Many older Americans are struggling under President Obama's failed leadership. Federal programs that serve seniors are not working and many are getting even worse without needed reforms. I have proposed a number of policies to fix these programs and improve the financial security and health of millions of our citizens.
Preserve and Protect Social Security and Medicare
Many retirees rely on Social Security and Medicare for critical health needs and financial security. Unfortunately, Washington politicians have put the Social Security and Medicare trust funds on a course to be drained as soon as 2030, at which point benefits will need to be cut. My detailed plan preserves and protects Social Security and Medicare by implementing a number of reforms, including encouraging private saving, valuing work, slowing cost growth, and giving seniors better choices when it comes to health care benefits. My plan will ensure that no current retiree, or senior approaching retirement, will see a cut in Social Security benefits and that many seniors will benefit from lower Medicare premiums.
Honor Our Veterans
The nation has a responsibility to care for former service members throughout their lives. Yet a series of deeply troubling revelations has shown the government is not keeping that commitment, especially to our older veterans. Under the Obama Administration, we have seen incidents of grave conditions throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs' health care system. I have put forth a detailed seven step plan to restore faith with our veterans and improve the quality of care they receive. My plan includes overhauling the Veterans Health Administration, expanding choice, and improving healthcare for female veterans. For instance, currently, only certain veterans are allowed to choose their doctor. That number should be increased. If a veteran wants to see a neighborhood physician, he or she has earned that choice.
Provide Tax Relief for Seniors
I have offered a complete overhaul of the U.S. tax code so we can grow our economy, provide tax relief to more Americans and make it easier to start a business. An important element of my plan lowers taxes on employed seniors. Currently, working seniors who are eligible for Social Security must continue to pay 6.2 percent of their income (up to specified levels) to Social Security. This discourages seniors to stay in the workforce. My tax plan eliminates this tax for employees who have reached full retirement age.
Promote Innovation in Health Care
American entrepreneurs have achieved transformational innovations that have greatly improved and prolonged our lives. Medical research remains on the verge of producing breakthrough treatments and therapies for serious ailments, but more investment is critical. For example, Alzheimer's is now the sixth leading cause of death in America and not only causes tremendous suffering but, in aggregate, burdens the nation with hundreds of billions of dollars in additional costs each year. As President, my health care plan will promote innovation by modernizing the morass of federal regulations that stifles new medical discoveries and increase the effectiveness of, and funding for, National Institutes of Health research.