I believe how we treat our parents and grandparents reflects on our values as a country. I first ran for local office after helping lead a grassroots effort to protect elderly residents from rising property taxes. I helped design and pass a local budget that ensured strong schools and protected lower-income seniors from untenable increases in their property tax. I continued my work to help seniors as a state representative, from safeguarding heating assistance to protecting the elderly from financial scams.
Protect and save Medicare. I strongly oppose the Republican plan to dismantle Medicare and turn it into a voucher system, cutting benefits for seniors while costing them more. The Wall Street Journal said the plan “would essentially end Medicare.” Medicare plays a critical role for our seniors and must be protected. To ensure its financial stability we should implement common sense reforms to lower costs like implementing electronic medical records, better coordination of health services, using Medicare’s negotiating power to get better rates and prices, and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse. Billions of dollars are wasted in fraudulent health claims. Cracking down on these abusive practices will lower costs and help preserve Medicare for the long-term.
Stop Social Security privatization. I also staunchly oppose any attempt to privatize or cut Social Security benefits. So many of our seniors depend on Social Security just to survive, and for others it is a critical element of their retirement plan. It’s their money, and they earned it.
Protect and restore home heating assistance. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been under assault in Washington. LIHEAP provides critical aid to many of the elderly in Connecticut who cannot afford to heat their homes in the winter. I will lead an effort to protect and expand this important program, just as I have at the state level.