Shaheen gets endorsement of Alliance for Retired Americans
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen D-N.H. talks about her plans if she wins re-election fter filing her campaign paperwork to seek re-election Monday June 9, 2014 at the Secretary of State's office in Concord, N.H. The Republican fieldtrying to unseat her includes former U.S. Sens. Scott Brown and Bob Smith, former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen earned an endorsement from a national group representing retired Americans yesterday as she touted support for a new measure that would allow seniors to buy prescription drugs outside the country.
“We need to protect and strengthen vital programs like Social Security and Medicare so Granite Staters who have worked hard their whole lives can retire with dignity,” Shaheen said in a statement, also citing her past efforts to resist “radical attempts” to cut Medicare and Social Security.
Shaheen also recently co-sponsored a measure with Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona – introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat – to allow people to import prescription drugs from approved Canadian pharmacies. The Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act would allow people to fill prescriptions written by physicians in the United States from its northern neighbor, according to the text of the bill.
Lucy Edwards, president of the New Hampshire chapter of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said the group also supports this bill.
The Alliance for Retired Americans has more than 4.2 million members nationwide, according to its website, and monitors several issues affecting older adults, including health care, Medicare and Social Security. In New Hampshire, Edwards said, the organization has more than 13,000 members.
Edwards said Shaheen, through her leadership at the state and national level, has earned the trust of New Hampshire seniors.
“Why replace something that’s working so well?” Edwards asked, adding that Shaheen’s support for Social Security has helped both seniors and the New Hampshire economy at large.
Meanwhile, New Hampshire Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn issued a statement criticizing Shaheen’s track record on Medicare. Shaheen, Horn said, failed to protect seniors when she “repeatedly opposed ending cuts to Medicare Advantage and cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare that cuts Medicare by $716 billion.”
The New Hampshire Democratic Party refuted this claim on Shaheen’s behalf, pointing to reports from PolitiFact and Factcheck.org that found that Medicare benefits would not be reduced under the Affordable Care Act. According to a 2012 Factcheck.org report, “The law stipulates that guaranteed Medicare benefits won’t be reduced, and it adds some new benefits, such as improved coverage for pharmaceuticals.”
Edwards, too, dismissed Republican criticism. She encouraged seniors to do their own research on the issues, suggesting the Alliance for Retired Americans website (retiredamericans.org) or HealthCare.gov.
“All I will tell seniors is do your homework before you vote, and vote in self-defense,” she said. “Don’t let yourself be talked into voting for people who do not have your best interests at heart.”
(Casey McDermott can be reached at 369-3306 or email@example.com or on Twitter @caseymcdermott.)