SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Getting older brings with it a series of challenges especially physical and financial wellness. On Thursday, dozens of seniors looked to a local congressman for a sympathetic ear to get the support they need. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller covered that visit in Lackawanna County.
“That’s a campaign promise of mine,” said Rep. Matt Cartwright (D) who represents Pennsylvania’s Eighth Congressional District which includes Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike Counties and portions of Luzerne and Monroe Counties. It was less campaign and more conversation with the congressman who represents . The Democratic lawmaker held an event called “Coffee with Seniors” going table to table for a give and take with dozens of tenants at Amos Towers on Jefferson Avenue in Scranton.
The high cost of medication is just one of the hurdles facing seniors seeking a solution. Rep. Cartwright told Eyewitness News, “What I want to see is figure out a way to make medicare able to negotiate drug prices with the big pharmaceutical companies.”
Chuck Weber challenged Congressman Cartwright on keeping Social Security on pace with rising costs of senior living. “My food prices go up. I have to buy food. I have to pay rent. I have to pay insurance,” said the Amos Towers tenant.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Cartwright promised Mr. Weber and his co-tenants that he will work to make Medicare and Social Security stronger. “If it’s solvent like that, number one we can give decent increases to match the cost of living.”
Another concern raised at the Coffee with Seniors is the need for improved treatments and even cures of diseases that have a devastating effect especially on seniors. The growing number of Alzheimer’s patients worries Amos Towers tenant Suzie DeSanto. The congressman suggested funding disease research is part of solving the puzzle. “If you want to do pure science, it’s the government that’s going to do it.”
Those were words Ms. DeSanto wanted to hear. “We need more support from everybody to get there for the research.”
Rep. Cartwright has a similar event scheduled Friday, March 22, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Ballyhoo, 128 Luzerne Avenue, West Pittston.