BINGHAMTON, NY – Progressive groups across the state celebrated the history of social safety net programs in our country while advocating for their expansion.

Citizen Action of New York and others hosted a virtual anniversary and advocacy event featuring U-S Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

They discussed the impact Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Americans with Disabilities Act have had on society.

Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, discussed plans to increase home and community based services for the disabled.

And adding dental, vision and hearing coverage to Medicare.

“We hope to add dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare. Those were left out unfortunately when Medicare was first passed. Half of seniors on Medicare have not been to the dentist in the past year. When you have trouble in your teeth, then you have trouble in your whole body,” says Schumer.

Schumer says the additional costs would be offset by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

He says the changes would be part of the American Families Plan, which Democrats are looking to push through the Senate without Republican support.

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State-wide celebration of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – WIVT – NewsChannel 34