Washington seniors have worked hard and paid all their lives to invest in a promise that their retirement will be secure and they’ll be taken care of, and Maria won’t let that promise be broken.
Maria has stood fast against raising the Social Security retirement age. While she supports personal savings accounts for younger Americans, she opposes privatizing any Social Security accounts and handing their administration over to the same banks that orchestrated the financial collapse. Maria’s worked to improve the system for the nearly 138,000 Washingtonians relying on Social Security. She’s fought for legislation tying benefits to increases in costs facing seniors rather than costs facing regular workers and stood against Republican attempts to raid the Social Security Trust Fund for future generations.
Medicare is another promise the country’s made to seniors and it’s one that Maria has not only defended, but worked to improve. She’s worked for an extension of the prescription drug benefit enrollment deadline, and is pushing to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices to bring down the costs for seniors. Maria’s work to pass the health care reform law helped over 62,000 Washington seniors receive $250 rebates in 2011 to help cover the high costs of prescription drugs and significantly improved the solvency of Medicare, according to the Medicare and Social Security Boards of Trustees. As the provisions of this law kick in Washington seniors will no longer have to worry about Medicare’s prescription drug “doughnut hole.”
Maria fought for a landmark cost-saving measure passed in 2010 to fix the Medicare reimbursement system to reward doctors for providing quality-not-quantity care to their patients. This fix is designed to reward positive and efficient results for Medicare patients, not more paperwork and unexpected costs that plagues the fee-for-service model. In 2011, Maria voted against a Republican attempt to turn Medicare into a voucher system that would empower insurance companies and shift more costs to enrollees.
As one of the most beautiful states in the union–and one of the richest in natural resources–Washington has a special interest in energy and environmental policy. And Maria has fought hard to uphold the state’s conservation tradition, while also working to bring our energy policy into the 21st century.
Maria knows Washington’s business community – because, as an executive at an innovative software company, she was part of it. And as a Senator, she’s led the way in helping businesses large and small throughout Washington grow, thrive, and create jobs.
Maria has taken a leadership role on safety and security issues, including defending our borders, strengthening our military, cracking down on gangs, and taking on drug crime in Washington communities.
Middle-class families around Washington and across the country are facing tough times–and tough decisions about balancing the family checkbook each month. Maria has fought to strengthen the economic security of Washington families and cut taxes for middle-class families.