Group Fighting to Save Senior Citizen
Benefits in Social Security, Medicare Finds An Angel - Maybe
GOP appointee to Super Committee, Rep. Fred Upton, says senior benefits should not be cut for those in program
20, 2011 – The group that organized earlier this year to protect the Social Security and Medicare benefits of senior citizens –the Strengthen
Social Security Campaign – thinks they have found a possible critical ally in a Republican appointee to the new super committee charged with
making a big dent in the deficit. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) says that current Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries should not face any
reductions in benefits, according to the SSSC.
At a public forum in Kalamazoo, Michigan last Tuesday, Rep. Upton opposed any reductions in benefits from the powerful 12
member Joint Select Committee on Budget Deficit Reduction, also known as the “Super Committee,” to which he has been appointed, the SSSC says.
The Super Committee is charged with proposing $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Nov. 23, 2011. During debt-ceiling
negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner in July, President Obama proposed changing the formula used to calculate the annual COLA to the
so-called chained CPI, which would cut the benefits of those receiving Social Security today.
Rep. Fred Upton's positions, according to SSSC website.
“We applaud Rep. Upton for his strong, common sense statement. We hope his public statement will encourage other Super
Committee members and President Obama to similarly pledge to leave current beneficiaries alone,” said Nancy Altman, Co-Chair of the Strengthen
Social Security Campaign.
“This summer President Obama proposed cutting Social Security for current beneficiaries. The Campaign opposes all cuts to
Social Security, whose benefits are modest but vital.”
During the President’s negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner in July, President Obama proposed a technical change
known as the “chained CPI” that would cut the benefits of those receiving Social Security today.
After ten years average retiree benefits would be cut by about $600 a year, and after 20 years they would be cut by about
$1,000 a year. [link
to analysis here] President Obama is planning to make a major speech in September that
reportedly will include elements from this summer’s failed “grand bargain,” including this chained-CPI and an increase in Medicare’s
eligibility age to 67.
“Social Security is a public trust. Slipping the proposed ‘chained-CPI’ into the Super Committee’s negotiations violates
that trust. If enacted, this provision would erode the purchasing power of current and future beneficiaries as they age,” explained Eric
Kingson, Co-Director of Social Security Works.
“That’s not a ‘grand-bargain.’ That’s ‘grand larceny!’ Social Security does not contribute a penny to the deficit. Plain
and simple, it should not even be considered by the Super Committee. Current beneficiaries should be reassured that they will not be injured
by those elected to represent them. Hopefully Rep. Upton’s support can help get Social Security off the table.”
The Strengthen Social Security Campaign maintains a
that provides information about all 12 members of the Super Committee. It highlights the votes the committee members have taken on Social
Security, Medicare, Medicaid and tax issues in 2011, and statements they have made about the issues.
It also includes information showing the number of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in states and
congressional districts represented by Super Committee members. The webpage and the Campaign’s main website will be updated regularly as new
developments occur with the Super Committee.
Strengthen Social Security Campaign is comprised of more than 320 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million
Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.
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