Notes from Joe: My Plan to Protect Seniors
As I looked out during my speech last week in South Florida, I was happy to see Carl Schechter — 93 years young and a pillar of his community.
Carl’s story is quintessentially American. He came to this country as an immigrant and fought honorably during World War II. Sixty-seven years ago, he met his sweetheart, Anita, and they now have four children and seven grandchildren.
But this pandemic has turned Carl and Anita’s lives upside down. They now spend most of their time at home. It’s difficult to even spend time with family and friends.
It breaks my heart to think of all the parents and grandparents who haven’t seen their loved ones in months. To think about the seniors worried about making their next rent payment — or whether or not they can purchase their prescription. To think about the 8 out of 10 people who have died from COVID-19 were older than 65.
What makes this all even more heartbreaking is it didn’t have to be this bad. We’re suffering because President Trump failed to act — because he cares more about the stock market than the well-being of our seniors.
It’s become painfully clear that the only senior that Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump.
When it comes to looking out for our seniors, the contrast in this election couldn’t be clearer.
Donald Trump doesn’t care about lowering health care costs because he is beholden to the health insurance industry and the drug companies.
At this very moment, he’s asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act. If he gets his way, it would put the Medicare Trust Fund at risk and eliminate seniors’ ability to get recommended preventive services like annual check-ups and mammograms for free under Medicare. And prescription drug prices for millions of older Americans would increase.
Let’s be clear: Donald Trump has had almost four years to lower drug prices, but he failed to act. In fact, when the House of Representatives passed a bill that would bring down prescription drug costs across the board, Trump threatened to veto it.
Instead, this president championed a bill that gave pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars in tax breaks. Those same companies then turned around and raised prices on the medicines Americans rely on to stay healthy. It’s just plain wrong.
But Trump’s attacks on seniors don’t end there — he’s even pledged to “terminate” the tax that funds Social Security. The Social Security Actuary says this could bankrupt Social Security in just a few years.
All this president does is play games with people’s lives and families’ futures.
As president, I will always support seniors.
I’ll take on pharmaceutical companies — and allow Medicare to use its enormous bargaining power to negotiate the price of prescription drugs for seniors and give all Americans access to those lower prices. An independent analysis found that my plan will slash the cost of prescription drugs by 60%.
Kamala and I will defend and strengthen Medicaid and Medicare — two critical programs that are a lifeline for millions of seniors, vulnerable Americans, and those with disabilities.
My plan also makes bold investments so states can finally help seniors who have signed up for home and community care through Medicaid. 800,000 people are waiting for a phone call back. We need to clear this waiting list.
And mark my words: a Biden-Harris Administration will protect Social Security and increase benefits for millions of seniors. From day one, we’ll work to safeguard the retirement savings and pensions that hard-working Americans have earned and deserve.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Donald Trump is unfit to protect you and your loved ones.
He did nothing to contain the virus. He refuses to trust the scientists around him. And he still has no plan.
You deserve better.
Kamala and I have a comprehensive, science-backed plan to defeat this virus. We’ll ramp up testing, build a national contact-tracing workforce, implement national mask mandates, and ensure the vaccine is widely accessible and safe.
We can and will end this pandemic and support our seniors.
We’re the United States of America, and there’s not a single thing we can’t do when we do it together.