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Public Statements

Issue Position: Social Security/Seniors

Issue Position

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As the representative of countless South Florida retirees, I know the importance of maintaining the long-term sustainability of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to fulfill the promises made to those who have paid into these systems. There is a fundamental need to make improvements to these programs for the government to continue with them in the future. We must look for new and innovative ways to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Future generations must not suffer due to inaction by the present generation.

With so many of those 65 and older living on a fixed income, a viable social security system is crucial to the livelihood of many in our community. I will continue to address the growing need to tackle those problems adversely affecting our Social Security System. Throughout my time in Congress I have not only fought to protect this program for our current retired community, but also for our future retirees who are at risk of inheriting a failed program. These issues must be addressed now. By simply delaying this issue we make it harder to find a viable solution that will prevent future expenses and pain.

Social Security works by taxing today's workers to pay for today's retirees. The money current retirees "paid in" during their working years went to pay their parent's benefits not to pay their own. In the 1960s, there were 16 workers paying into Social Security for every person receiving benefits. Today, that number has dropped to just above 3 workers for each beneficiary. This change in the ratio of workers to beneficiaries -- not unrelated government spending -- will deplete the "Trust Fund" and require General Revenue Funds to meet benefit obligations by 2018, according to the Social Security Administration.

Any proposed change must guarantee that current and future retirees receive the benefits to which they are entitled. The ability to maintain these programs is a very important issue that Congress must tackle. I will constantly strive to protect our seniors and ensure that our government keeps the promise it has made.

After a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice, seniors should not have to worry about their retirement. Medicare is a sacred trust between our government and our seniors. They deserve to have their hard work and faith in our promise rewarded by a Medicare system that is efficient, solvent and sustainable.

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicare will go bankrupt in 2021. Without action countless Americans will lose their healthcare. Current and future Medicare recipients deserve nothing less than a return on the investment they made into the system throughout a lifetime of hard work.

Medicare has $24.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities, which is only expected to grow larger. This is unacceptable and will put current and future beneficiaries in jeopardy.

Medicare must be made solvent. This critical safety net must be preserved for future generations. We cannot saddle our children and grandchildren with a dysfunctional system. Medicare's current crisis requires common-sense solutions. Any solution towards ensuring Medicare's long-term sustainability must not affect current seniors. A system that was created in 1965 must be able to adapt and change to the realities of the present day. The demographic and economic conditions that existed at Medicare's advent are starkly different than those present today.


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