It is important to maintain the long-term sustainability of Medicare and Social Security to fulfill the promises made to those who have already paid into these systems. However, there is an obvious and fundamental need to make improvements to these cherished programs to preserve their solvency into the future – a need that ultimately must be tackled by Congress. Any proposed changes must guarantee that current retirees receive the benefits to which they are entitled. I am constantly striving to protect our seniors and ensuring that our federal government keeps the promises it has made.
After a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice, seniors should not have to worry about their retirement. Medicare is a sacred trust between our government and our seniors. They deserve a Medicare system that is efficient, solvent, and sustainable. Currently, Medicare has trillions in unfunded liabilities, which are only expected to grow larger, and the program may go bankrupt as early as 2021. Without action, millions of American seniors could lose their healthcare.
Worse yet, continued inaction means that the youngest among us will have to shoulder the rising costs and shrinking benefits, threatening the American Dream for future generations. The demographic and economic conditions that existed at Medicare’s advent are starkly different than those present today. We must adapt and change this system from the 1960’s to function in line with the realities of the present day to ensure that Medicare remains the critical safety net it was intended to be both for current seniors and for future generations.
Many of those 65 and older live on a fixed income and a viable Social Security system is crucial to their livelihoods. Social Security has long been successful in allowing our seniors to maintain their independence long after their working years. This is a noble goal worthy of all our seniors, now and in the future.
However, Social Security is suffering from some of the same problems as Medicare. I will continue to address the growing need to tackle the problems adversely affecting our Social Security system. Throughout my time in Congress I have not only fought to protect this program for current seniors, but also for future retirees who are at risk of inheriting a failed and bankrupt program. Social Security’s solvency crisis is driven by the fact that the ratio of workers to beneficiaries has plunged by over 75% since the 1960s. Because today’s workers are now taxed to pay for today’s retirees, the Social Security Trust Fund may be depleted within a decade. By delaying this issue, we make it harder to find a viable solution that will prevent future expenses and pain for current and future generations of seniors.