"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, former 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, former 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, former 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
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Personal Medicare Stories Illustrate Need to Keep Medicare Cuts off the Chopping Block
September 12, 2013
September and October Potentially Menacing Months for Seniors
Washington, DC – Politicians in Washington are keeping Medicare cuts on the table in debt ceiling and budget deal negotiations. To combat these efforts to cut Medicare, the Alliance for Retired Americans gathered stories from retirees nationally who benefit from the program, but who still struggle to keep up with out-of-pocket costs. These stories help illustrate that now is not the time to cut Medicare or shift costs onto beneficiaries. Future generations will need Medicare, and there are ways to strengthen the program - such as negotiating the lowest rates for prescription drugs with big pharma - that would save billions of dollars and would not require shifting costs onto seniors.
For example, Michael Madamas of West Springfield, Massachusetts has high heath care costs that are eating away at his retirement income and making it difficult to make ends meet:
“My prescriptions take 1/5 of my income,” said Mr. Madamas. “Between my prescriptions and medical expenses, my life savings were wiped out in about five years. I now live check to check.”
Alice Metzger of Houston, TX describes living on the edge where any reduction in benefits would be challenging:
"Fortunately, I have not reached the peak of having to decide if I buy groceries or medicine. However, I have had to wait to order my prescriptions until I get my Social Security check because I am usually penniless by mid-month.”
As the upcoming debate on raising the debt ceiling and funding the government for Fiscal Year 2014 coincide with continued talks of cuts to the Medicare program, the Alliance would like to share more details of the financial hardships that many seniors face and how cuts to Medicare would affect them. Because half of all Medicare beneficiaries have incomes of $22,500 or less a year, any cuts to Medicare in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays, surcharges or further means-testing of benefits would be extremely harmful to millions of seniors, and would jeopardize their health and well-being.
For additional stories, please visit: http://retiredamericans.org/issues/medicare-and-rx-drugs.
Contact: Laura Markwardt – 202-637-5178 / firstname.lastname@example.org