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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
October 2018
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Senior Spectrum Publications

Opinion
by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
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Fighting for Nevada’s Retirees

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

Nevada’s overall mild climate, the accessibility of scenic outdoor recreational opportunities and an active social and cultural environment all add to Nevada’s attractiveness for retirees. A recent survey by Where to Retire, a magazine dedicated to retiree relocation, found that Nevada ranks fifth in the nation for retiree immigration, defined as those over 60 who are choosing to move to the state to live out their golden years. As more seniors choose to call Nevada home, it is vital that their interests are represented and protected in the halls of Congress.

Earlier this year, I was honored to receive an award from the Alliance for Retired Americans. The award was based on my commitment to protecting Medicare, Medicaid and access to affordable health care, as well as to bolstering retirement savings rules. I am proud to have stood with seniors and retirees on every single one of the Alliance’s legislative priorities. In addition, I have spearheaded numerous legislative initiatives that will help us take a proactive role in protecting your priorities.

This past year, we saw a record number of attempts to strip seniors of their hard earned benefits. This Administration’s budget proposal, supported by some of my Republican colleagues, proposed extensive cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. The latest reports suggest that the White House is looking to propose even further cuts to these essential programs next year in order to pay for the $1.5 trillion deficit that their tax bill has created. Instead of cutting vital programs that keep our seniors and retirees healthy, I supported legislation by my colleagues to restore funding to Medicare and Medicaid by reducing tax breaks for the top 1 percent and closing special interest tax loopholes.

I have also spent my time in the Senate fighting to stop legislation that attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s advances and roll back ACA specific funding for the Medicaid expansion, Medicaid expansion, both of which have helped thousands of seniors and retirees in Nevada afford quality health care services. Continued Republican attempts to strip Nevadans of crucial protections like those for preexisting conditions, have stymied efforts to build upon the law, to lower insurance premiums and deductibles, and to reduce prescription drug costs. We need to move our health care system forward and ensure that it protects Nevada’s aging population. That is why I’m the cosponsor of several bills in the Senate, including legislation to overturn the Trump Administration’s rule on ‘junk insurance’ plans that raise premiums for other consumers and don’t provide coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

I have also worked to protect the retirement savings arrangements of seniors across the country. I supported a proposed Department of Labor rule that would have allowed state and local governments to set up savings arrangements for nongovernment employees – making it easier for private sector workers to pay for retirement. The Nevada Task Force on Financial Security is in the early stages of developing a similar plan at the state level to help ensure all Nevadans have the tools they need for a secure retirement. I have also repeatedly urged the Administration to protect the rights of federal workers by ensuring that actions taken against government employees, including any retirement benefit cuts, are fair and not politically motivated. I am a proud cosponsor of the Women’s Pension Protection Act of 2018, which will help strengthen women’s retirement security by addressing challenges that disproportionately affect women as they plan for their financial futures.

ensuring that Nevada’s retirees and seniors have access to the benefits, health care services and retirement savings protections they need. Since my days as Nevada’s Attorney General, I have been an advocate for seniors, and I will continue to fight for your priorities in Washington, D.C.