Intro

Experience begets wisdom, and we’d be foolish to forget it. Our country is a multi-generational family, and we must take care of everyone in it. Aging is the one inevitability we all share. It’s our responsibility to protect and promote the needs of our older populations.

 

Our Goals

  • Protect Social Security and Medicare. 
  • Reduce the incidence of forced retirement and its consequences.
  • Support the increased demand for home healthcare, and the workers joining this ever-growing field, while reforming problematic nursing homes. 
  • Reduce the price of prescription drugs and ensure the safety of generics.

 

Why

While age and experience grant us so much, they also introduce new costs and burdens on our lives. If you are 65 or older, there’s an 87% chance you’re taking prescription drugs1. The average out-of-pocket expense for seniors is $456 per year, compared to $177 for all adults. In fact, up to 26% of seniors skip or ration their prescription medication due to cost, which is worse for those with chronic conditions2. And with questions being raised about the reliability of generic drug supply chains3, we must ensure the availability of safe low-cost generics.  

 

As our aging populations live longer, there’s also a greater demand for home healthcare. Economic conditions mean working families have less time to care for their elders, and home healthcare will be a necessary form of support that can actually save Medicare money by preventing hospital and acute care visits4. Home Healthcare would provide a safe and welcome alternative to private equity-owned nursing homes that, in the name of profit, drastically reduce quality of care5 6

 

What makes these costs worse is that the older we get, the more at risk we are for forced retirement, which while technically illegal, still happens across the country in the form of layoffs and staff reductions. A majority of workers over 50 experience involuntary job loss, and most do not make as much money if reemployed7. Beyond the obvious disruption of expected income and savings (retirement age impacts the amount one claims from social security8), forced retirement can lead to considerable mental health problems down the road. 

 

How We Plan to Do It

 

Social Security:

  • Combat any efforts to privatize Social Security. It must remain public. 
  • Only support changes to Social Security that protect the rights of its recipients. 
  • Protect Social Security benefits while also expanding and modernizing our social safety net.
  • Investigate ways to prevent reductions in long term Social Security benefits resulting from involuntary retirement.  

 

Healthcare:

  • Expand Medicare’s support of home healthcare beyond its current 60 days intervals, and towards a more holistic, long term preventative approach.
  • Increase funding and tighten requirements for FDA inspections of overseas generic drug manufacturers.
  • Pass crucial legislation that restricts access to federal funding for privately owned nursing homes that fail to provide adequate quality of care.

 

An End to Forced Retirement:

  • Eliminate loopholes allowing employers to ask workers to waive their rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. 
  • Research and pursue solutions that incentivize retaining, promoting, and respecting older workers. 
  • Provide free public education initiatives, like coding boot camps, that allow older workers to adjust to changing times. 
References:
  1. https://hpi.georgetown.edu/rxdrugs/#
  2. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-elderly-drug-costs/elderly-in-us-emergency-depts-often-cant-afford-medicines-idUSKCN1TR28H
  3. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/16/723545864/the-generic-drugs-youre-taking-may-not-be-as-safe-or-effective-as-you-think
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK315921/
  5. https://www.sauder.ubc.ca/sites/default/files/2020-02/Does%20Private%20Equity%20Investment%20in%20Healthcare%20Benefit%20Patients%3F.pdf
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/business/coronavirus-nursing-homes.html
  7. https://www.pbs.org/wnet/chasing-the-dream/stories/forced-retirement/
  8. https://www.financialplannerla.com/maximum-social-security/