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Senator Hassan, AARP Discuss Efforts to Lower Costs for Seniors

MANCHESTER – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan led a discussion earlier this week about lowering costs for seniors, including efforts to lower prescription drug prices and support caregivers, at Easterseals New Hampshire in Manchester.

“It’s just unconscionable that seniors in the United States – people in the United States – pay more for their prescription drugs than in any other developed country in the world,” said Senator Hassan.

Senator Hassan highlighted several bipartisan bills she helped develop, such as the Medication Affordability and Patent Integrity Act, which would lower prescription drug costs by closing oversight gaps in the patent process that drug manufacturers take advantage of to prevent access to lower-cost alternatives, and the Credit for Caring Act, which would cut taxes for family caregivers.

Christina FitzPatrick, State Director of AARP New Hampshire, emphasized the importance of the provision in the Inflation Reduction Act, which Senator Hassan helped pass into law, that allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. “The Inflation Reduction Act and this negotiation of prescription drug prices is going to help the 241,000 people in New Hampshire who are on Medicare Part D, so receive prescription drug coverage through Medicare,” said Ms. FitzPatrick. “It will put money back in the pockets of people on Medicare and will lower the cost of Medicare.” The law also caps the amount seniors pay out-of-pocket for prescription drugs at $3,300 this year and $2,000 beginning next year.

Maureen Beauregard, President & CEO of Easterseals NH & VT, highlighted the importance of supporting caregivers. “When you think about folks who are living on the edge, folks who are on fixed benefits, oftentimes there’s no caregiver who’s going to do that,” said Ms. Beauregard. “We’re introducing care coordination, which is something we don’t get paid for, but we’re doing it. And then on that same campus, we can have in-home care, and we have an adult aid program, so what we’re looking at is creating that center of excellence for seniors to help them to stay in their home as long as they possibly can.”

“It’s really important just to remember that the career of caregiving can be a really rewarding one if we can finally step forward and recognize it for what it is,” said Senator Hassan.