Higgins Calls for Protection of Medicare
Apr 18, 2012
Congressman Brian Higgins spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives calling for the protection of the Medicare program which provides health and prescription coverage to over 250,000 Western New York seniors.
(Video available at: https://youtu.be/9R7cB8jC1JY)
Below is the text of Congressman Higgins’ remarks:
“Mr. Speaker, on Monday I met in Western New York at the Cheektowaga Senior Center where the discussion centered around the future of Medicare.
“Prior to the creation of Medicare in 1965 only 50 percent of seniors had health insurance because they were seen by insurance companies as too risky.
“Today Medicare is a lifeline to affordable prescription medications and accessible preventative care for seniors across the nation including over 100,000 beneficiaries in my district alone.
“Now some want to change the program to instead give our seniors a voucher that forces them to go out into the market on their own to try to obtain insurance. Our parents and grandparents deserve better.
“Medicare provides one of the most important guarantees in our society – the guarantee that if you are an older American and you get sick, you will get the care that you need without going broke. This is an American promise worth fighting to protect."
New York has the 3rd highest number of Medicare Beneficiaries in the Country , over 3 million people. Only Florida with over 3.3 million beneficiaries and California with 4.8 million beneficiaries ranks higher. The number of local Medicare recipients by county (March 2011) breaks down as follows:
- Chautauqua: 27,202
- Erie: 174,015
- Niagara: 43,229.
Higgins voted against the Ryan Budget proposal which eliminates the Medicare guarantee. Last fall Congressman Higgins wrote a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction calling for consideration of an effort to negotiate lower drug prices through the Medicare program, a change that could save the nation as much as $200 billion over the next 10 years.