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Public Statements

Issue Position: Seniors

Issue Position

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Today, Americans are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. My parents are part of a generation whose hard work played a critical role in helping to drive some of the most important and positive changes in our country. However, seniors are still facing tremendous challenges. We must demonstrate our support and appreciation for the generation that has contributed so much to America. As they deal with rising costs for everything from healthcare to housing, now is not the time to cut the programs that so many seniors and their families rely on.

Social Security
Social Security is a promise, and as your Congressman it's one I intend to keep. For more than 75 years, Social Security has remained one of our most important and successful government programs. Today this program keeps more than 13 million Americans out of poverty. [1] For countless more it makes a middle class retirement possible. The last thing we need to do is cut a program that has been so successful.

We must preserve this crucial program for future generations without cutting benefits or making radical and irresponsible changes. In Congress, I will defend Social Security and fight any attempts to privatize it.

The program is generally sound, but some changes will need to be made to make sure we can continue to keep this promise to future generations. I will support common sense measures such as making sure that wealthy Americans pay the same payroll tax rate into Social Security as everyone else. This measure would restore the balance without increasing taxes on the poor. It is one important step we can take to ensure a strong and solvent Social Security program for generations to come. We must also looks towards long term deficit reduction so that needed cuts do not effect this important program.

Medicare
Today Medicare is under attack. Republicans want to turn this successful program into a voucher system. As costs go up they want seniors to pay. This is simply unacceptable and in Congress I'll fight back.

At the same time we must find ways to slow the rate of growth to GDP or lower in order to make the program sustainable. There are specific steps we can take to rein in costs without cutting benefits to seniors. For example, we can make Medicare more efficient by allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies directly to get the best possible price for prescription drugs. Current law prohibits us from doing this.[2] It is time to end this gift to drug companies. In order to control costs, we must also crack down on Medicare fraud and abuse. Seniors should not have to pay the price for Medicare's inefficiency.

It is morally wrong to balance the budget on the backs of the 49 million Americans who are in the Medicare program. [3] I will look for ways to save this program without simply passing costs onto seniors.

Affordable Housing
Ensuring that all seniors have access to safe and affordable housing must be a national priority. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's "Section 202" program recently awarded $23 million to three nonprofits to build affordable housing for low-income seniors in Maryland.[4] This HUD program helps seniors live independently in a supportive environment that provides services like cleaning and transportation.[5]In Congress, I will be a strong voice for this program and others like it.


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