Congressman Matheson knows that today’s seniors are part of ‘the greatest generation’ of citizens whose patriotism and hard work built post-war America into a global superpower. He also recognizes that baby boomers are rapidly approaching retirement age, and as tomorrow’s seniors, will redefine aging in our country. For both groups, Matheson believes that in today’s difficult economy protecting contracts with American seniors like Social Security and Medicare are issues of the highest importance. He is firmly committed to the solvency of these programs, and to ensuring that those who have worked to build our country will be able to retire and receive the benefits they have been promised. The opportunity for seniors to live independently and with dignity is fundamentally important and Congressman Matheson will always support programs that improve health, safety and security for seniors.
Additionally, Congressman Matheson’s office can help seniors and their families directly, if they have problems with Social Security, Medicare or other federal agencies. Please call him directly at 801-486-1236 or visit the section on this website called “How Can I Help You?”.
Social Security is perhaps the most well known and utilized of federal government programs. Established nearly 75 years ago, Social Security was born of Depression-era realities that millions of American seniors who worked throughout their lives still needed retirement protection to avoid falling into poverty. Since its inception, the Social Security system supports American workers and their families through three structured benefits- retirement, disability, and survivors.
Sadly, today’s tough economy leaves many seniors in similarly difficult position- of falling back on family or going without essential services and care- to keep above water. Congressman Matheson knows that Social Security is a non-negotiable contract between the U.S. government and American workers, and will always fight for its long-term solvency and to ensure that those who are eligible receive their hard earned benefits.
One question that Congressman Matheson often hears at public meetings is how long Social Security is expected to remain viable for current and future recipients. It is important to know that current projections indicate that Social Security, just as it exists today, will meet full obligations through 2036. Beyond this point, the Social Security system would still have the capacity to meet approximately 75 percent of promised benefits. This underscores an important point- while we know Social Security will be here and meet the needs of seniors for 25 more years with no changes- our country must begin thinking in a constructive and bipartisan way about how to provide future generations with a stable, solvent Social Security system. Matheson is committed to finding a common sense solution to this problem, but does not support privatization of benefit plans. As a country, we have all learned in the recent financial crisis that investing in the market can have unexpected highs and lows, and we simply cannot afford to gamble on the secure future of America’s seniors.
Medicare is a guarantee made by the federal government to citizens to provide health care and prescription drug benefits to America’s seniors and certain chronically ill citizens. Workers pay into the system throughout their lives in regular payroll deductions and receive benefits upon reaching age 65 or meeting other specific criteria based on health. You can read more about Medicare and its programs here.
Recently, Medicare has made the news both because of its tremendous cost and growth during these tough financial times and as part of a discussion of the best economic path forward for our country. There is no doubt that America must take seriously how to pay for quality health and drug benefits for seniors. With health care costs rising at a rate of inflation greater than that of the U.S. economy, it is not surprising that experts predict Medicare could face insolvency in the next ten years. Congress must work in a bipartisan way to rein in out of control health care cost increases to ensure the future viability of Medicare.
Filtered by Seniors
Washington, D.C.–Congressman Jim Matheson today authored and passed the first bipartisan amendment of the new Congress, adding an important provision to the guiding principles for the next phase of health care reform.