Social Security and Medicare are critical programs for our nation’s seniors.
With regard to Social Security I have voted against making any changes to Social Security. I have also cosponsored and voted for legislation that would guarantee that Social Security checks are never held hostage to budget negotiations. This legislation guarantees that Social Security checks are paid. Social Security is a contract between seniors who paid into the program and the federal government, and these obligations must be met.
As for Medicare, I am a strong supporter of Medicare and voted against President Obama’s health care law, which cut over a half a trillion dollars from the Medicare budget. I also voted against legislation that would have made other changes for those who are nearing retirement. For those under age 55 who want to choose a different plan, I believe that we should allow them choices when they reach 65, but also ensure that they have access to traditional Medicare, with no changes, if they so desire. The Medicare Advantage plan that more than one in four seniors in my Congressional District have chosen is the sort of choice options that have proven very successful and should be expanded.
I have been a strong supporter of bipartisan legislation to repeal Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB was included in the President’s health care law and gives 15 unelected, unaccountable government bean counters the power to reduce Medicare services for seniors. It is critical that this panel be repealed. Even Howard Dean, the former head of the Democratic National Committee said that the IPAB would cut benefits for seniors.