More than 130,000 residents across central and northwest Connecticut rely on the Social Security benefits, which is critical to the health and retirement security of seniors across the country. You earned these benefits – they should be there when you need them.
I am committed to protecting Social Security, and I have a proven track record throughout my career to protect and strengthen Social Security. From defending Social Security benefits for disabled workers as an attorney, to fighting for seniors on the Cheshire Town Council and as a state representative, I know that Social Security plays a critical role for seniors, disabled workers, and many others, and I am committed to protecting it.
Last year, I helped recover more than $3.7 million from the Social Security Administration and $250,000 from Medicare that went back into the pockets of residents in our congressional district. I also coauthored the Social Security 2100 Act, legislation that will cut taxes for more than 11 million Social Security recipients, increase benefits for current and future beneficiaries, and keep the system strong for generations to come. The bill adopts the Consumer Price Index-Elderly (CPI-E) formula to determine cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for beneficiaries to ensure that seniors receive benefits that best fit their day-to-day living expenses.
We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the signing into law of Medicare and Medicaid by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 30, 1965 as part of his “Great Society” program, which was intended to do away with poverty and racial inequality. The programs have helped bring down the poverty rate among older Americans from 28.5 percent in 1966 to 9 percent in 2015. Medicare is the single most important federal program to help lift people out of poverty and is a lifeline for many people. We cannot “voucherize,” or privatize Medicare. Furthermore, many seniors rely on Meals on Wheels for nutrition and socialization. I am committed to keeping these programs financially secure and ensuring that these programs work for my constituents.
With the continued rise in energy costs, it is vital that Connecticut’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) remain fully funded. LIHEAP helps many senior residents pay their energy bills and stay warm during the winter months. No one should be forced to choose between buying food to eat and heating their home.
In my conversations with students, families, educators, and seniors throughout central and northwest Connecticut, the same concerns emerge again and again: we need more middle-class jobs, better support for aspiring small-business owners, and fewer barriers to participation in the 21st-century economy.
That is why I have been focused on promoting STEM education and workforce development. I want to ensure that your grandchildren have access to good, high-paying jobs so that they can afford to stay and raise their families here in Connecticut. There is no greater human bond than that between a grandparent and their grandchildren.
For more information on my work on issues affecting seniors, or to let me know your thoughts, questions, or concerns, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
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More on Seniors Issues
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) released the following statement announcing her opposition to the fourth short-term government spending measure under consideration in Congress since September: