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Begich Plan: Protect Social Security and Medicare


ANCHORAGE- Mark Begich is standing up for Alaska’s seniors by protecting their hard-earned Social Security and Medicare benefits. For generations, Social Security has been an essential program for Alaska’s seniors, providing important financial security that allows parents and grandparents to live independently and comfortably in their later years. Retirees have paid for these benefits, every paycheck of their entire working lives, and Mark Begich knows they deserve them.

Mark Begich will continue to stand with Alaska’s seniors and continue to fight to protect them in a second term:

“For six years, I have fought to protect Social Security from those looking to gut the program or slash benefits, no matter the political party. I oppose privatization ideas pushed by Dan Sullivan’s financial backers with millions of dollars. I will continue to fight hard against President Obama’s proposal to cut benefits through an accounting gimmick known as “Chained CPI.” I have championed legislation to expand benefits for seniors while strengthening the program for decades to come, while Dan Sullivan believes seniors need to take a test to receive their benefits and that we should raise the retirement age,” said Senator Mark Begich.


Protecting the Social Security Trust Fund

Alaskans strongly support Social Security. It’s a straightforward program that provides retirement security when we need it most. Every paycheck, workers pay a small percentage into the Social Security Trust Fund to help provide for retirees. Alaska workers can be confident that when they retire, the program they have supported will be there for them. And they should be: as long as we protect the Trust Fund, Social Security will be there. For six years, Mark Begich has stood against any proposals that would weaken the Trust Fund, like privatization, and has supported commonsense steps to strengthen it.

Increasing Benefits to Reflect The Real Cost of Living

Social Security benefits are supposed to keep pace with the price of goods and services across the country, which keeps seniors from being short-changed. But the growth rate is based on the prices of what the average American buys, called CPI – it doesn’t take into account that seniors buy different things than the “average” person. They spend more on medicine and housing, which have been increasing more quickly than other costs, and their Social Security benefits should keep up with the things they are actually spending money on (known as CPI-E). Mark knows that the benefits seniors have paid for over decades of work must keep up with rising their expenses – his mom, Pegge, has made sure of that.

Improving Efficiency and Ensuring Fairness

Social Security has been a remarkably efficient program over the decades – it has a very low rate of fraud and abuse, payments are reliable, and there is very little overhead cost considering the size of the program. But there’s always room to improve, and Mark knows there are some smart steps the Social Security Administration can take. He’s also introduced an important bill, The Social Security Fairness Act, which would end an unfair reduction in benefits to public servants who also paid into separate pension programs.