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision to add his name to the growing roster of benefit cut candidates running in GOP Presidential primary offers little reassurance to millions of American families who are facing a retirement crisis. He doesn’t live up to his ‘Tell it like it is’ campaign slogan when he avoids the facts about the stability of Social Security and Medicare. 


Today’s historic Supreme Court ruling touches the lives of millions of Americans and their families in many ways.  It ends the discriminatory patchwork of laws that has given some same-sex partners legal rights that were denied to their neighbors in other states.  


Today’s Supreme Court decision impacts so many more Americans than just those in federal health exchanges created by Obamacare.  Thankfully, the Court’s ruling today preserves the many benefits and savings that Americans have received through the Affordable Care Act and avoids the damage that could have been done to our entire American health care system. 


In spite of all the political sleight of hand and twisting of the legislative process into a pretzel to pass the trade package, there is one clear lesson today:  Medicare does not belong in the trade debate.  Period. 


Political horse-trading in Washington is certainly nothing new. However, a deal brokered by House leaders that sets up a vote to cut Medicare as part of the trade package -- with a promise that Members of Congress can undo their vote later – shows just how disconnected Congress has become from the Americans who are actually impacted by these important decisions.  


On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse H.R. 1653, the “Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2015.”  It is our hope that action will be taken on this important issue during the current 114th Congress.


For too many years our nation’s most successful retirement and health security programs have been under almost constant assault by those who hope to cut these programs to pay for a myriad of other purposes – from tax cuts and deficit reduction to trade deals.  These attacks come at a time when 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, our nation faces a retirement crisis and the need for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Older Americans Act programs is growing. 


I am Max Richtman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and I appreciate the opportunity to submit this statement for the record.  With millions of members and supporters across America, the National Committee is a grassroots advocacy and education organization dedicated to preserving and strengthening safety net programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  These programs are the foundation of financial and health security for older Americans, but improvements are needed to ensure that beneficiaries receive the care they need and that they are protected from unwarranted out-of-pocket costs.


The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would provide Medicare coverage of a care-management planning session to help people who are newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members.  The session would improve outcomes for individuals and caregivers by providing them with information about available treatments and support services, which can improve the quality of life both for the Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.  S. 857 also would ensure that a dementia diagnosis and care plan is included in an individual’s medical record so all treating physicians could better manage their care.  


The Senate ‘Doc Fix’ vote has traded one bad policy for another...shifting the costs of Congress’ failed Medicare payment formula for physicians to seniors who can least afford to foot that bill.  Contrary to claims by supporters, on both sides of the aisle, this ‘doc fix’ will hit millions of seniors who aren’t ‘wealthy’ by any stretch of the imagination. 

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