For generations, Medicare and Social Security have been our nation’s solemn promises to our seniors: work hard, play by the rules and we will make sure you get the health care and retirement security you’ve earned. I believe all Americans should be able to retire with dignity and that means standing up for the programs that make it possible.
I am dedicated to ensuring Medicare’s long-term stability and believe we should implement common sense reforms to better coordinate services while continuing to expand access to care. We must also do a better job of eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, which will help preserve and protect Medicare for generations to come. Finally, I stand behind using Medicare’s negotiating power to ensure lower prices for care and services, including prescription drug costs.
Last year, I helped pass the Lower Drug Costs Now Act which will work to expand Medicare coverage. The bill caps costs for Medicare prescription coverage and gives Medicare the ability to negotiate directly with drug companies. The resulting savings are reinvested in medical research to find the cures of tomorrow. I’ve also introduced legislation that will require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to establish an interagency council to address the social determinants of health which affect Americans throughout their lifetime but can matter most as an older adult.
I strongly oppose any attempt to privatize Social Security or cut benefits. Social Security is a critically important element of retirement for so many Illinoisans and I will fight hard to protect and expand it. Congress should not gamble with Social Security on Wall Street, or by any other means, in an attempt to cut the deficit. I believe there are many more reasonable ways to reduce the deficit that do not put Social Security, or the welfare of Illinois seniors, on the line.
One way to protect Social Security is cutting back waste and mismanagement. In 2019 I introduced the bipartisan Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act. This act gives federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration the tools to ensure accurate death data so that Social Security payments aren’t being wasted and sent to individuals no longer living. I believe having a strong middle class means we must continue to support programs like Medicare and Social Security. Our seniors have worked hard their entire lives and they deserve the peace and security of knowing the promises we’ve made to them will also be there for their children and grandchildren.