Congressman talks Medicare, Social Security and prescription drug costs with seniors in Utica
Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) visited North Utica Senior Citizens Center to host an older Americans town hall. Brindisi visited with the older Americans about issues of importance to them including the cost of prescription drugs, the stability of Social Security, and his efforts to protect Medicare.
“I take the title of ‘representative’ seriously – that means being open and accessible and meeting with people in every community to make sure their voices are heard,” Brindisi said. “Some older people are unable to travel for more traditional town halls so I make it a priority to visit senior centers and homes across Upstate New York.
“Seniors know that I will never stop fighting to bring down prescription drug costs and strengthen Medicare and Social Security.”
Last year, Brindisi joined Democrats and Republicans to pass bipartisan prescription drug reform legislation through the House of Representatives. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would allow Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies and cap out-of-pocket costs for the millions of Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D.
According to AARP, the average annual cost of prescription drugs rose nearly 58 percent between 2012 and 2017. Prices in 2019 increased for 3,400 drugs on the market, with an average price increase of 10.5 percent, a rate roughly five times the inflation rate. In New York’s 22nd Congressional district alone, H.R. 3 would help lower out-of-pocket costs for the 117,000 people enrolled in Medicare Part D and another 467,000 who have private health insurance. It would also allow Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to increase competition and bring costs down for patients. H.R. 3 would lower the cost of prescription drugs from cancer medication to insulin.
Additionally, Brindisi touted legislation he helped introduce to bring down the cost of prescription drugs. Brindisi worked with Republican Congressman John Joyce (PA-13) to introduce the Ensuring Timely Access to Generics Act (H.R. 2455), a bipartisan bill to crack down on tactics used by pharmaceutical companies to delay generic drugs from coming to market.
Last week, Brindisi fought to protect older Americans from age discrimination by passing the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. The bipartisan legislation lowers the burden of proof for age discrimination cases. Currently, older Americans face a tougher burden of proof for age discrimination than other employment discrimination cases. According to census data, New York’s 22nd congressional district is slightly older than New York State average. Many older Americans are facing discrimination in the workplace. According to AARP, 6 in 10 older workers have experienced or seen age discrimination in the workplace.
In 2019, Brindisi held a town hall in every county in New York’s 22nd district. He plans to do so again in 2020. Earlier this week, he held two town halls in Broome County. If you are a senior and are interested in having Congressman Brindisi visit your community, email firstname.lastname@example.org.