Alert
Close

Tell your senator to end the gridlock and renew the Older Americans Act now. Learn more

Highlights

Open
Military and Veterans Discount

Contests and
Sweeps

 

Free AARP E-Books

Protecting Yourself Online for Dummies

Here's the mini guide you need to steer through the hazards with confidence.

Learn More

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

             

AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy

News & Politics Forums

Share your opinions on news and current events that matter most to you.

Join the discussion »

AARP Auto Buying Program

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

Congressional Rookies Set New Tone

The 42 new House members and 8 new senators over 50 boast of business and street savvy

Many are loath to change Social Security

But freshmen like Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., a former state legislator, says the newcomers have a clear message from voters. "They want government to spend less, stop government overreach and create an environment where the economy can get moving again."

Unekis says, though, that the freshmen don't seem inclined to tackle entitlements like Medicare and Social Security or other spending beyond domestic discretionary programs.

"If you're really serious, you go after the biggies or you increase taxes," Unekis says.

Many of the new lawmakers are loath to outline changes to the popular Social Security program, which has long-term funding imbalances. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., says benefits for current and near retirees need to be protected, but he's open to an "adult conversation" about the program.

There are some exceptions, including Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., who says Congress ought to consider increasing the retirement age for future generations because people are living and working longer now.

Some of the freshmen want the health care reform law thrown out entirely. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., says the current law is killing jobs. "Employers are fearful of it and hesitant to hire workers or to invest in their businesses because of the extra costs associated with this program."

Many of the Republican freshmen like Marino would like instead to tackle tort reform and allow people to buy insurance across state lines.

Sen. Robert Portman, R-Ohio, says that even though he would rather repeal the law, that idea is unlikely to get past the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House. Smaller, piecemeal changes to the law have a better chance of passing, he says.

Freshmen from both parties support a change that would reduce bookkeeping for small businesses affected by the health insurance requirements. But the larger question of repeal breaks down largely along party lines.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says it doesn't make sense "to throw out the good parts of this bill — like closing the prescription drug doughnut hole for seniors, requiring coverage for preexisting conditions and allowing adult children to remain on their parents' coverage."

Next: Surprised by partisanship. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

membership benefit financial college aarp

Advice on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can earn 3% cash back on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advertisement