02/01/2012 12:49 pm ET | Updated Apr 02, 2012

Protecting Our Seniors Should Be Our First Priority

Today the House of Representatives is voting on legislation to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program. This is counterproductive.

Seniors need our help. Congress should not even be taking a vote on whether to repeal the major provision in the health care law that tries to help Americans with long-term care. We should have voted this down yesterday.

There are 10 million Americans that need long-term care today. In 10 years, that number will be 15 million. Providing long-term care is a major drain on family budgets. Last year, the average annual cost of a nursing home was $70,000. We cannot allow aging to become a guaranteed path to poverty for the middle class. Yet, yesterday and today, the House of Representatives is considering legislation that would repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, a section of the Affordable Care Act.

Protecting our senior's access to quality medical care should be our first priority. In these difficult economic times, fighting the advancement of poverty in our seniors should be our highest priority. We must draw a strong line in the sand and not allow any effort to sacrifice our seniors in the name of fiscal austerity. That is why I voted against the rule last night, and that is why I urge my colleagues to vote NO on H.R. 1173, legislation to repeal the CLASS Act.