Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline visited with seniors at the Edward King House Monday morning for a pre-luncheon tea that focused on discussing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this Wednesday.
Cicilline had an informal gathering with the seniors and updated them on the benefits the act continues to deliver. He also discussed future legislation targeted towards the aging population. One of the main advantages of the bill Cicilline spoke on was the closing of the “donut hole” or coverage gap by making prescription drugs from Medicare more affordable.
Under Cicilline’s working legislation, the gap would close over a 10-year period.
“Investments in wellness and primary care in seniors” are other priorities Cicilline said he is placing in upcoming health care legislation.
Also with the Affordable Care Act, many individuals with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied insurance and many prescription medication caps are no longer implemented, Cicilline told the seniors.
“The legislation is closing that donut hole so seniors aren’t making the choice of ‘Do I buy my prescriptions or go to the grocery store,’” he said.
Cicilline also mentioned the impending conflict over Social Security.
“We are about to engage in a big fight about Social Security," he noted. "I believe that Social Security is something we have to protect and strengthen. It really does reflect our values as a country. I want to guarantee that when people reach a certain age. . .they can live with dignity and live with the guarantee that their basic needs will be met.”
According to Cicilline, Social Security is not the cause of the United States’ deficit due to the $12 trillion paid out in Social Security opposed to the $14.2 trillion that has been collected.
Regarding spending, he said cuts should be “smart” and strategic, and that education, innovation and infrastructure are “necessary to get America back to work.”
“I'm going to be there fighting on your behalf and making sure we’re making the right investments,” he said.
Watch the video above to hear Cicilline talk further.