Protecting Social Security and Medicare
- Strengthen Social Security
- Improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries
- Eliminate waste, fraud and abuse
Strengthening, preserving and improving Social Security and Medicare is necessary for America’s future. The Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees report reveals that Social Security is expected to exhaust its reserves by 2033. Additionally, Medicare is projected to reach insolvency by 2024. We must begin the process of reforming these programs to ensure they will meet current and future beneficiary obligations.
However, to be clear, I am not supportive of proposals that would impact those at or near retirement. I am confident we can protect the solvency of these programs by eliminating waste, combating fraud and incorporating responsible reforms to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
I voted in favor of the House Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, a proposal which included key reforms that would preserve and strengthen Medicare without impacting any American in or nearing retirement. Beginning in 2024, beneficiaries would be given the flexibility to remain with traditional Medicare, or select a plan from a list of guaranteed coverage options. Those with preexisting conditions would receive greater support, and other plans would encourage competition to improve access to quality care. This also requires consideration of reform to secure the future of Social Security.
I also believe Medicare must reimburse our health care providers at a fair and equitable rate by finding a permanent solution for the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula—a nearly 30% cut in reimbursements when treating Medicare and TRICARE patients. Physicians should not have to worry about whether they can afford to see their patients nor operate their practices with the ambiguity that the monthly physician fee creates. I supported legislation to delay implementation of the SGR until December 31, 2013.
I am a cosponsor of the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Under the health care law, the IPAB would have authority over payment rates for Medicare beneficiaries, creating more government bureaucracy.
What are your thoughts on Social Security and Medicare?
With a looming insolvency for Social Security and Medicare, what are your views on how we can save these programs for future generations? Click here to share what you think with me.
Resources for you:
- The Social Security Administration provided a Cost of Living Adjustment increase of 1.7% in 2013. Visit the Administration’s website on the COLA for more information on this benefit here.
- The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security is considering various policies regarding the Social Security program. Click here to access the Subcommittee website for more information.
- Visit the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health which is examining fraud and abuse in the health care system, as well as solutions to reform and secure the Medicare. Visit the Subcommittee website by clicking here.