Social Security and Medicare need to be addressed in a comprehensive way that honors our contract with current seniors and protects these programs for the future. In 2010, for the first time since 1975, seniors did not receive a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA.) While the decision was rendered by the Social Security Administration and not Congress, because the Consumer Price Index (CPI) did not rise in 2009, I have concerns about using the CPI formula because of the projected increases in Medicare and other healthcare-related costs for today's senior citizens. For that reason I am a supporter of creating a specialized CPI for seniors that places greater weight on products and services seniors need to live.
Our senior citizens and those nearing retirement are depending on these programs to meet their healthcare and living expenses. However, as more retirees enter these programs, and fewer workers pay into these programs, the solvency of both Social Security and Medicare is at risk. We need to address this first by reducing spending on wasteful government programs and reducing unemployment by strengthening the economy so that businesses will begin hiring more workers who can pay into Social Security and Medicare. This is one of my top priorities in Congress.