Hare Reiterates Commitment to Protecting Social Security, Strengthening Medicare
Leading Advocate for Seniors Praises Congressman's Record
Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today was joined by Max Richtman, Executive Vice President of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, at two town hall meetings with 17th District seniors to discuss the importance of protecting social security and strengthening Medicare.
"Next week marks the 72nd anniversary of Social Security and the program has never been so important to the livelihood of our seniors," Hare said. "For over seven decades, Social Security has provided dignity to millions of retiring Americans. I am absolutely committed to preventing President Bush and Republicans in Congress from privatizing this critical program."
Despite what President Bush has been declaring, Social Security does not face an immediate crisis. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Social Security can pay full benefits until 2052, and about 80 percent of benefits thereafter. "I believe we need to explore ways to strengthen and modernize Social Security so it remains solvent for generations to come," Hare said. "Privatization does exactly the oppositerisking the safety net of our seniors in the often volatile stock market."
Hare said Congress must also take steps to strengthen Medicare. In January, he voted for a bill to make health care more affordable for seniors by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices. Last week, Hare voted for the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act, a bill to prohibit the reduction of payments to physicians and add tens of billions of dollars to the Medicare trust fund by reducing overpayments to profit rich HMO's. "Congress has a moral responsibility to pass laws that help our seniors, not big pharmaceutical and insurance companies," Hare said.
"Congressman Hare has been a consistent defender of Social Security and is steadfastly opposed to privatization," Richtman said. "We at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare applaud his recent vote to improve SCHIP, bringing healthcare to millions of children, and strengthening Medicare to benefit our nation's seniors."