Seniors Can Count on Rep. Peters, Not DeMaio

CONTACT: Alex Roth, 619-228-3253

San Diego -- No one in Congress has fought harder for seniors than Rep. Scott Peters. Carl DeMaio, meanwhile, has made a career of championing extremist positions that would be a disaster for older Americans.  Today, on the 49th anniversary of the Older Americans Act of 1965, we note some of the differences between the two candidates for the CA 52 congressional seat.

During his first term in Congress, Rep. Peters, a member of the Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force, has compiled a long record of accomplishments that range from toughening elder-abuse laws to simplifying the tax code for seniors to fighting against cuts to senior nutrition programs.

Rep. Peters successfully fought against drastic cuts to the Medicare Advantage program by meeting with the White House, Congressional leadership, then-Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius and the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He was a tough and effective advocate in explaining how harmful these cuts would be to seniors. Earlier this year the Healthcare Leadership Council publicly thanked Rep. Peters for his successful efforts to protect Medicare’s Part D affordable prescription drug coverage.

“Thanks to Medicare Part D, seniors and the disabled get coverage plans,” the Healthcare Leadership Council wrote. “Thanks to Representative Scott Peters, we can all still rely on that.”

DeMaio, meanwhile, has called the Ryan budget "a starting point of a lot of good ideas." This is the same budget that called for turning Medicare into a voucher program – a budget that the Medicare Rights Center said “would end Medicare as we know it.” DeMaio also has proposed ending over-the-counter drug coverage for low-income seniors in California. He has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees from a far-right think-tank that believes the GOP should propose even steeper cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. An analyst for this think-tank argued that seniors should "take responsibility for their own medical destiny."

“The differences between Congressman Peters and Carl DeMaio on issues important to seniors couldn’t be more dramatic,” said Alex Roth, communications director for the Scott Peters for Congress campaign. “Scott has consistently advocated to increase coverage for seniors for different treatments and specialty drugs under Medicare, fought payment cuts to doctors who see Medicare patients, and fought funding cuts to popular Medicare Advantage programs that would result in increased premiums and reduced services.”

Roth added: “As for Carl Demaio, time and again he has aligned himself with the most draconian elements of the Republican Party when it comes to cutting benefits for older Americans. To be blunt, DeMaio’s positions are frightening.”