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Politics & Government

Cong Candidate John Katko Pledges Support for Senior Programs and Medicare

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Republican Congressional Candidate John Katko Thursday tried to clear the air about any confusion or misconceptions about his support for senior citizens.  He held a campaign event where he said he hopes to implement policies that enhance the lives of senior citizens while improving independent living options. Katko plans to help elderly Central New Yorkers by reauthorizing the Older Americans Act.

“The Older Americans Act helps fund things such as the Meals on Wheels Program behind us and supports other programs.  We need to make sure that bill is reauthorized going forward.  We also have to support many creative programs in our community, programs regarding transportation, nutrition and care.  Transportation for the elderly, especially in rural areas is very difficult.”

In addition, Katko says he’ll pledge to reverse Obamacare cuts by working to put more money toward Medicare Home Health Services. He says the reimbursement will provide more funding for home health aides as well as help struggling families with aging parents.

  Katko says the cuts to Medicare, supported by his opponent Dan Maffei when he voted to pass Obama-care, are creating a hardship for seniors and their families.

“The majority of families struggling with caring for aging parents depend on Medicare and Social Security.  Some people have estimated that Medicare advantage will be cut by 15 percent.  We know that because many people here have Medicare advantage and they’ve seen their co-pays and costs go up, maybe even double from $10.00 to $20.00, or nothing, up to as much as $40.00 dollars per doctor’s visit.  That’s a big chunk for people on a fixed income.” 

Katko is challenging incumbent Dan Maffei to represent the 24th Congressional District. Maffei during the campaign has said he’s committed to increasing access to health care.  He also defends segments of the Affordable Care Act that cover children up to age 26 on parents’ policies and that mandate coverage of pre-existing conditions.  He admits it’s not perfect and says he’d work to make care more affordable.