HANK ON THE ISSUES ›

Seniors and Social Security

SOCIAL SECURITY SOLVENCY
As it stands today, Social Security will be solvent through 2037.  Those who advocate making huge cuts to Social Security to balance the budget are misguided.  Social Security is an essential social safety net, providing critical income to more 53 million retirees, workers with disabilities, spouses and their children.  Congress must not grant huge tax cuts to the wealthy and tax subsidies to large corporations, and then try to balance the budget on the backs of our seniors.

DEFICIT REDUCTION AND SOCIAL SECURITY
The United States faces fiscal challenges, and we must find creative ways to cut spending and increase revenues over coming decades.  But a civilized nation does not balance its budgets by abandoning seniors.  There are plenty of places to cut the deficit: the bloated defense budget, wasteful subsidies to powerful industries, and unwarranted tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, for example.  We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our seniors.

MEDICARE FRAUD

I join seniors and all Americans in opposing Medicare fraud.  Medicare fraud robs our seniors of quality health care and increases costs for all taxpayers.  I voted for health care reform which gives Medicare new authority to root out waste, fraud, and abuse.  Specifically, reform provided $700 million to fight fraud, allows CMS to conduct background checks and site visits to weed out fraudulent providers, and creates new penalties for submitting false data to Medicare or Medicaid.  Passing the health reform law was the first step, but as we all know, the key to rooting out fraud will be in the implementation of the law.  I will vigorously monitor CMS’s efforts in this area to protect America’s seniors.

ACCESS TO DOCTORS UNDER MEDICARE

Too many doctors these days are closing their doors to Medicare patients because Medicare continues to cut their payments.  I understand how important it is to see the doctor of your choice, and that is why I voted for legislation to fix the broken formula which cuts doctors payments and makes it harder for seniors to see their doctor.  Congress must make this issue a priority.

WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO HELP OLDER WORKERS GET BACK TO WORK AND TO IMPROVE ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR PEOPLE OF ALL GENERATIONS?

The federal government has to support retraining and continuing education programs so older workers can adapt in a rapidly changing global economy.  Congress also needs to strengthen the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which was recently weakened by the Supreme Court, to protect older workers and job applicants from discrimination.