Braley Brings Protecting Social Security & Medicare Tour to Dubuque, Davenport & Burlington PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Braley for Iowa   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 08:44
Braley discussed protecting the promise of Social Security and Medicare with Iowa’s seniors.

Des Moines, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley today continued his statewide Protecting Social Security & Medicare Tour in Dubuque, Davenport and Burlington, hosting roundtable discussions with local seniors to discuss the importance of the programs to their retirement security and underscoring the importance of honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare to current and future retirees.

Braley said, “Social Security and Medicare are a promise that if you work hard, the benefits you’ve earned will be there for you when you retire. We need to protect Social Security and Medicare and ensure their promise is honored for current and future generations of workers.

“That’s why I’ve fought against schemes to privatize Social Security and end Medicare as we know it, because gambling Social Security on the stock market and giving Medicare vouchers to seniors puts current retirees at risk. We should strengthen these programs, not undermine them.”

Braley has held similar roundtables in Waterloo, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. The tour will continue this week with stops in Ottumwa, Ames, Mason City, Sioux City and Council Bluffs.

The tour comes on the heels of a new report released by Braley for Iowa that details the devastating impact of State Senator Joni Ernst’s plan to privatize Social Security and replace guaranteed benefits with personal savings accounts for Iowa seniors. According to the report, Ernst’s proposal would require “radical reductions in benefits”—cutting future retirees’ benefits nearly in half and severely threatening the retirement security Iowans have earned through a lifetime of work. As of 2012, 19,420 Dubuque County residents relied on an average Social Security benefit of $13,994 a year; 30, 730 Scott County residents relied on an average Social Security benefit of $14,333 a year, and 9,575 Des Moines County residents relied on an average Social Security benefit of $14,240 a year.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 530,000 Iowans were enrolled in Medicare in 2012. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare calculates that Iowa has more than 584,000 Social Security beneficiaries, with the average senior receiving a monthly benefit of $1,131.

Braley has strongly opposed efforts to privatize Social Security and transform Medicare into a voucher program. Braley has also opposed efforts to reduce future Social Security benefits for retirees if cost-of-living increases were shifted to a so-called “chained CPI” calculation.

Last month, Braley earned the endorsement of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare PAC for his strong record of fighting for Social Security and Medicare. And last week, Braley introduced legislation to block planned service reductions at 19 Social Security offices in Iowa.

State Sen. Joni Ernst has called for privatization of Social Security, a position that would undermine benefits for current retirees. Sen. Ernst has also supported plans that would transform Medicare as we know it and pave the way for Medicare vouchers, increasing costs for retirees.
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