Ways the PA Rescue Plan Protects Our Seniors

Tina Davis
Op-Ed by State Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks

You shouldn’t have to work until you die. You should know there will come a time where you can take off those work shoes – boots, heels, sneakers or whatever – and put your feet up for a well-earned break.

But, in today’s America, only about two-thirds of workers have access to any kind of a retirement plan.

In today’s America only half of workers have access to nothing but 401(k) plans. The Pennsylvanian who invented the 401(k) created them to supplement a pension, not be a retired worker’s only support beyond Social Security.

Except almost nobody has a pension anymore – just a 401(k) account that doesn’t seem to get any bigger while billionaires get richer every day.

So, instead of retirement we see what are supposed to be “heartwarming” stories about people who should be taking a well-deserved rest forced back on the job, a 79-year-old and a 19-year-old wearing the same uniform and sharing a shift.

Or we hear stories about seniors cutting pills in half to stretch their supply, and seniors forced to sell their homes because they can’t afford their property taxes, or because they need health care.

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It’s not right. We need to do better. The Pa Rescue Plan would help.

Pennsylvania is getting billions of dollars from the federal government. This money isn’t supposed to be hidden away for a rainy day. COVID-19 is the worst “storm” we’ve faced in more than a century, and it’s time for us to come out of the virus stronger than ever before – and make sure we don’t leave seniors behind.

Our plan would invest federal American Rescue Plan dollars in a retirement option to give the working person the control they deserve – a plan where workers without access to an employer-operated plan have a way to save for the future on their terms. It won’t cost employers a dime.

But, we need to go beyond that to help the men and women who raised generations and built our neighborhoods.

Our plan would expand our outstanding Property Tax & Rent Rebate program to make thousands more seniors eligible. This way seniors can stay in the homes they’ve spent a lifetime building until they want to leave – or not – instead of being forced out by rising tax bills.

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Our plan would invest even more in our PACE and PACENET senior prescription programs to make sure older Pennsylvanians can afford the medicine they need to stay healthy.

There’s more to the plan when it comes to keeping seniors in their homes. It’s a fact seniors who stay in their homes live longer, happier and healthier lives.

Our PA Rescue Plan goes the extra mile to keep them in those homes by investing in the Living Independently For the Elderly program – it’s called LIFE for a reason – that delivers resources from the community into the home.

Our PA Rescue Plan makes sure seniors have access to caring professionals to provide in-home medical care – and also makes sure those home care workers get a long overdue raise —after all we must make sure the people who dedicated their lives to helping care for our seniors are getting the pay they deserve and young people choosing a health care career can support their families and their community.

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Health care is one-sixth of our economy, but for home care workers and workers in long-term care facilities, their pay isn’t living up to how important their jobs are to seniors and their families. Our plan will make the investments, help the providers and help the workers – and help seniors in the process.

We’re ready to start delivering real help with the PA Rescue Plan. Visit www.pahouse.com/parescueplan to learn more about in-home care, retirement support and countless more investments that will help us Recover, Restore, Reimagine a better future – for everyone.

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