Senate Democrats Meet With Aging Advocates


Discussion focused on programs that are critical to senior health and economic security

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senate Democrats met with prominent leaders from the aging community. The group talked about the need to protect critical programs like Social Security and Medicare, especially during the current budget negotiations. Senate Democrats reiterated the fact that Social Security does not add to the deficit and is an earned benefit that older Americans have paid into for decades.

“Today’s discussion showcased the critical importance of the work we do to provide services for our nation’s seniors,” said Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Chairman of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC). “I believe there are responsible ways to cut the budget without hurting our seniors. I’m proud to have proposed a common-sense Social Security bill that will protect one of the most important programs ever created in this country and maintain its solvency for Alaskans and their children for years to come.”

“It was good to hear about the legislative priorities of other various organizations during the discussion with the Senate Democratic and Steering Committee today,” said A. Barry Rand, CEO of AARP. “I was also able to impart on the committee that Social Security and Medicare are not just numbers in a budget. They are vital programs that current and future seniors—with typical incomes of about $20,000—depend on for their health and retirement security. That’s why we need a separate conversation about how to strengthen these programs, instead of proposals to cut benefits to pay for other programs or further shrink the deficit.”

Advocates applauded the Senate HELP Committee for approving the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act (S. 1562). This legislation would increase protections for vulnerable elders, support family caregivers, promote the delivery of evidence-based services, and continue to provide high-quality nutrition to millions of older adults through programs like Meals on Wheels.

“Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs are part of the solution to our nation’s fiscal challenges,” commented Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of the Meals On Wheels Association of America. “For every $1 invested in Meals on Wheels, there is up to $50 savings in Medicaid expenses alone. It is clear that investing in nutrition for our seniors today reduces the burden of debt on all Americans tomorrow.”

Senate Democrats pledged to protect the millions of Americans who depend on these programs during the upcoming budget negotiations.

Photos from this event can be found HERE

About the Senate Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts numerous meetings with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Senate Democratic agenda. The Committee serves as a liaison between Senate Democratic offices, advocacy groups, and intergovernmental organizations. It is one of two Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate and is chaired by Senator Mark Begich (AK) and vice chaired by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH).