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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Resident commissioner lauded for supporting seniors

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón

By The Star Staff

The 60 Plus Association recognized Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón this week for her defense of rights, benefits and resources to ensure a better quality of life for older adults both in Puerto Rico and throughout the nation.

The national organization awarded the congresswoman the “Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award,” which, according to the organization, is given to people who “vigorously fight for and defend the rights of our senior citizens. Patriotism, love for our great country and commitment to protecting our seniors are just some of the attributes we look for in a candidate for this award.”

Since coming to Congress, González Colón has worked to ensure health coverage for over 1.5 million patients in Puerto Rico who receive Medicaid, which has the highest percentage of seniors of any state, achieving historic allocations such as in 2017 with $295.9 million, in 2018 with $4.9 billion, in 2019 with $5.3 billion for two years, and in 2022 with $19 billion for five years. In the wake of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and pandemics, the resident commissioner has secured over $3.1 billion in emergency disaster funding for the nutrition assistance program (PAN by its Spanish acronym).

González Colón has prioritized in her agenda the elimination of the discrimination that Puerto Rico suffers in the financing of federal programs, many of which disproportionately impact senior citizens.

Some of the measures on that front that the commissioner continues to work on in the current Congress are: House Resolution (HR) 256, to make Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, accessible to Puerto Rico; HR 254, to make TRICARE veteran and military health coverage accessible to the island; and HR 253, for Puerto Rico to receive more resources for food assistance by switching from PAN to SNAP.

The 60 Plus Association was founded in 1992 by Jim Martin, as a nonpartisan senior advocacy group with a vision of free enterprise, less government, and less taxation toward issues important to seniors and future generations. The organization partners with other groups to reach minority communities in the United States to help seniors who need assistance with tools to function better in society.

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