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HELPING SENIOR CITIZENS

posted Jan 22, 2014, 2:09 PM by Lane Siekman   [ updated Feb 15, 2016, 11:53 AM ]
I’m committed to keeping the promises made to and paid for by our seniors.  I believe in protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare and honoring the benefits that seniors earned during a lifetime of hard work.

Social Security and Medicare provide a critical lifeline for Hoosiers. 1,191,768 Hoosiers receive monthly Social Security checks, including 186,817 workers with disabilities and 100,871 children and 971,923 Hoosiers get their health care coverage from Medicare. Without these programs, millions of America’s elderly would live in poverty. By one estimate, Social Security alone lifts more than 14 million older Americans out of poverty.

I do not believe that Social Security is a “ponzi scheme,” as some have called it, and I do not support proposals that would privatize it. The program is safe for more than the next 20 years. We should use that time to consider modest changes that will extend its life for another generation of Americans. I would start by looking at changes that would not affect our seniors or those nearing retirement today, but in the long term would adjust Social Security contributions and benefits for the wealthiest Americans.

I oppose proposals that privatize Medicare, replace it with a voucher system, or simply shift costs onto seniors. Our first priority should be to maintain benefits and cut costs.

I’m also concerned about elder abuse and consumer fraud. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that thousands of older Americans suffer physical, emotional and financial abuse at the hands of their family and caretakers. Sadly, many victims are reluctant to report abuse, leaving them vulnerable and alone.

The FBI and the National Crime Prevention Council report that seniors are more at risk to be targeted by telemarketing and other consumer scams. The Council estimates that fraudulent telemarketers direct up to 56 to 80 percent of their calls at older Americans. I will work with law enforcement, health care providers and senior groups to find better ways to identify, stop and punish these crimes.