November 09, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA SENIORS TELL HOW THEY WOULD BE HURT BY CUTS TO MEDICARE, MEDICAID AND SOCIAL SECURITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Yuri Rega Beckelman, AFL-CIO, 215-531-0886

Adam Swope, Alliance for Retired Americans, 202-341-7821

PENNSYLVANIA SENIORS TELL HOW THEY WOULD BE HURT BY CUTS TO MEDICARE, MEDICAID AND SOCIAL SECURITY

Phialdephia, PA – On a press call Thursday, seniors from across Pennsylvania told their stories about how seniors would be hurt if Congress cuts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to extend George Bush’s tax cuts for the top 2%.

“In Pennsylvania, senior citizens and people with disabilities make up one-third of Medicaid recipients while accounting for 74 percent of the states Medicaid spending. And 62 percent of elderly Pennsylvanians in nursing homes rely on Medicaid to finance their care.” Said PA Alliance for Retired American President Jean Friday, a resident of Westmoreland County.  “If block grants are applied to Medicaid, the funding is predicted to shrink by about one-third in 2022, a cut of $810 billion dollars to the states over the next 10 years. Under such a program, it would be difficult for states to continue to provide needed benefits, possibly leading to changes to eligibility and increasing cost sharing for recipients.”

“Social Security was created during the great depression of the 1930s as a means to help protect the spending power of retired seniors. The benefit is  related to their own life time of earnings and is therefore a form of economic stimulus.” Said Alice Hoffman, a recipient of Medicare & Social Security from Delaware County.  “It should not be cut just as we emerge from a recession.  Senator Charles Schumer is correct that it should not be a part of any “grand bargain” to avoid a fiscal cliff.”

“With the elections finally over we should not hear much more about repealing the Affordable Care Act. We have already heard too much, through the Ryan Plan, about replacing ACA with vouchers for health insurance.” Said Dick Kern, a recipient of Medicare & Social Security from Wyoming County. “Seniors are beginning to realize that the Affordable Care Act, aka. Obamacare has strengthened the Medicare program and are also beginning to take advantage of the preventative programs offered through the program. Seniors need to let their legislators know that they are not interested in changing the current Medicare program and gambling with their health services.”

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