Social Security has proven to be a very successful program, keeping millions of Americans from suffering extreme poverty in their retirement.
Cuts to Medicare that were included in Obamacare, and the failure to enact long-term reform to Medicare’s physician payment system will be detrimental to seniors, as some doctors will find it too expensive to continue to provide care to Medicare patients.
I believe that there are common-sense approaches to addressing Medicare’s long-term financing challenges. We can start with reforms that target waste and fraud in the system.
I strongly support efforts to make prescription drugs more affordable and preserve beneficiary access for Medicare Part D.
Burdensome federal regulations are making access to our domestic energy sources more difficult and expensive. Higher energy prices means higher prices on food, gas, medicines, and the cost of housing, which is placing financial hardships on America’s seniors.
While the cost of many goods has decreased, many staples in senior lives have not. In particular, health care costs and energy costs continue to take a bigger and bigger bite out of many folks' Social Security benefits.
I believe that because the number of retired workers is projected to double in less than 30 years as baby-boomers enter retirement age, it is vital that we take action to improve and strengthen health care for current and future retirees.
Introduced the bipartisan Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act (H.R. 1939) with Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) to allow any willing pharmacy located within medically underserved or health professional shortage areas, like our rural communities in Southwest Virginia, to participate in Medicare Part D preferred networks. While Medicare Part D preferred pharmacy network plans were designed to make prescription drugs more affordable for beneficiaries, these plans have created confusion for seniors and put community pharmacies at a competitive disadvantage. Some seniors, especially in rural areas, have reported having to travel upwards of 20 miles in order to get their medications from a preferred pharmacy network because their local community pharmacy was not given the opportunity to participate in such a network. For me, this is an issue of fairness for all those who make their home in rural America.
Original co-sponsor of and voted for the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 849), which would permanently repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB is a 15-member board of non-elected officials charged with recommending Medicare spending reductions. This would result in bureaucrats, not doctors, making health decisions for seniors.
Many seniors like to use their local pharmacies because they have seen their pharmacist for years. However, community pharmacists have been increasingly charged retroactive fees (DIR fees) after prescriptions are filled, which hurts, and sometimes destroys, their business. A majority of these pharmacists said they receive no information about when DIR fees will be collected or their size, while many also noted that DIR fees can total thousands of dollars each month. In response to this, I introduced the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Spending Act (H.R. 1038), which would ensure our community pharmacists receive reimbursement at the rate posted at the time the prescription is filled. This bill would make it so pharmacists know exactly what they're getting paid when you get your prescriptions filled.