Congressman Kim Hears from Ocean County Seniors on Prescription Drugs and Medicare at Roundtable Event
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) heard from seniors in Ocean County at a roundtable discussion held in Toms River on issues ranging from the rising cost of prescriptions drugs to the need to protect Medicare.
“New Jersey seniors shouldn’t have to decide between putting food on the table or paying for their prescription drugs,” said Congressman Kim. “I want my colleagues in Congress to listen to what I heard today; frustration about the rising cost of lifesaving drugs and threats to essential health care. I’m going back to Washington next week to remind Congress that we need to take action now to make prescription drugs more affordable.”
This week marks the 53rd anniversary of the implementation of Medicare. New Jersey’s Third Congressional District, comprised of Ocean and Burlington Counties, is home to more than 235,000 senior citizens eligible for Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
“Medicare is one of the most important and impactful programs for our seniors, and it needs to be protected,” said Congressman Kim. “With nearly a third of New Jersey residents in Burlington and Ocean Counties eligible, this is a program we must all be committed to preserving for future generations.”
Congressman Kim’s roundtable comes following recent reports that prescription drug prices have risen by 10.5 percent over the past six months, five times the rate of inflation. Those reports show that more than 3,400 drugs have increased in price, with 41 drugs more than doubling in price over the same period of time.
“The rising costs of prescription drugs places a financial burden with seniors like me in Ocean County,” said Debra Levinson, a senior from Ocean County. “It is important that Congress takes actions to protect seniors like myself from rising costs and to protect Medicare for.”
Congressman Kim has called for Medicare to have the ability to negotiate prescription drug costs for seniors, an ability currently utilized by the Department of Veterans Affairs to lower the price of drugs. He is currently a co-sponsor of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act and the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act.