March 02, 2022
President Biden Addresses Retirees’ Needs at State of the Union: Lower Prescription Drug Prices, Voting Rights, Safer Nursing Homes
The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday:
“President Biden had seniors’ interests at the top of his priorities list last night during his State of the Union address.
“Noting that Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, he continued to push for allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, as the Veterans Administration and Medicaid programs do. Capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month will also be a welcome and necessary change. Congress should direct Medicare to take the $450 billion in savings from drug negotiations savings and use it to expand benefits for vision, dental and hearing.
“As of December 2021, legislators in 19 states have enacted 34 laws with provisions that severely restrict voting access. As President Biden said, Congress must pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to ensure that seniors’ voices are heard at the ballot box.
“We also fully support President Biden’s call for higher standards for nursing homes, including providing a sufficient number of staff who are adequately trained to provide high-quality care, and withholding taxpayer dollars from poorly performing facilities that offer improper and unsafe care.
“President Biden is all too aware that several measures have stalled in the Senate after House passage. That is why he called for passing the PRO Act, which will allow workers to join a union without facing corporations’ unnecessary impediments, and for increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, which would mean higher Social Security benefits for seniors upon retirement.
“The House has already passed bills that would lower prescription drug prices, protect voting rights, make the PRO Act the law of the land and raise the minimum wage. We call on the U.S. Senate to listen to President Biden and follow suit.”
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