Chris Dodd: A Secure, Dignified Retirement For Every Senior
"Chris Dodd is focusing on seniors early in this campaign. He has always made seniors a priority."
- Barbara Kennelly
Chris Dodd understands that security in retirement is one of our most fundamental values as Americans. After a lifetime of hard work and paying taxes, seniors deserve the dignity of a secure retirement - reliable health care, affordable housing and prescription drugs, secure pensions, and a strong Social Security and Medicare. With proven leadership that ensures a promise made is a promise kept, Chris Dodd believes every senior can look forward to their golden years with optimism.
As President, Chris Dodd will:
* Provide a secure pension to every American worker through a Universal 401K account
* Ensure seniors' financial security by protecting them from scams and financial fraud
* Commit $1 billion in his first term to expand the supply of affordable senior housing
* Provide affordable, quality health care to every American and drive down the cost of prescription drugs
* Provide added resources for affordable home and community based care
* Strengthen and secure Social Security and Medicare for generations to come
* Provide seniors with everyday supports and opportunities to participate more fully in their communities
A Financially Secure Retirement for Every Senior:
Universal 401K - Modeled on the Federal government's Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for federal employees, every American will have access to a universal pension plan that gives them added financial security in retirement. Employees will have the option to contribute through automatic payroll deduction and a mechanism will be in place for employers to contribute to workers' accounts.
Consumer Protection for Seniors - Chris Dodd will replace the Office of Financial Education at the Treasury Department with an Office of Financial Empowerment at the Assistant Secretary level. The Assistant Secretary will be charged with creating, monitoring and coordinating programs that educate Americans on saving for their future, on managing credit and debt, and on selecting lenders and avoiding predatory lending practices. Funds will be provided for direct consumer counseling and community outreach. The Assistant Secretary will also be charged with educating Americans about financial fraud and scams, monitoring such fraud and scams, and referring criminal and illegal activities that are encountered to the Department of Justice and the SEC.
Affordable Housing for Seniors - As President, Chris Dodd will commit an additional $1 billion in his first term to expand the supply of affordable senior housing, protect seniors by putting a stop to predatory home lending practices, and ensure that more seniors can obtain reverse mortgages to draw upon the equity they have in their homes.
Strengthening and Securing Social Security - Chris Dodd will ensure that Social Security is strong not only for this generation of seniors, but for generations to come - not through privatization, but by getting our fiscal house in order.
Secure Pensions, Secure Retirements - Chris Dodd will strengthen federal oversight of pension programs to ensure that the dollars invested in them are only available to the workers that have made the contributions.
A Healthy Retirement for Every Senior:
Affordable, Quality Health Care for Every American - Within 4 years, the Dodd plan will provide universal, affordable health care to every American. He will create a health insurance marketplace called Universal HealthMart based on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) that will be available to every American, regardless of job status, preexisting medical condition or ability to pay. Regular screenings for cancer and heart disease will be covered, incentives will be put in place to encourage personal choices to improve one's health, models of chronic illness management and coordinated care will be included in every plan, prescription drugs will be covered, and technology will be fully integrated to improve care and reduce costs.
Driving Down Prescription Drug Costs - The Dodd plan will ensure that all seniors have access to affordable prescription drugs. As President, Chris Dodd would require Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, eliminate the so-called "doughnut hole" in Medicare Part D drug plans to ensure that seniors have adequate, continuous prescription drug coverage year round, and legalize the importation of safe prescription drugs from countries like Canada.
Strengthening and Securing Medicare - Chris Dodd will maintain America's commitment to this historic program and work to strengthen it by ensuring that visits to the doctor and prescription drugs are affordable. In addition to allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices and eliminating the so-called "doughnut hole" in Medicare Part D to ensure coverage year round, Chris Dodd will ensure that Medicare rules are modified so that seniors are allowed to age in place while receiving the care and services that they need.
Affordable Home - and Community-Based Care - Chris Dodd will launch an affordable home- and community-based care initiative to ensure that seniors are allowed to maintain their independence at home or in their communities with expanded and affordable options for long-term care. As President, Dodd will launch an "Aging in Place" Initiative that will invest in community-based alternatives for the elderly and disabled.
Dignity and Opportunity In Retirement for Every senior:
Caregiver Care - Recognizing that there is an entire generation taking care of their elderly parents, a Dodd Administration will provide 8 weeks of paid benefits for people who take leave for reasons currently allowed under the Family and Medical Leave Act, including the care of a sick parent.
Senior Heroes - We can pass on no greater gift to future generations than the lessons of the past. Chris Dodd will encourage retired Americans to volunteer in our nation's schools and in exchange, provide them the chance to earn a $1,000 education award to further their own education or that of a designated child.
Strengthening and Modernizing the Older Americans Act - Chris Dodd will ensure that seniors receive the services that they need to live full and healthy lives by investing additional resources in the delivery of social services to older Americans. This includes further investments in elderly nutrition programs, family caregiver support, one-stop access points for information on long-term care, and funding for elder abuse, neglect and exploitation prevention programs.
Energy Assistance For Seniors Who Need It - Chris Dodd believes good and decent societies take care of their most vulnerable. As President, he will ensure older Americans are protected from extreme heat or cold in the summer or winter months by dramatically expanding the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).