WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) reminded Illinois seniors of the Medicare open enrollment period during which seniors can make changes to their Medicare plan and sign up for 2015 coverage. Medicare open enrollment began last month and continues through December 7th. It is not connected to the Affordable Care Act health care exchanges.
“For close to fifty years, Medicare has provided millions of middle class Illinoisans with quality and dependable health care in retirement,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “Today, I urge all seniors across our region who are interested in making changes to their Medicare plan or signing up for 2015 coverage to participate in the Medicare open enrollment period that runs through December 7th.”
Congresswoman Bustos has been a champion for Illinois seniors and has fought to protect Social Security benefits and the Medicare guarantee.
This fall, Bustos toured the Northwestern and Central region of Illinois that she represents to discuss the importance of preserving and protecting Medicare and Social Security, programs that she has called “solemn promises that our nation has made across generations.”
Congresswoman Bustos has taken many actions to preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security, including the following:
- In June 2014, Bustos led a successful effort to maintain benefit verification statement services at local Social Security Field Offices.
- In February 2014, Bustos successfully helped lead a group of 117 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in urging President Obama to rule out cuts to Social Security and veterans’ benefits in his upcoming budget proposal.
- In November of 2013, Bustos called on the co-chairs of the House and Senate Budget Conference Committee – Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Paul Ryan – to “support of policies that prioritize America’s seniors.” Bustos also requested the “conference to reject policy reforms that place Medicare and Social Security benefits on the chopping block”.
- In October of 2013, Bustos joined with Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) to ensure that Medicare open enrollment was not affected by the reckless government shutdown.
- Bustos is an original co-sponsor of a resolution opposing the use of chained CPI for Social Security benefits (H. Con. Res. 34). This resolution is intended to send a clear message that there are more reasonable ways to reduce the deficit that do not reduce Social Security benefits or balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable Americans. She has continued to strongly oppose any proposed transition to a chained CPI system, which would lead to benefit cuts to seniors.
- Bustos has remained firm in her opposition to the Ryan Budget. This plan would shift Medicare costs onto seniors and raise out of pocket health care costs for every senior by an estimated $6,400 annually.