May 10, 2024

Whitehouse Highlights Plan to Protect Rhode Island Seniors’ Benefits on Podcast Hosted by National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse highlighted his plan to protect Rhode Island seniors’ benefits on an episode of a new podcast hosted by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare’s President and CEO Max Richtman.  In the episode, Whitehouse and Richtman discussed the Senator’s Medicare and Social Security Fair Share Act, as well as the progress made by Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act to improve Medicare. 

“Social Security and Medicare are keys to the middle class that Rhode Island seniors rely on to enjoy a hard-earned retirement.  Republicans have put these programs in the crosshairs over and over, but I will never give an inch in the fight to protect Social Security and Medicare.  I was glad to join Max to discuss my plan to protect Social Security and Medicare as far as the eye can see while leveling the playing field so teachers, police and firefighters aren’t paying higher tax rates than billionaires,” said Whitehouse.

Whitehouse introduced the Medicare and Social Security Fair Share Act to protect the solvency of Social Security and Medicare by making the nation’s highest earners contribute a fairer share.

In 2022, Social Security lifted 22.7 million Americans out of poverty, and about 40 percent of seniors rely on the program for the majority of their incomes – benefits they have earned that let them retire with dignity.  Medicare protects its over 60 million beneficiaries, one in five of whom have less than $15,000 in savings, from potentially catastrophic health care costs.

Despite the importance of these programs, both are at risk of being unable to fully pay out benefits within the next 15 years.  Without new revenue, the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund are expected to become insolvent in 2036 and 2035, respectively.

Whitehouse’s Medicare and Social Security Fair Share Act will:

  • Preserve Medicare and Social Security while safeguarding benefits.
  • Require taxpayers with over $400,000 in income to contribute a fairer share to Social Security.
  • Ensure that no matter the source of their income, high-income taxpayers would pay the same tax rate on income exceeding that threshold.
  • Require taxpayers with incomes above $400,000 to contribute more to Medicare and close a loophole in the law that favors certain high earners, as proposed by President Biden.
  • Increase the rate for income above $400,000 by 1.2 percent.
  • Ensure that wealthy owners of pass-through businesses like hedge funds and private equity firms with more than $400,000 in annual income cannot avoid Medicare taxes.

The Social Security Administration’s Chief Actuary found that Whitehouse’s legislation would extend Social Security solvency for more than 75 years.  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary additionally found that the bill would extend Medicare solvency for more than 75 years. 

Whitehouse, a member of the Expand Social Security Caucus, has a track record of fiercely defending and fighting to expand Social Security and Medicare in the U.S. Senate.  Whitehouse is a cosponsor of the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust Act, which would apply Social Security payroll taxes to earnings of more than $400,000 and apply an additional net investment income tax on people making more than $400,000.  The legislation would expand Social Security benefits and extend solvency by 32 years.  Whitehouse also cosponsors the Social Security Expansion Act, legislation that would make Social Security solvent for more than 75 years by applying Social Security payroll taxes to incomes over $250,000 and requiring the wealthy to pay taxes on their investment and business income.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921