The top four Democratic presidential candidates may be split on health care reform, two favor the public option and two favor Medicare for All. But, Nancy Altman writes in Forbes that all four top candidates, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, support strengthening and expanding Social Security. No matter who becomes the Democratic candidate, if you support expanding Social Security, it will be critical to vote.
Social Security is a national treasure that virtually all Democratic members of Congress support expanding. In fact, nine out of ten members of the House of Representatives support Congressman John Larson’s Social Security 2100 Act. If enacted, Social Security benefits would rise, and its Trust Fund would be strong for many many decades.
Increasing Social Security benefits would help older Americans in retirement. Today, a large portion of older adults struggle to afford their basic needs. Few people can rely on pensions or retirement savings. Many rely almost exclusively or heavily on Social Security for their income. Social Security income is guaranteed and cost-effective, unlike Wall Street stock investments and 401(k) plans.
Most Republicans in Congress would like to cut Social Security benefits even though their constituents overwhelmingly support Social Security. They strive to create a wedge between older adults and younger Americans. In fact, young Americans need Social Security both when they retire and, now, to help support their parents and grandparents. Without adequate Social Security benefits, young Americans would be left worrying even more about their parents’ financial well-being.
Social Security is social insurance, meaning that everyone contributes to it and everyone who contributes benefits. It builds social solidarity. Americans all count on it for themselves and their families. Social Security is an earned benefit, unlike other federal and state social programs that are for particular populations in need. For our personal and collective security, we must ensure its continued well-being.
Social Security benefits need to be coupled with coverage for home and community-based care. Medicare for All,
which Senators Sanders and Warren support, covers these long-term services. Buttigieg
proposes giving people $90 a day to help with these costs, which is far more than the US guarantees older adults today. But, his plan does not come close to providing the most vulnerable Americans with adequate coverage.
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