Issue Position: Protecting Seniors

Issue Position

Our seniors deserve the secure retirements they have earned. Promises made should be promises kept, which is why I support protecting Medicare and Social Security for our seniors and for future generations.

Decades of politicians kicking the can down the road has left us with a situation in which if we do nothing, we will not have enough resources to protect Social Security and Medicare for my generation and those who follow, and that is unacceptable. This is simply a math issue, so we must sit down and identify bipartisan solutions to strengthen these programs for the long haul.

I full-out reject the harmful cuts to Medicare and Medicare Advantage, supported by Ron Barber, which were used to pay for Obamacare. These cuts amount to $1,500 per senior, and will result in reduced access to the health care they need. I also do not support the changes to Medicare included in the GOP Ryan budget, because the model is untested and may result in higher out-of-pocket costs if we do not bring the overall cost of health care down.

Instead of cutting seniors' benefits to pay for Obamacare or experimenting with massive changes to Medicare, our focus should be on reducing the cost of health care to increase access and affordability.

We also must protect Social Security for current seniors and preserve it for future generations who are working now and paying into it. If we do nothing, Social Security benefits will be cut and payments will be reduced in 2033. However, I am against any effort to privatize Social Security because seniors have paid into this program their entire lives and are relying on it for retirement security. We cannot violate our promise to them.

I am willing to sit down with anyone to find bipartisan agreement that will strengthen Social Security and Medicare and preserve these programs for the next generations -- and I strongly believe that any solutions must be bipartisan.