After running businesses, raising families, and becoming anchors in our communities, seniors have contributed much to the fabric of our society. Each generation of Americans drives continued growth and progress, and we must honor all that our seniors have done for us by protecting the benefits they have earned.
Social Security and Medicare form the cornerstones of our collective commitment to American seniors. Social Security is an independent, self-sustaining program with a trust fund that was designed to exist separately from the rest of the federal budget. While the dual demands of an aging population and underemployment of the working-age population have put a strain on the Trust Fund, Social Security is a bedrock program with a funding structure that exists outside of the political negotiations around our federal budget, debt, and deficit. The best way we can protect Social Security for tomorrow is to make sure that our working-age population is employed in good jobs and a growing economy today. Congress must oppose proposals that chip away at Social Security and threaten the benefits that America’s seniors have earned.
Sustained and innovative efforts to contain rising health care costs will be key to protecting Medicare’s ability to guarantee affordable access to health care for America’s seniors. At the same time, Congress must make sure the program is working for today’s beneficiaries by taking measures like eliminating the Two-Midnight Rule and opposing the Government Pension Offset. Strong, bipartisan legislation can improve benefits and put the program on sounder footing. The Affordable Care Act, for example, closed the prescription drug donut hole; and, as a result, more than 7.1 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $8.3 billion on their prescription drugs by the beginning of 2014.
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.