Florida's 19th district is home to a large population of retirees who served in our nation's armed forces, taught our children in public schools, and contributed to our economy in a variety of fields. My commitment to the issues involving their health and financial security is based on the simple premise that those who have worked hard and played by the rules their entire lives deserve to enjoy a retirement of dignity.
Many seniors in Palm Beach and Broward Counties rely on Social Security as their only source of income and Medicare for access to affordable health care. These programs keep millions of seniors across America out of poverty every year; however, they must never be taken for granted. In fact, the latest Republican budget proposal once again ties Social Security benefits to risky private accounts and replaces Medicare with limited vouchers for private insurance. In Congress, I will always fight to defend Social Security and Medicare from attempts to privatize these programs. If this most recent economic recession has taught us anything, it should be that tying the retirement benefits of America's workers to the whims of the stock market could result in life savings being gambled away.
Upon being sworn into Congress, I immediately joined the House Democratic Seniors Task Force, a coalition of members committed to America's seniors. Together, we have released a Seniors Bill of Rights, a resolution aimed at reaffirming our national commitment to affordable health care for seniors, a secure retirement, protection from abuse and scams, and safe and livable communities with adequate transportation options.
My immediate policy priorities for seniors include ensuring adequate cost-of-living adjustments under Social Security, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, extending the long term solvency of Social Security and Medicare, and overseeing the new improvements to Medicare as they are implemented under the new health care reform law.