September 14, 2018
KENNEBUNK, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) visited The Center for Seniors in Kennebunk to meet with members and discuss a number of issues facing Maine seniors. Throughout the conversation, Senator King touched on topics including Medicare, the high costs of prescription drugs, and the importance of finding solutions that help Maine people age in place.
“I think all of us need to be concerned in this country about how much healthcare costs. We can talk about policy and which approach works better, but when it comes right down to it: we have to reign in the cost of healthcare,” said Senator King. “The cost of prescription drugs is one of the first places we ought to start to address costs. If we let Medicare negotiate a volume discount on behalf of Maine seniors, can you imagine how much we’d save? Today’s conversation with the men and women who frequent The Center for Seniors was productive, insightful and reminded me that what makes Maine great isn’t just our coast or our mountains; it’s our people. And the folks who’ve been here for decades or who have moved to Maine to enjoy our state in their retirement are an essential – maybe even the essential element – that makes our home such a great place to live.”
As Maine is the state with the oldest median age, Senator King has made senior issues one of his top priorities. In June, he met with seniors and staff at Cohen Community Center in Hallowell to discuss aging in place. Earlier this year, Senator King joined Maine seniors and healthcare providers in Machias to discuss strategies to help seniors age safely and comfortably. In March 2017, Senator King introduced the Senior Home Modification Assistance Initiative Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish a process to better coordinate the many existing federal home modification programs and provide more consumer-friendly information on how those programs can benefit older Americans. He also introduced the DELIVER Act, which would promote volunteerism within meal delivery programs and help provide meals to more seniors across America. Senator King is also a strong proponent of strengthening telehealth, and earlier this year announced his support for the CONNECT for Health Act.
Senator King is a strong supporter of Medicare and Medicaid, and in July spoke on the Senate floor to honor the 53rd anniversary of these programs and commit to defending the programs from those who would seek to privatize them. He is an original cosponsor of the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, legislation that would lower prescription drug prices for seniors by allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. This legislation would help cut costs for nearly 41 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D and boost Medicare savings. He has also supported the Medicare Drug Savings Act, legislation that would eliminate a special deal for brand-name drug manufacturers that allows them to charge Medicare higher prices for prescription drugs for some seniors and people with disabilities, including about 97,000 Mainers.
Senator King has also been outspoken on a number of healthcare challenges facing Maine people. He has strongly opposed the Administration’s moves and legislative proposals that seek to undermine the Affordable Care Act, and is a cosponsor of a resolution that would authorize the Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in the legal case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA’s provisions protecting people with pre-existing conditions. In July, he published a post on Medium highlighting the Administration’s efforts to weaken the ACA.