Summer has officially arrived in the 23rd District of Texas, and with a Texas summer, we can all expect some pretty hot temperatures from San Antonio to El Paso.
The summer months tend to come with thoughts of school out, family vacations, relaxing by the water with friends and family. And while schools work hard to ensure our kids are well-fed during and in-between the school year, one thing we might forget about in the summer months is making sure our parents and grandparents have access to meals as well.
A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to serve meals to seniors through Meals on Wheels in San Antonio. Every weekday, Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers nutritious meals, a courteous visit and compassionate support to tens of thousands of homebound Texas seniors through partnerships with local organizations.
Meal delivery services like Meals on Wheels allow so many individuals to be healthy and independent in their own homes and I’m proud to have supported an increase in funding for meal delivery programs that serve so many of our parents and grandparents.
One of the things I’ve heard time and time again while meeting with seniors across Texas is that accessing medical care, especially in rural areas, is a real problem.
That’s why over the last three years, I have remained committed to protecting the benefits that seniors have earned so that they can rely on them for years to come. Since 2015, I’ve consistently opposed proposed Medicare cuts, sometimes that would have cut billions of dollars in benefits. Along with preventing cuts, I’ve protected Medicare Advantage – the program that my own parents depend on – from termination and have helped expanded access to care, including increased coverage for Medicare Part B recipients.
I’ve also supported legislation that permanently repealed the Medicare payment cap for therapy services, permanently extended the Special Needs Plan in Medicare Advantage, and expanded the ability for all patients to use telemedicine coverage, including stroke patients and recipients of dialysis – a big win for many seniors in rural communities who are homebound because of health conditions.
In addition, I have supported legislation that develops a National Family Caregiving strategy to recognize and support family caregivers and their needs.
There are also 39 wonderful Community Health Centers in my district that provide cost-effective services, from primary care to preventative screenings, and are vital to the health and wellness of thousands of my constituents. Since 2015, I’ve visited many of these clinics and am particularly proud to have helped them receive more than $30 million in federal grant funding so that they can continue their important work.
Previous generations helped build our nation, and they deserve the benefits they worked hard to earn. I will continue to stand tall for our South and West Texas seniors. If you or someone you know is having trouble navigating the burdensome federal bureaucracy to receive Medicare and Social Security, know that I have caseworkers from San Antonio to El Paso who have helped more than 200 individuals battle these bureaucracies on their behalf. We are here to help.
Please don’t hesitate to call my office at 210-921-3130 for support. And to find a local meal delivery program in your community, visit mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. In Washington, he serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as Vice Chair of the Maritime and Border Security Subcommittee on the Committee for Homeland Security, and as the Chairman of the Information Technology Subcommittee on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.