Senator Rockefeller has long fought to preserve programs that help provide essential care for aging seniors. Just as millions of Americans contributed to Medicare and Social Security throughout their lives, he believes we must make sure these programs are able to protect them when they need it. Senator Rockefeller successfully fought back efforts to privatize Social Security, which would have made Americans' retirement, survivor, and disability benefits susceptible to fluctuations in the stock market. More than 443,000 West Virginians - almost half of the state's population - rely on these benefits. Senator Rockefeller is working to protect the program so that it continues to be a safety net for decades to come.
Senator Rockefeller also has worked to make sure that Medicare remains a critical program for seniors. He supported the creation of a Medicare prescription drug benefit program and has advocated for a bill that would enable the government to negotiate prices for seniors, to make prescription drugs more affordable. Additionally, the health care reform law, which Senator Rockefeller supported, will close the "doughnut hole" gap in coverage. It also gives seniors free annual wellness visits under Medicare and eliminates out-of-pocket costs for recommended preventive care and screenings, like mammograms and diabetes screenings.
In West Virginia, thousands of workers contribute part of their hard-earned pay checks into pension plans, and Senator Rockefeller believes those funds should be protected so people can enjoy their "golden years." He supports legislation that shores up the traditional pension system, encourages people to contribute greater amounts to their retirement, and protects retirees' health insurance.
Senator Rockefeller also has worked to create a viable long-term care system in this country. Among other things, the health care reform law enables seniors to receive essential care in their homes. He has also worked to create senior centers in all 55 counties in West Virginia.