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Congressman Tom O´Halleran

Representing the 1st District of Arizona

I Will Fight To Protect Social Security and Medicare

October 2, 2018
Contributed Columns

For 83 years, Social Security and Medicare have given retirees, disabled workers, and families across the country health and economic security. These programs are not only a lifeline for more than 155,000 Arizonans in the First Congressional District, they also play an important role in local economies across the state. Protecting and preserving your benefits, and those of future generations of Arizona workers, will always be a top priority of mine.

In recent years, Congress has passed bill after bill that drove the federal debt to new heights. In order to pay for massive tax cuts to wealthy Americans and corporate special interests, some politicians have proposed radical cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Increasing the retirement age, slashing cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), and privatization are dangerous policies that will devastate families. Others have proposed phasing out Social Security and Medicare all together. This is unfair to our seniors and to future generations, and I cannot support it. We are not going to balance the budget and pay down the debt on the backs of hardworking Americans who paid into these systems for decades.

Over the past year this year, I have held town halls and meetings with hundreds of Arizonans, many of whom served our nation in the Armed Forces, who are concerned about the future of Social Security and Medicare. Not only are they apprehensive about their benefits and a COLA, they want to know if the programs will be there for their children and grandchildren. I will not stand by while cuts are made to these programs that will jeopardize the benefits for the next generation of workers.

Another concern that many Arizonans shared with me is the past efforts to privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher system, saddling beneficiaries with thousands of dollars in unexpected out-of-pocket costs. Rather than focusing on bipartisan solutions to strengthen these programs, these partisan attacks only serve to reduce current and future benefits and increase the cost of health care for families and states.

To be clear, Social Security and Medicare are benefits that the American people have earned, and they do not deserve to have the rug pulled out from underneath them by politicians in Washington. I will not support efforts to continue increasing the retirement age or vote for legislation that will make massive cuts to these programs.

For constituents who are concerned about their benefits or have issues with the Social Security Administration or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, caseworkers in my three offices across the district are available to assist you. They have worked with hundreds of Arizonans to solve their problems with Social Security and Medicare. Do not hesitate to reach out to my office or visit a mobile office in your area to talk to a member of my staff.

I invite you to share your thoughts and concerns about these issues, or any other issues impacting your community, with me and my staff. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

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