AARP is pleased that just recently, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced that the legislature will not consider a budget that does not protect seniors.
Unfortunately, the proposed state budget does hurt seniors. There will be no homestead rebates, the Senior Property Tax Freeze is not accepting new applicants and there will be no reimbursements for what will surely be significantly higher property taxes. In addition, the budget hits low-income seniors and disabled in the Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) program with hundreds of dollars in new costs.
Very low-income seniors and disabled adults cannot take the hit. They will suffer. They will cut back on their prescriptions and endanger their health. That’s not “shared sacrifice”—that is inflicted pain.
It is important to remember that 40% of those in PAAD take brand-name drugs because they have to. Either there is no generic equivalent (36.5%) or their doctor says it is “brand medically necessary” (3.5%).
The citizens of New Jersey expect Governor Christie and our legislators to come together and work to devise a solution that makes sense. The State has alternatives. PAAD beneficiaries do not.
AARP New Jersey Executive Council
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