Amid pandemic threatening older Americans and increasing reliance on Social Security and Medicare, congressman convenes bipartisan group of lawmakers to push for stronger programs for older Americans
Congressman Anthony Brindisi, joined by Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Democrat Joe Cunningham (SC-01), led a resolution, the Senior Security Promise, to outline legislative priorities for older Americans. Older Americans have been exponentially impacted by COVID-19 and rely on Medicare and Social Security to get by more than ever. Brindisi promised not to let Washington politicians balance budgets on the backs of older Americans.
“The Senior Security Promise will reaffirm Congress’s commitment to our older Americans,” Brindisi said. “Social Security and Medicare should not be on the chopping block, and this will send a clear message to Washington that we need to keep our promises to our older Americans.”
“Our senior citizens need our help,” Fitzpatrick said. “After working their entire lives, they deserve financial security, and peace of mind. The Senior Security Promise will work to bolster social security, lower health care costs, and end telephone scams. I am proud to partner with Reps. Cunningham and Brindisi to lead this initiative, and I look forward to more members joining us.”
Earlier this year, Brindisi, a staunch defender of Social Security and Medicare and advocate for older Americans, launched his Gray New Deal agenda. This agenda aims to preserve and strengthen programs protecting seniors from scams, against age discrimination and Medicare and Social Security. Brindisi’s Gray New Deal can be found HERE.
The entire text of the Senior Security Promise is below:
Recognizing the need for a Senior Security Promise.
Whereas after a lifetime of hard work, older Americans have earned the right to age with dignity and enjoy the fruits of their labor;
Whereas over the past century, life expectancy has increased for many Americans; and the share of the population over aged 65 has grown dramatically –
- From 1900 through 2015 the percentage of people in the United States aged 65 and older more than tripled;
- According to the Administration on Aging, in 2015, those 65 and older accounted for about 15% of the total population, or 50.9 million people;
- By 2085, the 65 and older age group is projected to make up about 22% of the total U.S. population;
Whereas older Americans have paid into critical programs like Social Security and Medicare all their lives;
Whereas the Federal Government should work to strengthen and protect these critical programs, ensure the Trust Funds are solvent for years to come, require higher income earners to pay their fair share, and protect the safety net for older Americans;
Whereas many older Americans on fixed incomes are struggling to keep up with the skyrocketing costs of premiums and out of pocket costs of prescription drugs;
Whereas access to affordable and reliable health care is a top priority for our nation’s older Americans;
Whereas scams and fraudulent activities calls are more than an annoyance, they can mean serious financial risks for older people
Whereas family caregivers allow older Americans to age with dignity in their homes and the federal government should recognize the value of caregivers and provide more financial support
Whereas older Americans play an integral role in the labor force of the nation, with 10 million seniors working or actively seeking to work –
- According to the Administration for Community Living in 2018, 10 million (19.6%) Americans aged 65 and over were in the labor force (working or actively seeking work), including 5.5 million men (24.0%) and 4.5 million women (15.9%);
- In 2018 older adults constituted 6.2% of the U.S. labor force;
Whereas older Americans are a vital part of the American workforce and our economy –
- At the federal level, people aged 50 and older contributed 43% of the total tax take in 2018, or a little over $1.4 trillion dollars;
- It is estimated that seniors will provide 47% of total federal tax revenue by 2050, or $5.8 trillion;
- By some estimates in 2018, people 50 and older spent 56 cents out of every retail dollar spent. By 2050, that will be 61 cents of every dollar;
Whereas for older Americans who want to keep working, age discrimination threatens their financial security-
- By some estimates, 6-in-10 older workers across the country have experienced or seen age discrimination in the workplace;
Whereas older Americans touch the lives of many through countless hours of volunteering or unpaid work –
- According to some estimates, people 50 and older create an additional $745 billion in value through unpaid activities, such as volunteering and family caregiving;
Whereas older Americans are the cornerstones of American families, with 12.9 million households led by people that are age 75 and older;
Whereas older Americans are a valued part of American life not only for their contributions, but also their wisdom and experience;
Resolved, that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that –
- The United States needs a ‘Senior Security Promise’ that reaffirms our commitment to older Americans, ensures access to affordable health care, protects seniors from scams and financial fraud, and provides the resources and support they need for a dignified retirement.
- The U.S. Congress must work on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to achieve these goals.