Retirement Security

MEDICARE

Congresswoman Kaptur is a staunch supporter of Medicare, which has been a lifeline for millions of seniors since it was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965.

Medicare covers individuals if they or their spouse worked for at least 40 quarters 40 quarters in Medicare-covered employment, have reached the age of 65, and citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

Medicare consists of four parts (which are designated with the letters A through D). These four parts cover hospitalizations, physician and diagnostic services, prescription drugs, skilled nursing facility care, home health visits, and hospice care, among other services.

The Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law in March 2010, extended the solvency of Medicare.

Click here for more information about Medicare.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security is a compact between the government and the people and perhaps the most successful social program in American history.

Signed into law in 1935 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Social Security Act was designed to improve the economic circumstances of older adults during the Depression.

Social Security has weathered difficult economic times, including 13 recessions over the last 75 years. Yet never once has it failed to pay beneficiaries; Americans continue to receive their benefit payments in total and on time.

Social Security consists of benefits that are earned by working, so it should be there when you retire. At the end of 2011, 56 million people, including retirees, widows, disabled workers, and children, were receiving Social Security benefits.

For many Americans, Social Security is the only thing standing between them and poverty. Average benefits are only $14,000 a year, but the at the same time, six out of ten seniors depend on Social Security benefits to make up more than half their incomes. Almost half the seniors in America (45%) would be living in poverty if not for Social Security.

We must guarantee that Social Security, one of the most successful programs in American history, remains sound not only for current beneficiaries, but also future generations. The Social Security trustees have projected that the Trust Fund is projected to be $2.7 trillion at the end of 2011, enough to pay full benefits until 2036.

One reason Social Security looks to the long term is to account for economic downturns. Unemployed workers do not contribute into the Trust Fund. The fundamental answer to Social Security funding is to put Americans back to work.

Congresswoman Kaptur fully supports maintaining traditional Social Security and finding ways to effectively extend it without cutting benefits to our nation's seniors.

Congresswoman Kaptur opposes the “chained CPI” method of calculating inflation. Because the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is tied to the official rate of inflation, the “chained” method would result in lower benefits for Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. The “chained” CPI is flawed and underestimates the impact of inflation on seniors’ budgets.

For more information about Social Security, click here.