October Update from SOAR President Bill Pienta

Beyond Roads and Bridges

Yes, President Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan would invest billions to rebuild our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, expand broadband internet, and ramp up the production of clean, renewable forms of energy.

If passed, all of the aforementioned would be a boon for our economy, the nation’s future, and for Steelworkers who manufacture a lot of the products needed to deliver upon the promise of rebuilding our infrastructure.

However, the President and a significant number of Congressional representatives also see an opportunity to invest in the American people in a way that has not been seen in decades.

Most meaningful to senior citizens is the proposal for a historic expansion of Medicare to include coverage for dental, vision and hearing benefits for the first time ever. There have also been discussions about potentially lowering the program’s eligibility age from 65.

This proposed expansion of Medicare is included in a $3.5 trillion-dollar budget blueprint, which also seeks to invest in child care, family leave, public education, and more.

We’ve already seen some in Congress sounding the alarm, expressing concerns about increased government spending. But, many of them are the same people who didn’t think twice about furthering the war in Afghanistan and argued it was premature to bring our troops home in August.

I am ecstatic about the opportunity for more seniors to gain access to expanded care through Medicare. After all, we know that Medicare provides coverage at far lower cost than private insurance.

Additionally, more senior citizens might make the decision to retire if their access to health care services isn’t in question. This would mean younger Americans might have a better chance at finding that union job rebuilding the infrastructure we all know is in dire need of repair.

This is a real opportunity to lift all boats. So, let’s get it done!

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