"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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Advocates Join Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to Speak Against Medicare Cuts, Release 150,000 Petitions
March 19, 2014
March 19, 2014
For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC) Today, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) co-hosted a telephone press conference call with the Medicare Rights Center and Social Security Works releasing 150,000 petition signatures against means testing Medicare and urging President Obama to drop support of Medicare cuts. Alliance for Retired Americans activist Charlie Hogan explained on the call what Medicare cuts, including further means testing Medicare, would mean for retirees in Illinois and nationwide.
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky explained that her constituents and most Americans receiving Medicare are in no position financially to afford further means testing of the program. She noted “At least one in five seniors are already cutting back on health care because they can’t afford it.”
Charlie Hogan, Alliance for Retired Americans member and President of AFSCME Retiree sub-chapter 161 from Chicago said, “If we didn't have Medicare, if we didn't have insurance at work, we'd lose our homes, we'd lose everything.” Mr. Hogan, a veteran, stressed that the retirees of today and tomorrow contributed to our Medicare and Social Security and they are an earned benefit and a promise that shouldn’t be broken.
Stacy Sanders, Federal Policy Director for the Medicare Rights Center explained three important facts about further means testing Medicare:
1) Medicare is already means-tested. In other words, wealthy Medicare beneficiaries are already paying more for their Medicare premiums;
2) Further means-testing means higher health care costs for the middle class; and
3) More means testing would undermine the universality and integrity of Medicare.
Dr. Ben Veghte, Research Director for Social Security Works, pointed out that the average senior's Social Security benefits are equivalent to a minimum wage income, about $15,000/year. He also said, “Indirectly, Social Security benefits have been cut by rising out-of-pocket health care costs over the last two decades. Today, out-of-pocket health care costs eat up over a third of the Social Security check of the average senior.” He added, “Our health care system is currently twice as expensive as most other Western countries’, there are a number of proposals that would reduce health care costs, not just shift costs onto seniors,” and further means testing Medicare is “bad public policy in all respects.”
Contact: Laura Markwardt – 202-637-5178 / firstname.lastname@example.org