January 23, 2019
The Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Roybal-Allard:
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. 576, the “Seniors Have Eyes, Ears and Teeth Act.” It is our hope that action will be taken on your legislation during the current 116th Congress.
The “Seniors Have Eyes, Ears and Teeth Act” would help millions of Medicare beneficiaries who need vision, hearing and dental care, which is not covered by Medicare. Paying for these services is a hardship for many Medicare beneficiaries, half of whom lived on incomes below $26,200 per year in 2016. In that same year, Medicare households spent on average 14 percent of their income, over two times more than younger households, on Medicare cost sharing and for services not covered by Medicare.
Routine dental services are very important to the overall health of Medicare beneficiaries, and today, many Medicare beneficiaries suffer isolation and severe health problems because they cannot afford to pay for vision and hearing examinations or to buy eyeglasses or hearing aids. For these reasons, the National Committee’s current Legislative Agenda includes support for expanding Medicare benefits to cover vision, hearing and dental health services and equipment, which are important for healthy aging.
Thank you for your leadership on this important issue. We look forward to working with you to secure enactment of the “Seniors Have Eyes, Ears and Teeth Act,” which would improve the Medicare program for today’s seniors as well as future generations of beneficiaries.
President and CEO