October 08, 2020

Trump’s Transparent Election-year Bribe to Seniors Will Cause Permanent Damage to Medicare

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding President Trump’s $7.9 billion plan to give Medicare beneficiaries a card in the mail worth $200 to help pay for prescription drugs:

“The details of President Trump’s attempt to bribe seniors, revealed today by Politico, are shocking. Americans will still pay the highest prescription drug costs in the world.

“The President is actually gutting Medicare – to the tune of $7.9 billion – in a desperate attempt to try and buy seniors’ votes. The cruel irony of this scheme is that part of the funding comes from an Affordable Care Act (ACA) program, which Donald Trump right now is trying to kill in the Supreme Court.

“I just wonder how Postmaster Louis DeJoy can deliver 39 million of these letters before November 3 when he told the country he can’t guarantee delivery of ballots in time to be counted.

“Older Americans have paid into Medicare for decades. They have earned their health benefits over a lifetime of hard work. Jeopardizing guaranteed health benefits for a one-time debit card is a deal no senior would make. The Trump scheme, however, gives them no choice and all Americans will pay the price for years to come.

“Of course, this paltry payment won’t even make a dent in the amount seniors spend on their health care. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average senior spends more than $5,000 out of pocket each year.

“If President Trump actually cared about the health of older Americans, he would have contained the COVID-19 pandemic, required Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors, and supported the ACA — not have tried to kill the ACA.  President Trump has had nearly 4 years to lower drug prices, and he has failed. Seniors are smart enough to know what this Administration has done to them and will remember that when they vote.”

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Contact: David Blank, dblank@retiredamericans.org

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