Social Security and Medicare

Since its creation, Social Security and Medicare have been the foundation on which millions of middle-class Americans have built a secure retirement after a lifetime of work and paying taxes.  Today, these programs are under increasing threat.  Senator Schatz firmly believes that Social Security is the most successful antipoverty program in United States history and should be strengthened, not undermined. Senator Schatz has been hard at work to protect and enhance Social Security and Medicare to ensure our kupuna live their golden years with the dignity and respect they have earned.

Social Security is one of our nation’s most successful social programs, yet many in Congress have attempted to cut its funding or further raise the retirement age.  In his efforts to preserve and enhance Social Security for our seniors, Senator Schatz strongly opposed the use of the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) to calculate cost-of-living adjustments.  Implementing the so-called Chained CPI would unfairly cut Social Security and veterans’ benefits. He is also fighting efforts in Congress to raise the Social Security retirement age, which disproportionately affects those that need Social Security the most.  These efforts to cut Social Security mean that the nearly 1 in 6 local residents who rely on Social Security would have to make more sacrifices in order to afford even basic necessities.

That is why Senator Schatz introduced legislation that would both increase Social Security benefits and strengthen the financial stability of the program.  This legislation would increase benefits by about $65 per month, make cost-of-living adjustments more accurate, and remove the wage cap so that very wealthy Americans pay their fair share.

The Senator is also working with Democratic leadership to protect Medicare and provide seniors with access to quality, affordable care. Currently, drug manufacturers have a deal in place that allows them to charge the government higher prices for prescription drugs for certain seniors and people with disabilities. The Medicare Drug Savings Act would require pharmaceutical companies to charge more reasonable prices for drugs used by low-income seniors and people with disabilities, a commonsense change to level the playing field for Medicare Part D and save the taxpayers money. This bill would make our system fairer, as Medicaid and private insurers are able to negotiate lower drug prices, but Medicare Part D is prohibited from negotiations. By correcting this provision, we would be preventing excessive payments to drug companies, while saving the government money.