Protecting Social Security and Medicare
As a Representative of one of the largest number of Social Security recipients and Medicare beneficiaries in the Congress, please know that I will always work to ensure that those who rely on these programs, or who are near retirement, have access to the benefits they have been promised.
Congressman Bill Young understands how vital Social Security benefits are to the people of Pinellas County. His record of defending the safety net for America’s seniors is second to none in the Congress.
Ever since 1970, when he was first elected to the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Young has been devoted to ensuring that the Social Security system is financially secure. He founded the Congressional Social Security Caucus, which is dedicated to protecting and preserving the Social Security system and ensuring the integrity of the trust funds so that benefits will continue to be there, as promised, for future generations.
Congressman Young has also consistently opposed efforts that would alter Social Security from being a sound self-financing system for the benefit of current and future retirees. This includes the most recent attempt to replace the program with private Social Security savings accounts, which would jeopardize the benefits that countless retirees have come to rely on since the Social Security Act was first signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935.
Finally, over the last two years Congressman Young has been concerned with the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) not being increased due to inflation. He has long been critical of the formula that measures the level of inflation in our economy because older Americans have different needs than the "typical" American. In addition, he feels the current Consumer Price Index fails to adequately reflect the fact that seniors rely more on medical goods and services, which have a much higher inflation rate.
To try and help offset the lack of a Social Security COLA during the last two years, he supported such efforts as H.R. 4429, the Restoring the Social Security COLA Act, which aimed to provide a one-time $250 (equal to approximately 2 percent) payment to all Social Security, Railroad Retirement, Veterans Disability Benefits, Civil Service Retirement System, and Federal Employee Retirement System beneficiaries. He also sent a letter to President Barack Obama noting that while reform of the formula used to compute the Social Security COLA is the ultimate solution, it is of the utmost importance to provide for immediate relief to seniors struggling with ever-increasing expenses on a fixed income. The letter therefore requested the President to include a $500 payment for seniors in his upcoming budget request to make up for the lack of COLA for 2010 and 2011.
Protecting Medicare Access and Benefits
Congressman Bill Young has been an ardent supporter of the Medicare program and has worked hard over the years to ensure the many seniors who live in his district and around the county continue to receive the health care services they depend on.
He has supported numerous pieces of legislation which aim to increase access to Medicare services, fight fraudulent spending, and address physician shortages in the State of Florida. Some of these measures from the 112th Congress include:
- H.R. 1140, the Senior Citizens Income Security Act;
- H.R. 1332, the Social Security Fairness Act.
Congressman Young has also been very critical of recent attempts to reduce Medicare spending by billions of dollars to help pay for such things as the government sponsored reform of our health care delivery system. A large percentage of his constituents rely on Medicare for their health care coverage and all of them will be negatively impacted by the impending cuts for benefits such as inpatient and outpatient hospital services, inpatient rehabilitation services, skilled nursing programs, medical laboratory services, long-term care facilities, kidney dialysis facilities, and hospice services.
As the debate continues on how best to care for the health of the American people, Congressman Young believes that we should not expand health services for the underprivileged and chronically ill on the backs of our senior citizens. Instead, we must work in a bipartisan manner, as he has done for over forty years that he has represented Pinellas County, to find ways so that every American citizen will benefit from health care reform.