Pushing Congress to lower healthcare costs

2 NEWS Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (WDTN) – The Senate Committee on Aging says older Americans are in desperate need of protection and the ability to live with financial security.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey says Congress should lower healthcare costs to ensure seniors get the care they need.

“No one is happy with the costs of healthcare,” he says. “It’s too high. Too many families have to pay high premiums or high deductibles or high out-of-pocket costs.”

Senator Casey plans to address those costs in an upcoming hearing on the rising costs of prescription drugs.

“If you can get the same drug in Canada for hundreds of dollars less, or thousands of dollars less, then why wouldn’t we do that here in the United States?” asks Casey.

He says more competition could drive costs down, but also feels the system should be revamped.

“A lot of people have talked about reintroducing this idea of a public option, so when you’re shopping for healthcare, you can choose a Medicare-like public option to get your healthcare,” Casey says.

Casey believes the plan could have bipartisan support, but he has concerns about Medicare for all, saying that approach needs to be vetted.

“This would be a substantial, once-in-a-generation change. We’ve got to know how it’s going to work,” he says.

And while many older Americans struggle with high healthcare costs, they can also struggle with financial security.

“In a changing economy and difficult job market, sometimes, a lot of seniors feel that they have to stay on the job well beyond the age of 65,” Casey says, adding that Congress must find a solution to get wages up and costs down. “Costs for healthcare, college tuition, prescription drugs, childcare, have gone up exponentially.”

He wants Congress to find solutions for families and seniors.

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