Our seniors have given so much to our communities, and we have a responsibility to ensure that the benefits they have paid for their entire working life are there for them when they retire. Senator Menendez has made it a priority throughout his career in public service to help ensure that Social Security will be there to provide the retirement security seniors have earned, and to strengthen Medicare and provide access to affordable, quality health care, including comprehensive prescription drug coverage and support for family caregivers.
The retirement of baby boomers, increased life expectancy, and the rising cost of medical care are projected to place additional demands on tremendously successful programs like Social Security and Medicare, and we should address the challenge in a responsible, bipartisan way. That includes strengthening, not privatizing, Medicare or Social Security. By working together now, we can ensure that seniors well into the future are afforded the health care, the drug benefits, and the retirement protection they deserve.
- Fighting Social Security and Medicare Privatization. Helped lead the fight that overcame the 2005 effort to privatize Social Security as a member of leadership in the House of Representatives, and continuing to fight against recent efforts to turn Medicare into a private voucher system, which would increase costs to seniors by more than $6,000 a year.
- Supporting Medicare in Health Reform. Fought for free preventive services for seniors as part of health care reform. As a result, seniors on Medicare are able to access free preventive services, such as mammograms, prostate and colorectal cancer screenings, flu shots, and diabetes and cardiovascular screenings. In just the first eight months of 2012, 686,718 New Jersey seniors were able to receive at least one of these free preventive services, not only improving their quality of life, but saving our health care system money in future costs and complications associated with untreated illnesses. Additionally, seniors are already able to receive a 50 percent discount in their prescription medications if they fall into the “donut hole.” Since 2010, New Jersey seniors have saved more than $218.47 million on prescription drug costs, averaging $850 in savings per senior. By 2020, the “donut hole” will be closed entirely.
- Secured Temporary Property Tax Relief. Authored temporary property tax relief legislation in 2006, which eventually was enacted into law in 2008. This benefited homeowners in 2009 and 2010 who did not itemize on their Federal tax returns, benefiting primarily seniors on fixed incomes. Under the law, individual property taxpayers were able to take an additional standard deduction of $500 and joint filers were able to deduct $1,000 for state and local property taxes paid.
- Fighting Alzheimer's Disease
- Cosponsored the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (P.L. 111-375), which was signed into law on January 4, 2011, creating the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services to provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with recommendations to most efficiently and effectively focus research efforts into the disease, as well as the best treatment and care options for those suffering with the disease and their families.
- Continues to fight for critical funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and supports legislation to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating disease.
- Received Alzheimer’s Association’s Humanitarian Award in recognition of his ongoing work to improve federal response to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Promoting Caregiver Assistance. Authored the Caregiver Assistance and Relief Effort (CARE) Act, which would help families afford the cost of caring for ailing family members or loved ones by making long-term care more affordable. The legislation would provide tax credits to family caregivers; encourage individuals to plan for and invest in their own long-term care by offering a tax deduction for long-term care insurance; and increase funding for the existing National Family Caregiver Support Program, which supports a wide range of important services for seniors.
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