By Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes
Unlike many in Washington, I don’t come from a wealthy or well-connected family. I’m the proud son of a union family whose father worked as an auto worker for 30 years before retiring.
That’s why the fight to protect Social Security and Medicare is so personal to me. I’ve seen firsthand how these lifesaving programs have helped people like my father and grandfather transition to the next phase of their lives after retiring.
Every American should be able to retire without worrying about putting food on their tables, affording their prescriptions, and especially having to work beyond the retirement age to make ends meet—but every day that Ron Johnson remains a U.S. senator, he puts that guarantee at risk.
For years, Ron Johnson has attacked Social Security, calling it a “Ponzi Scheme” as he’s worked to dismantle it. Now, he wants to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block and deny Wisconsinites the benefits they have paid into all their lives. He voted to raise the retirement age to 70 and supports a plan that would sunset Social Security in five years. He wouldn’t care if our seniors work for the rest of their lives, as long as he and his wealthy donors were taken care of.
When I hear Johnson threaten these programs, I think of seniors all across the state who rely on these benefits to retire with dignity after a lifetime of work. I worry for people like my mom and dad, who every day rely on the Social Security they paid into their entire life. Ron Johnson has no right to take that away from them.
It couldn’t be more clear that Ron Johnson doesn’t care about people who need these benefits—and that should come as no surprise to Wisconsin seniors. This self-serving agenda is the hallmark of Johnson’s career in Washington, and yet another example of why we need new leadership fighting for Wisconsin’s seniors in the U.S. Senate.
Rather than slashing Social Security and Medicare, I believe we should focus on strengthening this guarantee for generations to come—fulfilling our moral obligation to help every Wisconsinite retire in security.
As the next U.S. Senator from the Badger State, I’ll fight like hell to block any attempt by Republicans to jeopardize Social Security and I’ll go to the mat to protect our hard-earned benefits.
And unlike Ron Johnson, who just last month voted against a bill that capped the cost of out-of-pocket prescription drugs at $2,000 annually for Medicare recipients, I’d fight to protect and strengthen Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices. I’ll also push forward legislation to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 50, which will expand coverage and lower the cost of health care for older Americans.
What’s more, I’d work to pass legislation capping insulin costs at $35 so that no American has to ration life-saving medicine like insulin—a plan that Ron Johnson helped block from passing Congress a month ago.
Wisconsin’s seniors deserve a champion in Washington who will fight to protect the hard-earned benefits that our parents and grandparents have spent their entire lives paying into, not an out-of-touch multi-millionaire who prioritizes handing out tax breaks to the wealthy and well-connected over protecting hard-earned Social Security and Medicare benefits.
That’s what’s at stake in this election, and that’s why it’s up to us to stop Ron Johnson at the ballot box this November.