116th Congress is the Most Pro-Retiree Congress in 9 Years
Still, more than half of the Senate and more than one-third of the House earned scores below 50%
Washington, DC – The Alliance for Retired Americans released its 2019 Congressional Voting Record, which scores each U.S. Senator and Representative on critical retirement security issues, today.
“Almost every elected official in Washington says they care about older Americans,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “This report considers numerous votes to determine who stood up for seniors last year, and who did not.”
Forty-two members of the U.S. Senate and 216 members of the House of Representatives earned perfect scores of 100 percent. However, 51 percent of senators and 45 percent of House members earned scores below 50 percent.
The annual report reviewed votes on 10 key Senate and House bills that affect the health and well-being of retirees. The votes included bills and amendments to lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices, protect people with pre-existing health conditions, ensure caregivers can take sick leave, protect pensions, and repeal the 40% excise tax on employer-sponsored health plans.
“These issues are important and the votes have real consequences for millions of older Americans. They will either strengthen or weaken retirement security for millions of people,” said Fiesta. “Retirees need to have this information to hold their elected officials accountable.”
Fourteen senators and 4 House members earned scores of 0 percent. They are: Senators John Barrasso (WY), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Mike Braun (IN), Mike Crapo (ID), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT), Mike Enzi (WY), John Kennedy (LA), James Lankford (OK), Mike Lee (UT), James Risch (ID), Ben Sasse (NE), Tim Scott (SC), and Pat Toomey (PA); and Reps. Justin Amash (MI), Dan Bishop (NC), Andy Harris (MD), and Gregory Murphy (NC).
The 2019 Congressional Voting Record is available online at https://retiredamericans.org/voting-record.
President Stretches Truth to its Breaking Point in Medicare Op-Ed
“Medicare for All” would Reduce Health Care Costs Overall
Statement from Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to Donald Trump’s Wednesday USA Today op-ed:
“President Trump’s op-ed published in USA Today is factually incorrect on multiple levels. While attacking the idea of Medicare for All, he falsely claims that Democrats are to blame for cuts to this important program. In fact, Medicare’s solvency was extended and benefits were expanded as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“The reality is that this administration and a Republican-controlled Congress are taking aim at Medicare to cover the whopping deficits created by the 2017 Tax Scam. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on September 17, 2018 plainly stated that so-called “entitlement” spending, code for Medicare and Social Security, would be cut in 2019.
“The President also claims that he would protect patients with pre-existing conditions and work to lower health insurance premiums. In fact, he has done the opposite. Rather than opposing the lawsuit brought by GOP attorneys general seeking to end those protections specified in the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration declined to defend the law in court. Health insurance premiums are on the rise, and credible experts agree that sabotaging the ACA directly adds to the cost increases. Seniors receive annual wellness exams and preventive screenings for diseases such as colorectal cancer, diabetes and many others without co-pays or deductibles, and prescription drug discounts, because of the ACA.
“The claim that Medicare for All will hurt seniors is simply untrue. Current versions of the Medicare for All bills include important new benefits for seniors, such as vision, dental and hearing coverage. They would also lower the cost of premiums and deductibles, lessening the financial burden that health care can bring to older Americans.
“President Trump has not defended or protected Medicare. Older Americans have good reason to be concerned about the future of Medicare if his advisers have their way, not if Medicare for All is enacted.”
Contact: David Blank, 202-637-5275 or firstname.lastname@example.org