Florida is home to the largest proportion of older Americans in the United States. As one of the over 140,000 senior citizens in the 27th Congressional District and the second-oldest freshman congresswoman in U.S. history, I know the unique issues our senior population faces. I am honored to be a voice for my fellow seniors.
As Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration, I directed the Medicare program and led the Social Security Administration from 1992 until 1995, when it returned to being an independent federal agency. I am privileged to have witnessed first-hand the critical support these programs provide for older Americans.
Our senior citizens paid into Social Security and Medicare throughout their careers; they are entitled to full access to the benefits of these programs. As a Member of Congress, I am committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare from cuts and privatization. To this end, I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 860, the Social Security 2100 Act, which expands our social safety net and increases benefits for retired Americans, while also ensuring Social Security solvency for at least the next 70 years.
I am also working to guarantee our senior citizens access to high-quality healthcare. I’ve championed bills to expand and strengthen Medicare so that it better covers basic services, such as dental, vision, and long-term care that older Americans need. I’m also a proud cosponsor of H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Prices Now Act, which takes significant steps to lower drug prices for all Americans and cap out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries. This bill passed the House in December, 2019. I also introduced H.R. 5076, the Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act, bipartisan legislation that will eliminate out-of-pocket costs for vaccines covered under Medicare Part D and improve vaccines awareness and education for beneficiaries.
As a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, I’ve helped advance bills to protect older Americans. H.R. 1230, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, adds teeth to existing laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of age in employment. H.R. 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act, reauthorizes the Older Americans Act, which has provided seniors with the support they need to age independently for over half a century. I was proud to have a bipartisan amendment included in H.R. 4334 that will ensure that the unique needs of seniors are taken into consideration in disaster planning.
Seniors deserve the opportunity to retire with dignity, financial security, and high-quality healthcare. I am working to safeguard these benefits for our current seniors, as well as for future generations of retired Americans.