Social Security is the bedrock of retirement security for millions of Americans. In the 13th Congressional District alone, Social Security provides more than 96,000 seniors with the foundation for a dignified retirement. Social Security also provides more than 42,000 individuals – including more than 9,000 children – important support through Social Security’s disability and survivor’s insurance programs.
Congress has an obligation to ensure the long-term viability of Social Security so that future generations may enjoy the same financial stability that it has provided for more than 75 years.
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security and as a member of the Seniors Task Force, I have always been a champion for preserving Social Security and have fought tirelessly to protect and strengthen it. I have fought efforts to privatize these guaranteed retirement benefits and will continue to fight to ensure that Social Security remains solvent for future generations.
Fighting Efforts to End Medicare
Unfortunately, the Republican Majority in Congress is working to undo this progress by repealing the Affordable Care Act and stripping seniors of these important benefits. Congressional Republicans put forward a plan to end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program. This means seniors would be on their own to purchase health insurance on the individual market with a voucher of limited value. This proposal does nothing to reduce costs; it merely shifts the cost burden onto our seniors and their families.
With the Republican voucher plan, seniors could face hurdles in purchasing insurance on the individual market, including discrimination or higher premiums based on age, illness, or income. Under this proposal, seniors could face higher costs, lower quality of care, fewer benefits, or reduced access to care.
A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation study found that under the Republican voucher plan 59 percent of Medicare beneficiaries would have paid higher premiums unless they shifted into a cheaper plan – some would have had to pay more than $200 a month more for their premiums. In Philadelphia, a county with one of the highest Medicare beneficiaries in the country, 99 percent of beneficiaries would have to higher premiums if they remained in the same plan.
Privatizing Medicare means:
Limits on benefits
Obstacles to care and uncertain reimbursements
Co-payments for primary care and specialty care
Exclusions for certain services
Discrimination based on age, illness, or income
Uncertainty if serious illness or need for long-term care occurs
The Republican voucher plan eliminates the foundation of Medicare – which has been a lifeline for older Americans, providing them with the quality, affordable health coverage they need and deserve. I will continue to fight to protect and preserve the Medicare guarantee for America’s seniors now and in the future.