Congress Could Lose Older Voters by Cutting
Social Security, Medicare, Vets Benefits: AARP Poll
Senior advocates seem solid in opposition to cuts
expected to appear Wednesday in President Obama’s budget; Congressional
call-in on Wednesday
April 8, 2013 – Groups that advocate for senior
citizens and senior issues appear to be solid in their opposition to
budget moves advocated by Republicans and now supported by the White
House that will cut income from Social Security and reduce spending by
Medicare. A survey released today by AARP says 84% of American voters
age 50 and older oppose the chained CPI proposal for reducing Social
Security benefits for years ahead.
Another organization, The National Committee to
Preserve Social Security and Medicare, is mobilizing advocates across
the nation for a Congressional Call-In day on Wednesday, April 10, the
day that President Obama is scheduled to release his budget, including
cuts to Social Security.
“Our goal is to flood Members of Congress with
calls reminding them that Americans of all ages and political parties
oppose cutting Social Security to pay for deficit reduction,” the group
said in a news release..
“President Obama’s Chained CPI budget proposal in
his 2014 Budget will do exactly that. Our message to Congress is
“Keep the Promise. Social
Security doesn’t contribute to the deficit and Americans of all parties
oppose cutting benefits earned by middle-class families. The Chained CPI
isn’t a “tweak” it’s a benefit cut America’s retirees, veterans and the
disabled simply cannot afford.’
“Seniors will have received an average COLA of 1.3%
over 4 years with no increase in two of those years. Arguing that is too
generous shows how out of touch Washington is with the real-world
economic realities facing average Americans.”
Hotline will be activated on Wednesday to connect callers directly to
their Congressional leaders from one toll-free number provided to
activists nationwide next week.
AARP said today it will also release a series of
fourteen state specific surveys in the days ahead that could indicate
how a vote for benefit cuts would impact a number of House and Senate
races across the nation.
“This cut to Social Security would break the
promise to seniors and hurt veterans who’ve sacrificed so much for this
great country,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond.
“The chained CPI reduction snowballs over time and
would increase taxes for most taxpayers - at the same time that it cuts
benefits for children, veterans, widows, retirees, and people with
disabilities. As this survey shows, older Americans oppose the chained
CPI and they’ve historically made their opinions known to their elected
Results in the survey on the impact of chained CPI
· 66% of voters 50+ would be less
favorable towards their Member of Congress if they voted for a chained
or superlative CPI (69% Democrats, 60% Republicans, 67% Independents).
· 78% of voters 50+ oppose reducing
the annual benefit increase retired and disabled veterans receive by
changing the way the cost of living increase is calculated for veterans’
benefits (80% Democrats, 72% Republicans, 79% Independents).
· 87% of voters 50+ believe it’s
very important that benefits are not reduced for today’s seniors.
· 52% of voters 50+ oppose
increasing taxes for most taxpayers by changing the way the tax code is
adjusted for inflation through chained CPI (47% Democrats, 61%
Republicans, 50% Independents). However, 13% said they do not know if
they support or oppose this, indicating there is little public
understanding of how the chained CPI would affect a person’s taxes.
· 84% of voters 50+ oppose reducing
Social Security benefits to reduce the deficit (91% Democrats, 80%
Republicans, 78% Independents).
· 84% of voters 50+ believe that the
future of Social Security should be considered separately from the
budget deficit discussions (85% Democrats, 83% Republicans, 82%
The results of the full survey can be found at
Woelfel Research, an independent research firm, conducted 801 interviews
of registered voters age 50+ on March 19 and March 20, 2013. This
survey has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.5%.
For more AARP resources and information on the
impact of the chained CPI, visit
Nancy Altman, founding co-director of Social
Security Works, warned, “Applying the so-called chained CPI to Social
Security cuts the benefits of every single Social Security beneficiary,
now and in the future.”
Her co-chair, Erick Kingson, added, “Evidently the
president either does not understand or does not care how
critically important Social Security and Medicare are not just to
seniors but to middle aged and younger workers for whom these programs
are likely to be even more crucial.
“What he and other elites call 'tweaks' are deep
cuts which will take away the bread and butter of seniors, people with
disabilities, children who have lost parents, veterans who have served
this nation and others. He promised he would not slash benefits; he has
broken his promise to the American people.”
Kaiser Health News Daily Report:
Obama's Budget Expected To Call For Medicare Cuts
In advance of the release of President Barack
Obama's fiscal blueprint on Wednesday, an adviser warned friends and
foes that the plan includes things neither will like. The budget plan is
expected to kick off new discussions about trimming entitlements and
revamping the nation's safety net.
The Associated Press/Washington Post:
Ahead Of Budget Release, Top Obama Adviser Warns Both Parties They May
Not Be Happy With Plan
The White House is warning friend and foe alike: They're not going to
like every part of President Barack Obama’s budget when it is released
this week. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer is telling
Republicans their "my way or the highway" approach would spell the GOP's
defeat in upcoming budget negotiations. He also is telling Obama's
Democratic allies that they, too, will have to bend on the spending plan
that is due Wednesday (4/8).
USA Today: Obama's Budget
Revives Talk Of Entitlement Changes
A brief reprieve on imminent budget deadlines is providing Republicans
and Democrats alike an opportunity to regroup for the next fiscal debate
that will dominate the spring and come to a head this summer: increasing
the nation's ability to borrow money to pay its bills. Negotiations to
raise the debt ceiling are increasingly linked to an ongoing debate over
how to revamp the nation's social safety net to help reduce the deficit
Medpage Today: Obama To
Propose $400 Billion In Medicare Savings
About $400 billion of savings in President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget
proposal will come from Medicare and other health programs, according to
media reports. The money would come in the form of reduced payments to
pharmaceutical companies and asking wealthier seniors to pay higher
premiums, the news reports, citing a leaked budget briefing document,
said Friday. Obama is set to unveil the full fiscal 2014 budget proposal
to Congress on Wednesday. … One move would place greater price controls
on drugs paid through Medicare Part D for beneficiaries eligible for
both Medicare and Medicaid. Currently, those drugs are bought through
Medicare, rather than Medicaid, where prices are lower and more
restrictive (Pittman, 4/5).
Bloomberg: Obama Drops
Stimulus For Benefit Cut To Woo Republicans
Less than a week after job-creation figures fell short of expectations
and underscored the U.S. economy's fragility, President Barack Obama
will send Congress a budget that doesn't include the stimulus his allies
say is needed and instead embraces cuts in an appeal to Republicans…The
Medicare insurance program for the elderly would be cut by reducing
payments to health-care providers and drug companies and imposing more
costs on high-income beneficiaries (Dorning, 4/8).
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