Sen. Gillibrand addresses senior issues in visit to Staten Island's New Lane Shores senior houses

With Medicare and Social Security among the top issues in this year's White House campaign, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) came to Staten Island on Monday to take the pulse of borough seniors and to do a little retail politicking for her own re-election bid.

Appearing with state Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) at the New Lane Shores senior houses in Rosebank, Ms. Gillibrand also urged Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, which Ms. Gillibrand said provides crucial services to seniors.

Ms. Gillibrand told the seniors that her number-one issues are strengthening Medicare and Medicaid, and making sure Social Security is there for future generations.

"These issues are all fundamentally important to me," she said.

She told seniors that she wanted no changes in Social Security, except perhaps to have those who earn less than $100,000 pay a smaller percentage into the system.

"That's a better idea than changing the age" threshold for Social Security, Ms. Gillibrand said.

Ms. Gillibrand said the Older Americans Act would provide critical in-home care, nutrition, housing, transportation and social services programs for seniors.

There are approximately 87,000 seniors on the Island, according to a release from Ms. Gillibrand's office, and an estimated 30,000 people who will reach the age of 60 over the next five years.

The legislation, she said, would allow more seniors to "age in place" by living in their home communities in their golden years.

"It will make a great deal of difference protecting our seniors," Ms. Gillibrand said.

If reauthorized, the bill would allocate funding for senior programs for the next five years.

"Senator Gillibrand is leading efforts to ensure our seniors have proper nutrition, are safe from scams and can live independent full lives," said Ms. Savino. "Older Islanders have a friend and I have a partner ensuring all of our futures are truly golden."

Going table-to-table in the center's cafeteria, Ms. Gillibrand also told seniors that she also opposed companies shipping jobs overseas, and companies "getting tax breaks right now they should not be getting."

She also said that increased infrastructure spending on roads and bridges would help the U.S. fully emerge from the economic recession.

She said that creating a growing economy "is the best way to pay down our debt."

Seniors said they felt confident that Ms. Gillibrand heard their concerns.

To continue reading:
Volunteer Contribute