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Florida Seniors Slam Marco Rubio For Failing To Support Elderly Floridians, Supporting Plans To Undermine Medicare And Social Security

Marco Rubio represents more Americans over age 65 than almost any other person in the Senate, and yet he has consistently failed to fight for the needs of Florida seniors. Rubio has a decade-long history of supporting efforts to cut Medicare and Social Security, has failed to show up for hearings in Congress covering issues critical to Florida seniors, and vowed to do everything in his power to defeat recent legislation that would lower health care costs for seniors. 

Today, seniors from across Florida held a virtual press conference to discuss Rubio’s record of supporting cuts to the earned benefits they rely on while failing to show up for his job.   

Watch a full recording of the press conference here and see highlights below: 

“I’m a recipient of Social Security and Medicare is my primary. So this is personal to me and many many other seniors in the state of Florida…Recently we found out that Rubio has been…failing to show up for work and leaving us without a voice on some of the most important issues. Rubio sits on the Special Committee On Aging: a bipartisan committee that investigates the most important issues to American seniors and reports on ways Congress can help us. But Rubio hasn’t shown up to an Aging Committee hearing in over two and a half years…When the committee discussed how to care for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rubio wasn’t there. When they talked about stopping scams and frauds that target Social Security recipients and veterans, Rubio wasn’t there,” said Laurie Plotnick, President of the Florida Democratic Senior Caucus. 

“Florida ranks near the bottom of all states in the number of nursing home residents who have received their COVID booster shots. That’s shameful…And what are our state’s leaders doing about this crisis? Absolutely nothing. Ron DeSantis stopped talking about vaccinations altogether…And what about Marco Rubio? Missing in action. When we needed him to lead during the recent surges in COVID, he wasn’t there…During the Delta wave back in August, he flew off to Iowa to chase his dreams of running for president rather than stay in Florida to help coordinate a response to keep people safe…Marco Rubio has shown us time and again that he’s going to ignore the problem and leave people to fend for themselves…In Spanish, es un cobarde, he’s a coward,” said South Florida activist Lourdes Diaz. 

“After a long period of working hard and contributing to Social Security and Medicare, I retired early at age [62]…It really means a lot to have these programs for retirees…If [Marco Rubio] really cared to champion the issues of seniors he would be present, we would hear him, but instead he’s got a record of always wanting to cut back on these programs…In 2017 when he voted for all those cuts that benefited the wealthy and big corporations, he had no qualms about saying ‘a good way to fill in the gap is to…restructure Medicare and Social Security.’ Well ‘restructure’ is code for having you receive Medicare older in life, and we know what that means: it costs a lot of money and when a person isn’t working anymore they’re on a fixed income, that’s a big deal,” said Esther de Varona, Board member of Cuban American Women Supporting Democracy.   

“I now am living on, thankfully, my pension from the Florida Retirement System and Social Security. What I think is germane to this discussion about Marco is that those two sources of income for me are taxed…And I think it was unbelievably unfair and wrong that Marco stood up and supported the tax cuts in 2017 that gave a big present to the top 1% of our economy…We have no one who fights for us in Washington and that has got to change,” said Susan Windmiller, former president of the Miami-Dade League of Women Voters. 

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