Sabini Legislation Would Make Seniors' Lives Easier
Because May is Older Americans Month, state Senator John Sabini (D-WFP, Jackson Heights) is calling for action on a series of bills he has introduced this year that, if passed, could make life easier, safer and more affordable for millions of New York's senior citizens and their families.
"Senior citizens are some of our most valuable, and yet sometimes most vulnerable, members of society," Sabini said. "We need to protect older New Yorkers from a rapidly increasing cost of living, from laws that make life more difficult than it should be and from criminals that prey on their weaknesses. I'm calling on the senate majority to bring my bills to the floor for consideration before more of our older neighbors are hurt."
While many bills introduced by Sabini affect New Yorkers of all ages, four address senior citizens directly. The bills defer property taxes for seniors, provide absentee ballot assistance at senior and nursing homes, criminalize the financial exploitation of seniors and the disabled and eliminate the sales tax on meals for seniors.
Sabini is also a strong supporter of a senior prescription drug reform bill introduced by state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, S299A, which caps the out-of-pocket expenses (COPE) for participants of the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program to five percent (5 percent) of annual gross income. Applying to EPIC's Fee and Deductable plans, the cap strengthens a state program that has offered thousands of older New Yorkers an affordable way to buy drugs. The EPIC program can also be used in conjunction with federally approved prescription drug cards that many Medicare recipients have until May 15 to sign up for.
"During a time of great uncertainty about federal prescription drug solutions," Sabini said, "I support any measure that makes buying medication easier and more affordable for New Yorkers. Strengthening our EPIC program is a great step towards that."