Cuellar Says Preserving Medicare Is The Best Gift We Can Give America’s Mothers and Grandmothers
May 11, 2012 -
Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) highlighted the importance of Medicare to America’s mothers and grandmothers.
“Mothers Day is an important day to reflect how much the women in our family mean to us. As part of showing our appreciation and gratitude to the extraordinary women in our lives, we need to make sure that they have access to the health care they deserve. That is why I’m fighting to preserve Medicare,” said Cuellar. “In Texas, 1,705,200 women rely on Medicare, and I am committed to making sure that they continue to receive the services they need.”
Older women, on average, live longer than men, have lower incomes than men and have more chronic health conditions than men—making Medicare even more vital to their wellbeing.
The Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it would have a particularly damaging effect on America’s women:
Women represent 56 percent of the Medicare population.
Among the oldest Medicare beneficiaries (ages 85 and older), 70 percent are women.
49 percent of women on Medicare have three or more chronic health conditions, compared to 38 percent of men.
Similarly, women have higher rates than men of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, hypertension, and osteoporosis.
6 percent of Medicare beneficiaries reach the prescription drug “donut hole” coverage gap each year. Women, in addition to people with diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, are the most likely to end up in the “donut hole.”
57 percent of women on Medicare live below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, compared to 45 percent of men.
“As we celebrate Mothers Day this year, I hope you’ll keep in mind how important Medicare is to the health of many of our loved ones and join me in my commitment to preserving Medicare,” said Cuellar.