For generations, Medicare and Social Security have been our nation’s solemn promises to our seniors: work hard, play by the rules, and we will make sure you get the health care and retirement security you earned when you need it most.

Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans’ budget plan would end the Medicare guarantee and raise prescription drug costs for many seniors.  Under this reckless proposal, Illinois seniors would pay on average more than $6,000 extra in out-of-pocket health care costs each year. 

I strongly oppose this plan and was proud to vote against it.

To ensure Medicare’s long-term financial stability, we should implement common sense reforms to lower costs, like implementing electronic medical records and better coordination of services.  We should also use Medicare’s negotiating power to get lower prices, including for prescription drugs.  Finally, we must do a better job of eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, which will help preserve and protect Medicare for generations to come.

I also strongly oppose any attempt to privatize Social Security or cut benefits.  Social Security is a critically important element of retirement for so many Illinoisans and I will fight hard to protect it. That’s why I led an effort opposing the switch to a so-called “chained CPI” system for calculating Social Security benefits.  This would have reduced benefits each year and made it harder for Illinois seniors to make ends meet.