KCP put the following question to candidates U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R) and his Democratic opponent Max Rose in the upcoming New York 11th Congressional District race covering South Brooklyn and parts of Staten Island:
New York’s 11th Congressional District has a growing number of seniors. How do you see the current Medicare system working and what legislative changes would you like to see, if any, to make Medicare more efficient?
Dan Donovan: “Our government made a promise to our seniors and we must honor it. I was a caregiver for my mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s so I understand firsthand the importance of providing our seniors with quality care at an affordable price. Because of that, I’ve made protecting Medicare a top priority since being elected, and I have been unafraid to stand up to my own party to ensure that promise is kept.
“As more of our population ages and is living longer, we need to ensure the system remains solvent and can deliver care effectively and efficiently. One of the changes I have consistently fought for in healthcare reform is to have the government negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries. That would significantly lower the price of pharmaceuticals and have a real impact on senior’s pocketbooks. I’ve also voted to expand Medicare coverage to include treatment for opioids and voted for a responsible budget agreement that prevented a dramatic increase in Medicare premiums.
“Congress needs to look at ways to innovate through personalized care, smart devices, preventative care and technology to incentivize modernization that will lead to better care and more controlled costs.”
Max Rose: “Just a few weeks ago I correctly predicted Congressional Republicans would call for cuts to social security, Medicare, and Medicaid after they blew up the deficit with a trillion dollar tax cut for Purdue Pharma and other big drug companies. That is unacceptable. We made a sacred obligation to our seniors and now Dan Donovan’s party leaders want to break that promise.
“If elected, any party leader, whether Democrat or Republican would have to cut Social Security and Medicare payments over my dead body. But Dan Donovan has proven once again he’ll just be a doormat that his party leaders and donors can walk all over.
“We need to ensure that Americans can retire with dignity after decades of hard work, by protecting and expanding Social Security, prevent Republicans from raising the retirement age and look at lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 55, and lastly, work to stabilize pension plans. We also need to invest in private retirement savings accounts for those who do not have access to retirement plans.”
The election is Nov. 6.