JPANet: Protect Medicare and Social Security

Medicare celebrated its 45th birthday on July 30th and Social Security will celebrate its 75th anniversary on August 14th.  Social Security alleviates poverty among the elderly, widows, orphans, and people with disabilities, while Medicare provides access to quality, affordable health care for older Americans regardless of their income, health status, or where they live.

Both of these programs have proven to be among the most successful social programs in our nation’s history, without which the poverty rates for seniors would be 47% instead of 10%. Unfortunately, they both face the threat of being vastly cut or dismantled, a move that could threaten the health and welfare of many older Americans.

Some members of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a.k.a. the “Deficit Commission” (created by President Obama, and charged with creating a plan to address the federal budget deficit), support cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits as one means to reduce the national debt. Commissioners seem likely to recommend raising the retirement age, cutting benefits for wealthier Americans or expanding the Social Security tax — or some combination thereof, as options for reducing the deficit. 

The option that most Americans oppose is raising the social security retirement age to 70 years.  According to a national telephone poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire survey Center, 78% of Americans oppose raising the retirement age, and cutting benefits. 

Whether or not you agree with the likely recommendations, we have a responsibility to let the Commission know that the needs of the most vulnerable communities should be a priority. It is unjust to balance the budget on the backs of our poor and elderly.  There are many potential ramifications and health consequences for women, elderly and low and middle income persons.

Take action now!  Send a letter to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and let them know that you oppose any recommendations that will cut or dismantle our social safety net—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

More information and resources:

  1. Personalize the subject and text of the message below with your own words, if you wish.
  2. Complete the form below with your information.
  3. Click the Send Message button to send your letter to these decision makers:
    • Chairman Erskine Bowles
    • Chairman Alan Simpson

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Dear [Decision Maker],

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Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
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