Joe Biden’s vision for older Americans

Submitted by Fran Dance

Joe Biden believes it is our moral obligation to rebuild the middle class and its values. Those values include having a steady, secure retirement income by protecting and strengthening Social Security, being able to pay for prescriptions, and having access to affordable health care and support as well as quality, affordable long-term care.


Roughly 90% of retirement-age Americans receive Social Security benefits, and one-in-four rely on Social Security for all, or almost all, of their income. It also lifted over 17 million older Americans out of poverty in 2017 alone.  The Biden Plan will protect Social Security for the millions of Americans who depend on it. With Social Security’s Trust Fund already in deficit and expected to be exhausted in 2035, he will take action to make the program solvent and prevent cuts to American retirees.

But the Biden Plan doesn’t stop there. As president, Joe Biden will strengthen benefits for the most vulnerable older Americans – including widows and widowers, lifelong workers with low monthly benefits, and old-age beneficiaries who may have exhausted their other savings. Specifically, the Biden Plan will:

  • Put Social Security on a path to long-run solvency by asking Americans with especially high wages to pay the same tax percentage on those earnings that middle-class families pay.
  • Preserve the nature of Social Security by stopping efforts to privatize the program or make it “means-tested”, which jeopardize the program’s universal nature and its key role as the bedrock of American retirement.
  • Provide a higher benefit for the oldest Americans. Those who have been receiving retirement benefits for at least 20 years will receive a higher monthly check to help protect retirees from the pain of dwindling retirement savings.
  • Implement a true minimum benefit for lifelong workers so that workers who spent 30 years working will get a benefit of at least 125% of the poverty level.
  • Protect widows and widowers to allow surviving spouse to keep a higher share of the benefits, raising the monthly payment by about 20% for affected beneficiaries.
  • Eliminate penalties for teachers and other public-sector workers.


The Biden Plan will:

  • Repeal the exception allowing drug corporations to avoid negotiating with Medicare over drug prices.
  • Limit launch prices for drugs that face no competition and are being abusively priced by manufacturers.
  • Limit price increases for all brand, biotech and abusively priced generic drugs to inflation.
  • Allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services certifies that those drugs are safe.
  • Terminate pharmaceutical corporations’ tax break for advertisement spending.
  • Improve the supply of quality generics drugs  


Joe will protect the Affordable Care Act from continued Republican attacks. He has a plan to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate. You can read Biden’s full health care plan here. In addition, to improve older Americans’ access to affordable, quality health care, Joe will:

  • Protect Medicare to continue to provide health insurance coverage to over 60 million older Americans and people with disabilities.
  • Protect Medicaid and ensure its beneficiaries can access home and community-based long-term care when they want it. The Biden Administration won’t let states skirt their duties under Medicaid and will take enforcement action against any state that allows profiteering to get in the way of Medicaid beneficiaries’ health.
  • Provide tax relief to help solve the long-term care challenge by creating a $5,000 tax credit informal caregivers, modeled off of legislation supported by AARP.
  • Increase the generosity of tax benefits for older Americans who choose to buy long-term care insurance and pay for it using their savings for retirement.
  • Provide care for our caregivers by ensuring hospitals equip them with instructions and information when their loved ones are discharged and giving them access to respite care.


With longer lifespans and the changing nature of work, many Americans choose or need to stay in the workforce longer. These workers often face illegal discrimination or steep tax penalties when they try to continue to earn a living. Joe’s plan will:

  • Protect older Americans against harmful age discrimination. As president, Biden will back bipartisan legislation protecting older workers from being discriminated against in the workforce.
  •  Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to older workers. The EITC is one of the most effective strategies for helping low-wage workers achieve a living wage. Unfortunately, the EITC is not available to workers once they turn 65, putting them at a distinct disadvantage relative to their younger peers. As president, Joe Biden will allow low-wage older workers to claim the tax credit they deserve.

Read Joe Biden’s complete vision for older Americans here.Image Credits: