Preserve Medicare for current beneficiaries. Make it sustainable for future generations.
I will not allow seniors to lose coverage at a time in their lives when they need it most. The program is vital to our nation's seniors and should not only be protected, but reformed so that the program can remain solvent and promises made can be kept.
We must reform the Medicare program because it is not solvent in its current form and it will reach insolvency by 2024. However, we also must be sure to keep our promises to those current beneficiaries and those nearing eligibility that have planned their health care needs in retirement around it. Further, we cannot support a plan that will hinder economic growth. The solution to our federal deficit is not diverting costs or raising taxes.
I also believe we must reform the health care system generally. Bringing down the costs of services, equipment, and pharmaceuticals overall will carry over to the Medicare market. True health care reform will lower costs, improve care, provide greater patient choice, and increase access to care for all Americans—not increase Americans' dependency on failed federal programs.
We have the greatest health care community in the world, and I continue to examine ways to improve its quality, cost, and accessibility.
Protecting and preserving Social Security is one of the most important issues facing Congress. I believe Social Security is a promise that must be kept. And while the fund is solvent for current recipients as well as those nearing retirement age, it will be insolvent by 2033. We must enact reforms in order to preserve Social Security for future generations, but I will not support legislation that will change Social Security for those already receiving benefits.
I agree with the concept of a "lock box" because time and again, leaders in Washington have dipped into the Social Security trust fund to pay for unrelated, wasteful government spending. We need to lock away these funds by taking Social Security "off-budget" to ensure our future retirees receive the promises that have been made to them. America’s senior citizens have worked hard for their retirement. Congress needs to change the status quo to make sure Social Security is there for senior citizens and for future generations.
Congress has an opportunity and an obligation to address this issue in an honest and forthright fashion. It is wrong to ignore the problems facing the program for younger workers and it is wrong to frighten senior citizens who are currently reliant upon Social Security benefits. I pledge to work towards a common-sense solution that respects Americans of all ages.