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Senior Citizen Politics
Pennsylvania Senior Citizens Get Cheaper Medicine
and Taxes by New Bills
Governor says they
will pay less than seniors in any other state
July 9, 2006 – Senior citizens in Pennsylvania may
pay less for their medicine than seniors in any other state – and maybe
less in taxes, if the promises in two bills recently signed by Gov.
Edward G. Rendell (D) live up to their expectations. Friday, Rendell
signed the PACE Plus program to lower the cost of medicine and in late
June he signed a bill expected to completely eliminate property taxes
for hundreds-of-thousands of seniors.
Senior Citizens Drop Bush Approval More than Others
Older Americans join others in giving Bush
all-time low approval
June 6, 2006 – The public's approval of President
George W. Bush hit an all time low in the latest research by the Pew
Research Center – 33%. Although the analysis by Pew highlights the big
drop in approval by moderate Republicans, it is senior citizens that
lead all age groups in lowering the approval rating since the 2004
election. Then, seniors were the strongest backers of the President
(53%) but today they agree with all adults and give Bush an approval
rating of 33%.
Concord Coalition Urges Serious Solutions to
Medicare, Social Security
report confirms 'fiscally unsustainable track'
May 1, 2006 - With today's release of the annual
Social Security and Medicare trustees' reports showing a combined
long-term unfunded obligation of $15.6 trillion over 75 years in these
two entitlement programs, The Concord Coalition warned that the two
programs are on a fiscally unsustainable track and urged lawmakers to
respond with serious solutions rather than free lunch plans or "do
Senior Citizens Most Dominant in 'Populist"
Center looks at American political ideology
April 13, 2006 – A survey by the Pew Research
Center finds "many Americans simply do not fit well within either the
conservative or the liberal ideological camps, instead falling into one
of the two other important U.S. political traditions - libertarian and
populist." Senior citizens, they found, were more dominant in the
populist camp than those of liberals, conservatives, libertarians or
Politics for Senior Citizens
PACE Plus, described as "the nation’s most
comprehensive prescription assistance program," combines the popular
Lottery-funded PACE/PACENET program with the new federal Medicare Part D
prescription drug program.
“My PACE Plus plan provides Pennsylvania’s seniors
unparalleled access to affordable prescription coverage and I am
delighted to sign it into law,” said Governor Rendell. “We have
delivered on our promise to keep PACE/PACENET strong and ready to
provide life-sustaining prescription assistance to a growing number of
“We estimate that seniors in Pennsylvania will pay
$2,000 less for their prescription benefits than older adults in other
states that do not offer a similar benefit program,” Governor Rendell
By allowing the federal government to pick up part
of the tab for providing prescription assistance, the measure frees
nearly $170 million in Lottery funds that will be used to provide other
services to older Pennsylvanians.
Senate Bill 1188, sponsored by Sen. Pat Vance
(R-Cumberland) was approved by the General Assembly on July 2.
Under the new law, PACE/PACENET will “wrap around”
the federal program and fill the gaps in coverage, including when
consumers reach the so-called “doughnut hole” in the Medicare Part D
Current cardholders will be notified by mail how
the changes to the program will affect them. There will be no
interruption of benefits and every enrollee will continue to get the
medications they need.
One of Governor Rendell’s first priorities upon
taking office was to expand eligibility for PACE/PACENET. In late 2003,
Governor Rendell signed a bill to increase the income limits for PACE to
$14,500 for individuals and $17,700 for married couples; and for PACENET
to $23,500 for individuals and to $31,500 for married couples. As a
result, total enrollment has grown by nearly 100,000 people since 2004.
Today, PACE/PACENET provides low-cost prescription
coverage to nearly 317,000 older Pennsylvanians. More than 188,000
people are covered by PACE; while PACENET covers over 128,000 seniors.
On June 27, Gov. Rendell signed
Special Session House Bill 39 (SS HB 39) into law at the home of Nellie
Hughes (photo above), which will completely eliminate the Nanticoke woman’s property
tax burden, as well as property taxes for hundreds-of-thousands of
seniors. SS HB 39 delivers the largest property tax cut in Pennsylvania
history – $1 billion annually to all Pennsylvania homeowners.
“After 30 years of debate and failed plans,
Pennsylvanians like Nellie Hughes will finally get the tax relief they
deserve,” said Governor Rendell, who was joined by other Nanticoke
homeowners who will also see significant property tax relief. “Today is
a great day for Pennsylvania homeowners, especially seniors who have
been driven from their homes as they attempt to escape the burden of
skyrocketing property taxes for far too long."
For additional information about PACE Plus, visit
the Department of Aging’s Web site at
www.aging.state.pa.us. For state residents' enrollment assistance, call toll-free,
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