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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

Seniors

Seniors play an integral role in our country and it’s important that we make sure they get the retirement benefits they have earned though a lifetime of hard work.  

Social Security is one of our nation’s most successful government programs. Currently it provides monthly benefits to 51 million Americans. This program has kept many of our most vulnerable citizens out of poverty, and remains a safety net for the entire country. Without Social Security, tens of millions of Americans would be left to fend for themselves, without any hope of affording the same benefits in the private market.  Since the 1930s, Social Security has protected workers and their families from loss of income due to retirement or disability.   Each day nearly 10,000 baby boomers enroll in Social Security.  

Also, contrary to many rumors, Social Security is not bankrupt and has never added, nor will ever add, a dime to our deficit. Currently, the trust fund has a balance of $2.6 trillion – an amount Social Security has collected in excess of what it has paid out in benefits.  Put simply, Social Security is running surpluses, not deficits, and by law, Social Security can only pay benefits using the balance of its Trust Fund, which is generated by worker contributions.  There is no doubt that we need to do something to ensure the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund for generations to come, but we should not start dismantling Social Security nor should we use it to balance our budget. Social Security has been providing income security for seniors for more than 75 years and I want to see it continue for the next 75 years.

Medicare is also a program that is critical to the health and well-being of our nation’s seniors.  Today there are 49 million people currently enrolled in Medicare. Medicare provides a safety net of guaranteed health care benefits for seniors, so they can live out their retirement with dignity and the peace of mind that they will be able to access health care services if they need them.  I am opposed to any attempt to privatize Medicare or block grant Medicaid—which many seniors rely on for long-term care services.  We must continue to work to secure the solvency of Medicare. In the Affordable Care Act, Congress enacted many provisions that will extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by twelve years, and provide greater benefits to Medicare beneficiaries—including closing the Medicare Part D “donut hole” and providing new wellness and preventive service without a co-pay.

Not only are Social Security and Medicare important to our seniors, they are important to our economy. More than $2.8 billion comes into the counties that make up our district annually from these programs alone. That money is spent right here in our communities. This helps to create jobs and helps small businesses grow, which broadens our tax base and helps provide a means to further endow Social Security and Medicare.

As a member of both the House Ways and Means Health and Social Security Subcommittee, I will continue working to protect, defend, and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.  Neither program should be used to balance our budget and any changes to either program should not be done on the backs of our nation’s most vulnerable.  We should never do anything to jeopardize Social Security and Medicare for future generations.

If you or a family member is facing problems with your Social Security or Medicare benefits, we might be able to help. You can contact my district offices here.

More on Seniors

Jun 18, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) today announced that his bipartisan legislation to improve the Medicare Advantage (MA) program for seniors passed the House by voice vote. The Increasing Regulatory Fairness Act (H.R. 2507), co-authored by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) would expand an annual comment period for proposed payment rates and regulatory changes for MA plans.

Apr 21, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) joined Congressman John B. Larson (CT-1), in coauthoring the ‘Social Security 2100 Act’, HR 1391. The measure stands to cut taxes for Social Security recipients, provides a benefit increase for current and future beneficiaries, and keeps the system strong for generations to come.

Mar 25, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today voted against H.Con.Res. 27, the House Republicans’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget resolution. The budget resolution passed by a vote of 228-199. No Democrats voted for the resolution and 17 Republicans voted against the resolution. The budget, if passed by the Senate would be vetoed by President Obama.

Apr 11, 2014 News Articles

Lake County's House of Representatives members, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and Rep. John Garamendi (CA-3), on Thursday joined a bipartisan group of representatives in voting against H.Con.Res. 96, the House Majority’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1).

The budget resolution passed by a vote of 219-205.

No Democrats voted for the resolution and 12 Republicans voted against the resolution.

The Senate will not pass H.Con.Res. 96, and if they did, the president would veto it, the congressmen reported.

Apr 10, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today joined a bipartisan group of representatives in voting against H.Con.Res. 96, the House Majority’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1). The budget resolution passed by a vote of 219-205. No Democrats voted for the resolution and 12 Republicans voted against the resolution. The Senate will not pass H.Con.Res. 96, and if they did, the President would veto it.

Apr 10, 2014 News Articles

Though the House Majority’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget was passed by the House today, Sonoma Valley’s U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, who voted against it, said the Senate will not pass the budget, and if it did, the President would veto it.

“This reckless spending plan will kill jobs, end the guarantee of Medicare for America’s seniors, raises taxes on middle-class families while rewarding the wealthy and corporations that ship jobs overseas, gut our education system and make college more expensive for hard working families,” said Thompson.

Apr 1, 2014 News Articles

President Barack Obama signed a bill Tuesday fixing an outdated Medicare payment formula that made it difficult to recruit doctors to Sonoma County and caused many local physicians to shut their doors to new Medicare patients.

The legislation could increase Medicare reimbursements to Sonoma County doctors by up to 9 percent. That, in turn, is expected to boost payments to doctors across the county because private insurance often is tied to Medicare rates.