Running businesses, raising families, and becoming anchors in our communities, seniors have helped weave the fabric of our society. They have fought in our wars and volunteered at non-profits. They have helped define what it means to be an American and helped sustain the American dream. As we recognize the contribution they have made to our country, we must honor the commitments we have made to them.
Social Security and Medicare are not just the cornerstones of our collective commitment to American seniors, they exist because seniors contributed to them throughout decades in our workforce. While we cannot ignore strains placed on Social Security in recent years, we also cannot allow this bedrock program to fall victim to the political negotiations around our federal budget, debt, and deficit. Our efforts to guarantee Social Security benefits tomorrow begin by ensuring our working-age population is employed in good jobs with living wages today. America’s seniors should not be asked to sacrifice the benefits they have earned to subsidize President Trump’s irresponsible tax plan and other misguided policies like a border wall.
Health care should never be out of reach or unaffordable for any American senior. With nearly fifty million seniors relying on Medicare and 4.6 million relying on Medicaid, the largest payer of long term care in the country, Congress should simultaneously pursue innovative policies to contain rising health care costs and reject attempts to weaken programs that protect our elderly neighbors and loved ones. More than just strengthening Medicare for current beneficiaries and future generations, Congress can pass bipartisan legislation that improves health outcomes for all seniors. That’s why I worked with my Republican colleagues to pass the Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act which will reduce costs for hearing aids and bring hearing loss relief to millions of Americans.
From ensuring full and meaningful implementation of the Affordable Care Act to keeping Social Security solvent and stable to supporting affordable housing and community services, we honor our commitment to seniors by making sure that their lifetime efforts in the American workforce translate to healthy and stable retirement. When we keep this promise to the generation before us, we encourage the generation after us to invest in the new businesses, jobs, and opportunities that often require risk, but make the American economy stronger for all of us.
Please click here for more information about Social Security benefits and Medicare. See also Senior Citizens' Resources.