Rep. Bruce Braley talks social security and Medicare in Ottumwa

Bruce Braley talks social security and Medicare with Ottumwa residents.

U.S. Representative and U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley stopped in Ottumwa Wednesday morning to talk to residents about social security and Medicare.

Braley has been holding roundtables across the state of Iowa to discuss these topics. Braley told KTVO the feedback he has been getting is that retirement security is important to Iowans.

With one-fifth of Iowans relying on some sort of social security payment, Braley said privatizing the program will put Iowa's seniors at risk. As of 2012, 8,225 Wapello County residents relied on social security benefits. The benefits they received totaled $13,199 a year.

Braley said a fundamental difference between him and his senate opponent Joni Ernst is that Braley is strongly opposed to turning social security and Medicare into voucher systems.

"My opponent wants to privatize social security, allow younger workers to gamble their retirement savings in the stock market and not have any other form of retirement assistance by eliminating social security as we know it for them," Congressman Braley said.

In order to strengthen Medicare and social security, Braley said the trust funds for those programs must be used in the ways they are designated to be used.

Braley held a roundtable in Mason City Wednesday afternoon as well.