2006-06-21 / Seniors

Senior Spotlight

AARP Campaigns For 2 Bills In Albany To Lower Drug Prices
By John Toscano

The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), an advocate for seniors, is waging an end-of-session war in Albany to get two laws passed that would help make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and all other consumers. They want seniors and everyone else to actively support the campaign by calling legislators and urging them to vote for the two laws.

"Help us win this crucial battle to make prescription drugs more affordable," AARP said in full page ads in newspapers and in letters to their members.

The two bills are:

+S.696/A.5574, which requires drug companies to publicly report the gifts they give to doctors, and

+S.5029/A.6336, which would allow New York State to buy drugs in bulk from drug companies at a discount and pass the savings along to consumers by giving them a discount card.

To get your legislator's ear and urge him or her to vote for S.696/A.5574, call 1-800700-6469 "and tell your state legislator to shine a light on drug company sales practices by requiring drug companies to publicly report the gifts they give to doctors," AARP says.

To urge your lawmaker to vote for S.5029/A.6336, call 1-800-327-1198 and, per AARP, "urge your state legislator to create this discount card immediately" by allowing New York State to buy in bulk at low prices and pass on the savings to the public.

AARP says, "Don't let your legislator tell you that there is "nothing I can do" or that he or she will "support the bills if they come to the floor." Urge them to bring these bills up for a vote before they leave Albany to begin campaigning for re-election.

"Help us win this crucial battle to make prescription drugs more affordable."

The present session is due to end this coming Friday, so act fast if you want to help lower your drug costs.

'STROLLDOWN MEMORYLANE' WITH METS: The New York Mets are burning up the National League, leading the circuit by a comfortable margin which puts them on course to win the pennant this season and perhaps the World Series, too.

This is a good time for seniors to get out to see a ballgame at Shea Stadium in Flushing at an affordable price and then, following the game," take a stroll down memory lane around the bases.

Seniors who are interested can attend tomorrow's game against the Cincinnati Reds, beginning at 1:10 p.m., or take in the Sunday, September 10 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, also beginning at 1:10 p.m.

This would be a special treat for former Brooklyn Dodger fans who could get a chance to root against the team that deserted Brooklyn in 1957.

Tickets start at $8 for seniors and any accompanying guest, which comes out to a half-price ticket, according to the Mets' announcement. The seats are in the Mezzanine Reserved, Upper Level Box, and Upper Level Reserved.

For ticket information, call 718-507TIXX or log on to www.mets.com.

GRANT FROM ASSEMB. HEVESI: Middle Village Adult Center Director Rabbi Richard Levy announced that his center at 69-10 75 St., Middle Village will soon be receiving a $50,000 state grant, courtesy of Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, to do some renovating work at the facility. The areas listed for fix-up include the kitchen and dining room and some other rooms at the center.

The center also recently was the beneficiary of a grant from Citimeals-on-Wheels which paid for its annual Volunteers Day Picnic at Hempstead Lake State Park in Nassau County.

Some 200 guests turned out on June 8 to honor some 60 volunteers who devote their time to all aspects of the center's activities. The grant covered all expenses for the popular all day annual barbecue, saving each guest the $20 admission charge of previous years.

Citimeals also funds the Midville center's home-delivered weekend meals as well as holiday and emergency food packages for the center's 85 "homebound friends" throughout the year.

MONTHLY COMMUNITY MEAL: Residents 60 and older have been invited by Church of the Resurrection in Richmond Hill to have a free senior meal on the last Saturday of every month at 11:45 a.m., beginning this Saturday.

"The full course meals are provided free of charge as part of our service to our community," the church said in its announcement.

The meals will be served in Cummings Hall, which can be accessed via the stairs next to the church Bell Tower at 85-09 118th St.

Anyone planning to attend this Saturday's meal must RSVP to 718-8472649 by today. For meals on the following last Saturdays of July, August and September, the RSVP must be called in no later than the preceding Wednesday.

The church says feel free to invite anyone who could use a good meal or good company, and include them in your RSVP.

The program is continuing through the summer due "to generous funding from Applebee's and Wal-Mart", church officials said.

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