KEEP FAITH WITH OLDER AMERICANS
No one who has worked hard for a lifetime should have to worry about whether they can count on earned benefits, afford to see a doctor, or remain in their community as they age. Seniors make up over 20% of the population in our district— some who’ve lived and worked here their whole lives, and others who are drawn by the natural beauty to retire here. Yet these valued members of our community have been underrepresented and disregarded by our current Congressman. As your Congresswoman, I will work to...
PROTECT & EXPAND SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE
Seniors who have paid into these programs all their lives should be able to count on them as they become eligible. Yet our Congressman has worked against these cornerstones of retirement security: he helped write a budget proposal that cuts over $500 billion from Medicare while raising the eligibility age to 67, and cuts nearly $4 billion from Social Security. I will fight to keep these vital programs intact, and oppose any attempt to privatize Social Security or turn Medicare into a voucher program. To extend the life of the Social Security Trust Fund, I support lifting the payroll tax cap that allows high earners to pay a lower share of their income into Social Security than middle-class Americans do. I also believe we should tie Cost of Living increases to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), to provide a fair and accurate representation of the specific costs our seniors face as they age. Over 130,000 seniors in our district count on Social Security to afford a decent retirement, and I will never break trust with them.
END THE ATTACKS ON SENIORS' HEALTHCARE
Increases in healthcare costs are particularly devastating for people living on a fixed income. Yet the health care law that Tom McClintock voted for would have dramatically raised healthcare costs for older people. It would have repealed the limit on seniors’ premiums, allowing insurance companies to charge older customers as much as 5 times what they charge younger ones. And it would have eliminated the existing requirement that insurers provide coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. If McClintock’s favored plan had become law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that many seniors would have been unable to afford any insurance coverage at all. We should be working to provide seniors with better and more affordable care, not taking it away to raise profits for insurance companies. Please see my stance on healthcare issues here.
REDUCE THE COST OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
When I see pharmaceutical companies hiking prices for lifesaving medication, I have to believe America can do better. Taxpayer-funded scientific research contributes to the development of nearly every new drug, so we have a right to expect those drugs be kept within reach of those who need them. I support giving Medicare the right to negotiate prescription drug prices, and allowing the import of essential generic medications. And I will oppose any bill, such as the healthcare repeal that Tom McClintock voted for, that raises drug costs for seniors by the Medicare part D “donut hole.”
INCREASE SENIOR HOUSING
Many seniors reach a point where aging in their homes is no longer an option. This often happens long before seniors are ready or need to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility, leaving seniors searching for more creative housing solutions in their home communities. Our district has a shortage of affordable rental housing options for seniors and other fixed- or low-income renters. I propose to solve this problem by fighting for funding to build affordable senior housing in our district, and to assist seniors with rental subsidies.
IMPROVE TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
Access to public transportation options for seniors can often mean the difference between isolation and the ability to continue living an active and self-sufficient life. Public transportation options allow seniors to stay in their own homes longer, while still providing ready access to necessary services such as doctors, banks and shopping. More than 75% of seniors are choosing to live in suburban or rural communities in retirement, and these communities have the biggest challenges in providing adequate public transportation. Our current representative thinks that funds spent on mass transit are “squandered.” I will fight to increase the federal funding allocation to public transportation so that we can improve the transit options for seniors and all citizens.