Throughout his career, Sherrod has fought to protect Social Security and Medicare from privatization and other short-sighted attempts to undermine the guaranteed benefits retirees earned and deserve. Americans know that Social Security is independent of the federal budget, and Sherrod is fighting attempts to raise the Social Security retirement age, cut benefits, and privatize the program under the false premise that slashing Social Security would help reduce the federal deficit.
Sherrod feels strongly that rather than undercut Social Security, we must work to ensure it provides the retirement benefits needed by retirees, individuals with disabilities, and the children it serves. That’s why he authored and will continue to promote legislation to provide a cost of living adjustment (COLA) that is more fair for seniors and reflects actual cost increases seniors face. He is also advocating for changes in the formula that determines the COLA to make sure Social Security beneficiaries receive the annual increases they need in light of increases in the costs of health care, energy, food and other basic necessities.
Sherrod is also fighting to strengthen Medicare. He is working to ensure that Medicare pays doctors adequately so that seniors don’t lose access to the health care professionals they trust, and he is fighting hard against proposals that would replace the Medicare guarantee with a private insurance “voucher.” During the health reform debate, Sherrod successfully pushed for initiatives that enable seniors to receive free screenings and other preventive services, including an annual physical, and changes in the Medicare Part D program that reduce prescription drug costs — particularly for seniors who fall into the “donut hole” in their Part D prescription drug plan.
Sherrod knows that the Medicaid program is also crucial to retirees, covering nearly half of the cost of all nursing home care in this country and providing crucial services to low-income seniors. In addition to working hard to protect Medicaid from draconian budget cuts, Sherrod is working to prevent across-the-board cuts to such critical programs as Meals on Wheels and Adult daycare for Alzheimer’s patients. Finally, Sherrod is pushing for congressional action to help stem the loss of private pension benefits and retiree health coverage. He was a lead proponent of a program included in health reform that reduces the cost of employer-sponsored retiree health care to help preserve this hard-earned employee benefit.