Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), running again for the presidency in the 2020 election revealed a plan on Friday to guarantee the “right to a secure retirement.”
The plan was announced ahead of a discussion at campaign seniors issues roundtable and the AARP Presidential Forum in Iowa this weekend. It is an extension of several of Sanders’s existing proposals, including “Medicare for All,” slashing drug prices and expanding social security.
“Yes, we can live in a country where every senior lives in dignity and security, and does not have to choose between paying for basic necessities like medicine, food, or housing. We will do this by guaranteeing every American the right to a secure retirement, the opportunity to age in place in the community, and by expanding and improving Medicare to include dental, hearing and vision care,” Sanders wrote.
The presidential hopeful’s plan not only includes implementing Medicare for All and expanding it to include dental, hearing and vision coverage, it will also offer seniors support and services at home “without waitlists, asset and income restrictions, and other barriers.”
Sanders said he would build up collective bargaining rights of home care workers and enact a “domestic workers bill of rights” to ensure safe working conditions. He hopes to attract 7.8 million home health and personal care aides by 2026.
Sanders also promises an expansion of the 1965 Older Americans Act that would seek to create a new office within the Administration for Community Living to study social isolation among seniors and its impact and provide grants to states and municipalities to address the issue.
The plan would also expand the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to guarantee heating and cooling assistance, and increase the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to combat hunger among seniors and cap credit card interest rates at 15 percent and curtail the practices of loan sharks to protect seniors from “scams and predatory financial practices and instruments.”
Senior voters are sure to play a crucial role in the 2020 presidential race.