Former State Aging Director Calls on Congressmen Latham and King to Stand Up for Iowa’s Seniors

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DES MOINES, IOWA — Former State Aging Director Ro Foege today called on Congressman Tom Latham and Congressman Steve King to stand up for Iowa’s seniors and preserve Medicare by rejecting the failed policies in the Ryan/Romney budget. Foege’s statements defending Medicare marked a celebration of the 47th anniversary of its being signed into law.

“On its 47th anniversary, Iowa seniors can count on Medicare now more than ever because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Ro Foege, former state aging director. “Seniors and Iowans with disabilities on Medicare have saved more than $32 million since the ACA took effect. By supporting the Romney/Ryan budget, Congressman Latham and Congressman King are trying to tear down Medicare and Medicaid and turn back the progress we’ve made. They want working families to sacrifice in order to continue tax breaks for the richest 2% in America and to preserve loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying their fair share.”

Latham and King have voted in favor of the Romney/Ryan budget twice each, which would end Medicare as we know it through privatization and lead to the doubling of health care costs for those in the program. More than 500,000 seniors and people with disabilities in Iowa count on Medicare and are already benefitting from the improvements made to the program by the Affordable Care Act.

Since being signed into law in March of 2010, the Affordable Care Act has improved Medicare by closing the ‘donut hole’ and saving Iowans more than $32 million on prescription drugs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released data showing that in the first half of 2012, over 10,000 Iowans with Medicare saved a total of $5.7 million on prescription for an average of $566 in savings this year. CMS also announced that 164,636 Iowa seniors with Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first five months of 2012. This includes 10,841 who have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit that is available to seniors through Medicare because of the Affordable Care Act.

Ro Foege was the Iowa State Representative from the 29th District, representing portions of Linn & Johnson Counties. He was in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1996 to 2008. Foege was the Director of the Iowa Department on Aging from 2010 to 2011.



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