An estimated 50 people gathered at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall Friday to hear why Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, formerly of “Sha Na Na” fame, was endorsing Katie Hill, the Democratic Party’s nominee for California’s 25th Congressional District seat.
“That’s why I’m going around nationwide finding candidates who are going to protect and expand these services,” Bauman said to the crowd.
He was referring to the federal programs Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, to which Hill said she is eagerly fighting to protect and expand.
The candidate said these services affect all, including how it helped continue her relationship with her grandfather, her biggest hero.
“After my 19th birthday, (my grandfather) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” she said. “But because of the fact that he had his retirement, his social security and Medicaid he was able to get the care that he needed. We were able to enjoy the final years with him to the best that we could.”
Bauman, who is now president of Social Security Works PAC, which fights for the Social Security system, shared a similar experience.
“I know first-hand that, like most American families, my mom was able to live a life of dignity and independence in her later years because of social security and Medicare,” he said. “She lived a life of dignity and independence that was completely unknown to my grandparents.
After running a survey, Hill’s campaign learned that percentages as high as 84 showed that individuals supported the protection and expansion of these services and lowering drug prices, regardless of which political party they identified as.
She added that healthcare for families of four on the exchange will increase by $3,000 next year and more people are no longer able to afford health insurance.
“We are hearing a ton about health care and that’s why this conversation about Medicare and the cost of prescription drugs is so important,” she said. “We have to be doing more for those on regular insurance and Medicare.”
Both Hill and Bauman said it’s vital for older adults to know what they are voting for at the polls, as it is easy to vote against these services under current Republican congressman Steve Knight, who’s running for re-election.
“Someone like Steve Knight is doing everything he can to undermine it. He’s even said that social security is a bad idea,” Hill said.
While polls show that Hill is down by votes against Knight, she wants to make sure people know “how crucial these services are to us and our loved ones.”
Some attendees said they liked Hill’s message and were planning on supporting her. Among them was Diane Trautman, who’s running for Santa Clarita City Council.
“My 91-year-old mother-in-law lives with us and she’s on Medicare,” said Trautman. “She has hearing aids and dental work that isn’t covered. We know too many people that are suffering like this. So, I totally support this message.”