Dean’s Priority: Retirement Security
“Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty program in our nation’s history. Those in or near retirement have worked hard and paid into the system all their lives, and we must honor that promise by working in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the elements of a secure retirement are protected — including Medicare, Medicaid and support for caregivers.”
– Dean Phillips
Millions of retirees count on Social Security and Medicare, and a majority of those who need nursing home care depend on Medicaid. Dean believes in protecting such earned benefits — not cutting or privatizing them. That’s why he will seek to strengthen these programs and ensure their solvency into the future. Here are his priorities:
Protect Social Security benefits
Retirees and those near retirement age have paid into the system and made plans based on a promised level of benefits. However, without any change in policy, Social Security will only be able to pay about 77% of its promised benefits by the year 2034. As your Congressman, Dean will fight to protect Social Security from being cut, privatized, or reduced for Minnesota seniors. He’ll also work to ensure that Social Security benefits keep up with the rising costs faced by our parents, grandparents, and veterans. As a place to start, Dean is an advocate for a mechanism by which wealthier retirees may voluntarily redirect their benefits to lower-income retirees.
Strengthen Medicare by controlling rising healthcare costs
Medicare is a foundational source of healthcare for retirees, but ballooning costs are undermining many people’s ability to afford care. Cutting benefits is not the answer; working to control and reduce healthcare costs is the only way forward. That’s why Dean supports redesigning the care delivery model by rewarding prevention and health rather than procedures and hospitalizations. And Dean will fight hard to ensure that Medicare can negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, which would save American taxpayers approximately $240 billion over 10 years.
Protect access to nursing home care through Medicaid
One of three people turning 65 will need nursing home care at some point in their lives. At an average annual cost of $82,000 for such care, 6 of 10 Americans in nursing homes depend on Medicaid to afford it. Proposals to block-grant federal Medicaid funding would limit the ability of states, including Minnesota, to provide for nursing home care. Medicaid is also the largest provider of mental health and opioid addiction care — another reason we must protect the program on which so many families and communities depend.
Support caregivers and expand options for seniors to live independently
Personal care attendants often earn low wages despite providing necessary care for many elderly and disabled Americans. And with tens of millions of Boomers in or nearing retirement, the need for quality, dependable caregivers will only increase. Dean supports ensuring caregivers are properly trained and compensated, and will support policies that provide options for seniors to live independently at home for as long as possible.