I wanted to take a moment of your time to give you an update from Washington on a few issues that affect seniors--whether that's you or someone you know.
Medicare -- The budget recently introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan and approved by the House of Representatives is a repeat of last year's proposed budget: it once again ends the Medicare guarantee and increases health care costs for seniors. The proposal would replace Medicare's guarantee of health security with a voucher that simply shifts more and more health care costs onto seniors. It also cuts Medicaid--which covers a significant portion of long-term care for seniors--by a third, and puts already cash-strapped states in the position of cutting enrollment or reducing benefits in the program. I believe these proposals are unreasonable and I strongly oppose them.
Social Security -- For over seven decades Social Security has been an essential and unwavering promise to America's seniors. It gives seniors the assurance that after a lifetime of hard work they can retire with a measure of security and dignity. Proposals to privatize Social Security still abound, but they would all leave seniors' retirement security subject to fluctuating markets and the whims of Wall Street. I have always opposed this misguided effort to end Social Security and will continue to do so.
April is Financial Literacy Month -- The Federal Trade Commission is one of our nation's most important consumer protection agencies, and I wanted to highlight its online resource, OnGuardOnline.gov during Financial Literacy Month. The site was created as a one-stop resource for senior citizens and others concerned about fraud, avoiding scams, and using the Internet safely. There you will find helpful resources about recognizing online scams, shopping securely online, dealing with spam email and how to avoid hackers and viruses.
AARP's Health Law Guide -- I also wanted to make sure you saw AARP's online tool to help you learn more about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA)--or the health care reform law--may affect you. This is a free tool and is available in both English and Spanish. The ACA created numerous benefits for seniors, but many people don't know about them or find the details difficult to fully understand. AARP's Guide shows personalized benefits and changes as a result of the law, and may assist you or someone you know in understanding what benefits are available now and what greater benefits will be available in the future.
Thank you for the opportunity to share this update with you. As always, please feel free to pass it along to family and friends.
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