Strickland Highlights Contrast With Sen. Portman On Medicare and Social Security At Speech to Alliance for Retired Americans
COLUMBUS, OH — Today, Ted Strickland announced the second policy proposal of his Ohio Families First Plan: Ensuring Retirement Security For Seniors. The Plan highlights how Strickland will fight to protect vital programs like Medicare and Social Security in the U.S. Senate, and a new, senior-specific advocacy program that Strickland will launch in his U.S. Senate office.
Strickland detailed his Plan during a speech to seniors at the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans state convention in Columbus, where he discussed the contrast between his commitment to protecting Medicare and Social Security and Senator Rob Portman’s long record of pushing the agenda of the Washington power brokers and wealthy special interests he serves at senior’s expense.
The initiative is the second in a series of policy proposals that will be introduced throughout the campaign. Previously, Strickland announced his Plan To Bring Economic Fairness For the Middle Class, including a tax cut for middle class Ohioans, increasing wages and overtime protections for workers, and stricter transparency to crack down on unfair trade deals.
"For Ohioans who are living paycheck-to-paycheck, working a job that doesn’t pay a fair wage, or facing crippling student debt, saving for retirement can seem like a fantasy — and that’s one of the reasons why our middle class is feeling squeezed,” said Ted Strickland. “That’s why the earned benefits that Social Security and Medicare provide are so essential to so many who have worked hard all their lives -- and it’s why we have to protect these programs from those like Senator Portman who don’t understand the struggles facing working people and are jeopardizing retirement security for seniors in order to push the agenda of the Washington power brokers and wealthy special interests.”
"When I see D.C. insiders like Senator Portman who want to raise the retirement age, slash earned benefits or try to turn Medicare into a voucher program, I think of my brothers who finished concrete for much of their lives,” continued Strickland. "When you’re still working as a concrete finisher into your 60s, your fingers are gnarled, your back is bent, and your knees are shot. Now imagine telling a 66-year old concrete finisher – man or woman – I’m sorry, but Republican senators in Washington like Rob Portman with baby-soft hands think you are just too young to retire. That’s outrageous, and we can’t let it happen. In the U.S. Senate I will fight at every turn to protect Medicare and Social Security, and to ensure that Ohio's working people can retire with the security and dignity they have earned.”
Strickland’s Plan to ensure retirement security focuses on three central proposals:
Protecting Medicare. Strickland will protect the Medicare that seniors have earned and vigorously oppose any effort to turn Medicare into a voucher program. He supports commonsense ideas to strengthen the program, like allowing Medicare to negotiate for better drug prices and continuing efforts to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse within the system. In contrast, Senator Portman has stated it would be “irresponsible” not to cut Medicare; voted repeatedly to turn Medicare into a voucher program; supported raising the eligibility age for Medicare; and as Director of the Office of Management and Budget Portman proposed a budget slashing Medicare by $66 billion.
Preserving Social Security. Strickland opposes any effort to privatize Social Social Security, raise the retirement age, or force seniors to gamble with their retirement on the stock market, and he wants to strengthen the Social Security program by requiring the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share. Senator Portman championed raising the retirement age which would amount to an across-the-board cut in benefits; supported privatizing Social Security — a plan that could have been disastrous for seniors during the recent stock market crashes; and even called President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security “exciting.”
Advocating For Ohio Seniors And Their Families. As many Ohioans know, becoming a senior means facing many new and challenging issues for the first time. That’s why Strickland will launch a designated advocacy program specifically for senior’s issues in his U.S. Senate office. This program will help seniors and their families secure benefits they’ve earned, report fraudulent activities and scams, and address any negative consequences they’ve experienced. The program will also help seniors and families understand their rights when dealing with issues related to the choice of long term care and independent living facilities. Strickland will also support the bipartisan Credit for Caring Act, which provides a federal tax credit of up to $3,000 for eligible family caregivers who work and use their own money to help care for a loved one.