REPORT FROM LINDA LINGLE’S US SENATE CAMPAIGN – Today, Governor Linda Lingle released a new television spot in her campaign for Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat, highlighting her commitment to keeping promises to our kupuna.
“Like my own father who is 87-years-old, millions of Americans have planned for their retirement based on programs they have paid into their entire lives. We must honor the promises we made to Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries and to those nearing that age,” said Governor Lingle. “Our kupuna should not fear that their payments could be stopped or reduced during their lifetimes.”
Election-year posturing by Washington politicians of both parties has our kupuna – over 205,000 in Hawaii – worried about the future of Social Security and Medicare on which they depend. These voters recognize that Governor Lingle has a clearly defined, common sense plan to preserve benefits for current beneficiaries and ensure that these programs will be there for future generations.
“Yes, changes will have to be made for young people, but they will not affect anyone currently receiving benefits, or anyone close to retirement,” said Governor Lingle. “I support the fact-based recommendations from two separate bipartisan deficit-reduction commissions that advocate for gradually raising the amount of wages subject to payroll taxes.”
“Gradual changes like this should be implemented over time to return to the 1983 level of covering 90% of all wages. Similar to previous Congressional action, I would consider a phased-in, one-year increase in the full-benefit age beginning in 2027, but it would need to be done in conjunction with new arrangements for those who have worked in physically demanding jobs throughout their lives. We should also place a protective shield around the Social Security Trust Fund,” Governor Lingle added.
“We should encourage young people to start putting away part of their salary now into personal retirement savings accounts, like a 401(k), that will bolster their financial security when they retire,” she added. Currently, only half of American workers work for a company that offers 401(k) plans.
“I support ‘Auto IRAs’ for workers who do not have employer-provided retirement plans. ‘Auto IRAs’ are a common sense, bipartisan idea whose time has come. They would require businesses without retirement plans to provide IRAs to employees on an opt-out basis. Employers would automatically enroll employees unless the employee opts out. Reasonable cost concerns raised by the business community should be addressed prior to adoption,” Lingle explained. This idea was originally developed jointly by the conservative Heritage Foundation and the liberal Brookings Institution.
“Additionally, we have an obligation to ensure Medicare returns to a stronger financial position. To ensure a sound medical insurance system for our kupuna in Hawaii, we must ensure Medicare remains solvent. To do this, my Medicare proposal includes simplifying the billing and coding system to ensure health care providers continue to participate in Medicare; tackling the estimated $50-100 billion in Medicare fraud and abuse; and addressing Medical malpractice legal reforms, as the current system drives up costs by forcing doctors to practice defensive medicine, subjecting patients to needless procedures,” Governor Lingle expanded.
“Also, there must be early advance notice of any changes that affect current and future beneficiaries,” she added.
Among the thousands of kupuna aligning with Governor Lingle’s realistic, common-sense solutions are the Honolulu Fire Department Retirees Association, representing the interests of the City & County of Honolulu’s retired firefighters, who have endorsed her campaign for U.S. Senate.
The television spot on protecting our kupuna can be viewed by clicking here, and is also available on television for Oceanic Cable digital subscribers on LL12, channel 110 (in HD on channel 1110).
Governor Lingle’s complete policy statement on keeping promises to seniors can be read on her campaign website at http://www.lingle2012.com/commitments-to-seniors/.
Additional information on the Linda Lingle Senate campaign is available at www.Lingle2012.com. Follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Lingle2012, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Lingle2012, and on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/Lingle2012.