Sustaining Our Seniors
We had a deal. The deal was that able-bodied Americans spend their whole lives working and paying into Social Security and then, upon their retirement, they would have a basic livable income to sustain them in their sunset years. Social security is not an “entitlement.” It’s a deal we made, and it’s a deal we should keep.
Social Security faces an uncertain future, however, because the elderly population is growing and the working-age population is shrinking. Finding a sustainable funding plan for Social Security and Medicare is critical for two reasons: 1) They did their part and deserve the benefits they were promised, and 2) We all want to see our elders living with dignity, safety, and care.
To ensure we keep this promise, I support eliminating the payroll tax cap and implementing a modest 1% increase to the social security tax rate. These small changes would make Social Security solvent for generations to come.
Healthcare for All
As I have traveled and listened to the residents of the 2nd District, time and again I have heard stories about how the inability to pay for health care has devastated families. I fear that too many of our families are one diagnosis away from disaster, one job loss away from a medical crisis. We must make and keep a promise that no one in this country should suffer because they were unable to afford healthcare.
Health insurance is one way to provide healthcare but not the only option. I’ll be open to considering all options from Medicare For All to subsidized employer-based insurance and open markets. I will measure health care policy proposals according to the extent to which they make it easier for people to access and afford quality care. I don’t care who proposes it or what it’s called, as long as it gets people the care they need.
Rural healthcare is of particular concern here. There is a significant shortage of providers in rural Alabama – nurses, doctors, specialist, lab technicians, etc. This shortage means that there simply isn’t enough healthcare to go around. There are already some programs in place to incentivize providers to live and practice in rural communities, but it’s not enough. We need to grow those incentive programs and also develop training programs in local areas for people who are already living in the community and willing to work in healthcare, but need career training.