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Senior Citizen Politics

Don’t Make Harmful Cuts to Social Security,  Medicare to Get Deal on Debt Ceiling: AARP

Organization launches campaign to preserve health and retirement security of older Americans

AARP Television Commercial

May 6, 2011 - With the national debate heating up on raising the debt ceiling, AARP announced a new campaign Wednesday to fight against proposals with arbitrary limits, caps or triggers that would result in harmful cuts to critical Social Security and Medicare benefits that millions of Americans have earned through a lifetime of hard work.

“American seniors have earned their Medicare and Social Security benefits by working hard for decades. But those benefits are at risk: Congress is considering harmful cuts to both Medicare and Social Security as part of a deal to control America's debt,” says the opening statement on the campaigns AARP web page.


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The AARP statement goes on the explan: “Unless Congress raises the debt ceiling — increasing the maximum amount of money the government can borrow — the government will default on its debt and be unable to meet its financial obligations. This would happen this summer.

“Members of Congress are considering mandatory, arbitrary budget caps that could result in detrimental cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

“Two proposals are getting a lot of attention in Congress: a cap on all spending, including Medicare and Social Security, and a balanced budget amendment.

“Proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security would significantly reduce benefits to current and future retirees.

“The limits that are part of these proposals could trigger across-the-board cuts in Social Security or Medicare, or both programs. Members of Congress from both parties are considering these proposals, which could result in cuts to Medicare and Social Security even if other spending is significantly reduced.

“AARP understands the urgent need to reduce the deficit and control government spending, but we also recognize that imposing arbitrary spending limits on Medicare and Social Security could significantly reduce benefits to current and future retirees.

“The proposed limits on Medicare could force seniors to pay higher insurance premiums and copays, and threaten their choice of doctors and hospitals.

Imposing limits on Social Security could lead to cuts that could deny seniors the money they count on to pay for essentials such as groceries, utilities and prescription drugs.

“Cutting Social Security would also break our nation's commitment to provide the benefits our seniors have rightfully earned.

Related AARP Links

  ● Medicare starter kit. Do
  ● Medicare Part D and you. Read
  ● Keep Social Security strong. Read
  ● Ask Social Security Expert Stan Hinden. Do

“Instead of making harmful cuts to Social Security and Medicare, Congress should cut down on waste, fraud and inefficiency throughout the health care system and target other wasteful and inefficient spending, including spending through the tax code in the form of loopholes and other unnecessary subsidies.

“AARP urges members and all Americans to contact their representatives in Congress and tell them to oppose arbitrary limits that could force dangerous cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”

Contact your member of Congress now!

The campaign, which includes a multi-million dollar national advertising schedule, grassroots and online activities, will engage AARP members and the public around the potential impact that such proposals could have on current and future generations, and encourage them to contact their members of Congress to oppose harmful cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

“Older Americans care deeply about the nation’s fiscal health, but making political deals that cut their hard earned benefits is the wrong way to address these challenges,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President.

“Imposing arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts will not only reduce benefits for today’s seniors and tomorrow’s retirees, but also add to the financial burden that Americans are already shouldering for their health and financial security.”

Beginning Wednesday, the campaign will air a national television spot. The television ad script follows here:

“You’ve worked hard your entire life. Paid your dues. Raised a family. You’ve earned a little peace of mind. Now, some in Congress want to make harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Cutting your benefits so Washington can pay its bills.

“AARP believes the country can do better. We can cut wasteful spending without cutting the benefits you’ve earned. Join us. Tell Congress to stop the harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security.”

LeaMond added, “AARP knows that this discussion around the nation’s finances cannot be simply reduced to a budget exercise—this is about real people. Congress must balance addressing the nation’s long-term debt while preserving the health and economic security that Social Security and Medicare provide so that older Americans can pay their bills, see their doctors and not worry about finding affordable health care.”

To learn about AARP’s campaign, visit

About AARP

AARP describes itself as “a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”


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