VP Kamala Harris visits senior center in Durham, NC

VP+Kamala+Harris+visits+senior+center+in+Durham%2C+NC

Melvin Harris, Sydney Ross, Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor

Vice President Kamala Harris made an appearance at the Durham Center for Senior Life (DCSL) Thursday afternoon, discussing the impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Harris spoke towards the administration continuing to make efforts to lower costs for health care products through this act. 

“Across our nation, seniors with chronic medical conditions are paying as much as $10,000 a year for the medication they need to simply stay healthy and stay alive,” Harris said.

The bill focuses on reducing the cost of insulin and diabetic products to $35 a month, making access to hearing aids more readily available for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and reducing the overall out of pocket prescriptions for people on medicare. 

“For years Big Pharma has fought to grow their profits by preventing medicare from negotiating lower care prices,” Harris said. “For years, they’ve won. But not anymore.”

The Biden-Harris administration believes that healthcare should be a basic right and not a privilege to those who can afford it.

“Access to affordable health care is about peace of mind,” Harris said. “The peace of mind that comes from knowing you will never have to choose between your physical well being and your financial well being.”

Senior citizens in the Durham community have high hopes for the current administration. North Carolina Central Alumna Leola Jenkins appreciated Harris stopping by because it’s not everyday a politician like the VP stops by to talk with them. 

“I thought it was great that she came in, especially to the senior center, because a lot of us at the senior center don’t get to see the politicians like the president and vice president,” Jenkins continued. “So it gave us a chance to come and see her in our environment as well as you know, other people.”

Community members attending the address left feeling hopeful and optimistic after Harris spoke. Including Jenkins who says she is glad the Biden-Harris Administration is taking steps to lower the cost of healthcare, but there is still more to do. 

“There are a lot of other things in Medicare that need to be looked at,” Jenkins said. “But I think they’ll eventually get to that. They just have to do what they can, you know, when they can and then I think they will keep trying.”

Although Jenkins is sold on the Biden-Harris administration, not everyone at DCSL was convinced that change would be made. 

Aggie Alumna Lisa Raiford believes that lowering the cost of health care products has been a long overdue problem that needed to be fixed since the Obama administration.

“This goes all the way back to Barack, he said he was going to help us with the medicine. They have been saying this for quite a while. Anything is possible, I still have hope,” Raiford said. 

After Harris spoke at DCSL she attended a ticket only fundraiser arranged by the Democratic Party. This is not the first time the VP has stopped by in Durham this year. Harris came by in March to talk about creating more jobs.