Congressman Tim Bishop came out to the North Fork on Feb. 23 to talk with seniors on a variety of tops, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Speaking before a group of more than 100 at the Southold Town Human Resource Center in Mattituck, Mr. Bishop said he supports a bill that he hopes will give seniors a more accurate cost of living increase in future years. Social Security is paying out a 3.6 percent cost of living increase this year after being stagnant for two years due to the slump in the consumer price index (CPS) during the recession,
Mr. Bishop said the CPI doesn’t take into account the rising cost of health care, which makes up the majority of seniors’ expenses. He said the bill will create a separate consumer price index for seniors based on their typical expenses.
He added that he will continue to oppose legislation that would give people under age of 55 a voucher to subsidize the cost of private insurance once they turn 65 in place of their Medicare entitlement.
Medicare’s purpose, he said, is for the government to bear the higher cost of health care for seniors, and a voucher system would prove to be very costly for American citizens.
Mr. Bishop also assured seniors that a provision in the Affordable Health Care Act that will give seniors a 50 percent discount on prescription medications while they are in the Medicare Part D prescription drug “donut hole” will go into effect this year.
The donut hole is a gap in coverage that occurs once a senior has run up $2,830 in covered prescription drug expenses, after which they pay out-of-pocket until their total reaches $4,550.
Read more from the event in next week’s paper.