In November Iowa voters have the opportunity to register approval or disapproval of their U.S. senator on issues such as strengthening Social Security and Medicare and bringing down outrageous prices for prescription drugs.
Since Senator Chuck Grassley took office in 1981, he has consistently supported efforts to weaken Social Security and Medicare and cut benefits. Despite his assertion that “Grassley works for Iowa,” he does not work for Iowa’s seniors.
The Alliance for Retired Americans publishes an annual voting record that compiles all the key votes taken by Members of Congress on issues important to retirees and seniors. Every member is given a score.
In 2015 Senator Grassley voted against the retiree-friendly position on every issue and received a 0% Pro-Retiree Score. This is not new; Senator Grassley holds a 10% lifetime score reflecting his lack of dedication to retirement security and issues critical to older Iowans.
For instance, in 2015 Sen. Grassley voted on the budget resolution. With one vote, he went on the record as favoring cuts to Social Security, privatization of the program, and raising the retirement age for the collection of earned benefits.
Senator Grassley has also supported the privatization of Medicare, which would end guaranteed health insurance for older Americans. He voted for the 2012 Ryan budget that would have replaced Medicare’s guaranteed benefits with a privatized system of voucher-like payments. This bill would have significantly increased out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans and helped line the pockets of insurance company executives.
With another single vote in 2011, he voted to preserve the Bush tax cuts benefiting the wealthy, raise the Social Security retirement age, raise the Medicare eligibility age and cut our earned Social Security and health care benefits.
Senator Grassley has also repeatedly supported the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since its passage in 2010. For seniors, this would mean the loss of preventive health care services, including free screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and depression.
Back in 2005, Sen. Grassley voted “No” on allowing the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services the same authority as the Veterans Administration to negotiate with drug manufacturers for lower Medicare drug prices. As a result seniors are still paying outrageous prices for prescription drugs in 2016 – eleven years later.
Senator Grassley has consistently supported anti-retiree legislation throughout his time in office. In November, Iowa’s seniors must let him know we don’t approve of his record on the issues that matter the most to us. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity.