Randy Forbes: Let’s talk about reliability

randy forbesLet’s talk about reliability. We rely on our cars to start in the morning when we head off to work. We rely on our refrigerators to keep our food fresh and unspoiled. We rely on our electricity to keep our homes powered. We rely on our phones to connect us to loved ones, whether we are traveling or trying to meet up.

Most of these are modern conveniences that make our lives easier. We could generally continue to function in our lives if they ceased to work. But by and large, we expect these conveniences will be there, providing the benefits that they promised when we bought them.

But what about more serious things we rely on? Like medicine arriving on time? Or doctors making a timely diagnosis? Or pay checks to arrive on schedule? Reliability is an important quality no matter what stage of life someone is in, but it is especially important as individuals get older and find themselves on a fixed income and reliant on the consistency of the federal government that promised certain benefits.

I believe our nation has a duty to fulfill the commitments we’ve made to older citizens, many of whom rely heavily on the promise the federal government made to them decades ago. This is true regardless of whether these older Americans are 100% healthy or find themselves in declining health. After a lifetime of work and service to our communities, Social Security and Medicare should be there for them when they need it.

I also believe that Congress has an obligation to address our nation’s fiscal challenges, and I believe it can – and must – be done in a responsible fashion that does not harm seniors or future generations of Americans. I’ve introduced legislation (H.R. 3161) to that end to ensure that money allocated to both the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds can only be used for the purpose for which they were intended.

I’ve also made it a priority to continue working to eliminate fraud in Medicare, oppose access to benefits for those here illegally, provide access to local pharmacies, ensure that healthcare decisions are made between patients and their doctors, instead of bureaucrats in Washington, and prioritize medical research to find cures for diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Why? Because of this simple truth: the extent to which our nation upholds the promises we’ve made to older people, shows the extent to which we value them. Just as the extent to which our nation upholds the promises we’ve made to veterans, shows the depth of our gratitude. Keeping our promises is not optional, it’s essential.

Beyond keeping promises, we also have an opportunity to help older Americans remain healthy and independent as long as they can.

Randy Forbes represents the Fourth District in Congress.

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