Seniors and the Disabled are the Victims of GOP’s Inability to Govern

 Statement of Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, on the government shutdown:

“For Republicans to be unable to pass a bill to fund the government when they control the House, the Senate, and the White House is unacceptable. Their inability to govern will affect not only federal workers, but seniors and disabled Americans.

“While Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid recipients will continue to receive their benefits, new claims for Social Security and disability benefits will not be processed. Just last year, 1.1 million disability claims were filed, and there is a tremendous backlog. A shutdown only exacerbates the situation and will mean even longer wait times for people who need help.”

“We are also concerned about a government shutdown in the middle of influenza season. Workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are needed to respond to this serious health issue. This year’s most common form of flu, H3N2, is associated with more severe illness, especially among children and the elderly. Those older than age 65 are experiencing the highest hospitalization rates, but those age 50 to 64 also have seen high numbers.”

“Funding the government — without drama and chaos — is a basic responsibility of Congress and the President. Shutting it down is irresponsible and will hurt real people. The GOP has dropped the ball, and must be held accountable.”

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