"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
Social Security, Medicare Reports No Excuse for Radical Changes
April 23, 2012
For Immediate Release
April 23, 2012
The following statement was issued by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to Trustees reports issued today on the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds:
“Current and future retirees must be wary of Mitt Romney and others who will use today’s Trustees reports as political cover for radical changes that would put seniors at risk while enriching Wall Street and the big health insurance companies.
“Today’s reports do not justify the extreme ideas advocated by Mitt Romney and right-wing groups. Increasing the retirement age would be terribly unfair to workers, particularly those in blue-collar and service sector jobs. Privatizing Social Security would let Wall Street firms profit while gambling workers’ Social Security savings on the roulette wheel of the stock market.
“A more reasonable approach, one that would extend the Social Security Trust Fund to 2052, is the Rebuild America Act by Senator Tom Harkin. It would require the highest-earning Americans to pay their fair share in Social Security payroll taxes, and would change the Cost of Living Adjustment to better reflect seniors’ daily needs.
“The Medicare Trustees report reminds us of the long-term need to manage the rising health care costs for seniors. The 2010 Affordable Care Act takes a number of bold steps in that direction, including free preventive and wellness services to identify and treat problems before they become chronic and costly. Also, by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, seniors are now better able to follow their doctor’s orders and stay healthy. The law strengthens the Medicare Trust Fund by eliminating wasteful subsidies to private insurance companies. Not only would Mitt Romney repeal these common-sense improvements, but his Medicare ‘reform’ plan would steer millions of seniors away from traditional Medicare and generate even larger profits for the big health insurance companies.
“The ‘sky is falling’ warnings from the right wing that accompany these reports are part of a larger agenda to scare seniors and push extreme changes. But seniors cannot pay their bills or fill a prescription off of heated ideology and opportunism. Instead, they need responsible, level-headed action from their elected officials to help keep Social Security and Medicare – two of America’s greatest success stories – strong for generations to come.”
Contact: Michael Buckley (202) 637-5190 / firstname.lastname@example.org