Seniors Tell Congress Medicare Isn’t Your ATM and more...

Seniors Tell Congress Medicare Isn’t Your ATM

    Seniors advocates with the Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Committee joined Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in a press event today to express their opposition to legislation that would cut $700 million from Medicare to pay for a slice of the Trade Deal now being debated in Congress.  “Medicare is not the piggy bank for other programs. We’ve already seen what sequester has meant for the program.  We’ve written to Congress because there’s just not enough awareness on this issue.  Across the board cuts affects the integrity of the Medicare program.” Rich Fiesta, Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director “The use of Medicare cuts, 700 million dollars of Medicare cuts, to finance a program totally unrelated to Medicare sets a terrible precedent.  It’s not death by a thousand cuts but that’s where we seem to be headed.  I think it’s interesting that many of the same member ...

     

 

 

Robbing Medicare to Pay for the Trade Deal

Chances are if you’re a regular reader of this blog, the last issue you’d expect to see us write about is the hotly-debated and barely understood TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade deal.  After all, keeping up with and explaining policy issues impacting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is complicated enough, so yes, we really didn’t plan on wading too deep into the trade deal.  (Although you can read NCPSSM’s take on TPP and drug prices here.) Unfortunately, that changed this week with news that Congress (with the White House running silent) intends to cut $700 million from the Medicare program to pay for a slice of the trade package.  We talked to Michael Hiltzik the Los Angeles Times about this back-door attack on Medicare:   “The plan on Capitol Hill is to move the Trade Assistance Program expansion in tandem with fast-track approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, possibly as early as this week. We explained earlier the dan ...

     

 

 

Social Security Privatization – Then and Now

Orginally published in Huffington Post. by Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO About this time ten years ago it was becoming clear that President George Bush’s plan to forever change Social Security by turning the program over to Wall Street was on the ropes.  Even though his Social Security privatization road tour still had two more months of scheduled stops, the more the President talked about his plan, the less people liked it.  Gallup reported disapproval of privatizing Social Security rose by 16 points from 48 to 64 percent between the President’s State of the Union address and June. It was an incredibly risky and unpopular idea that rapidly flat-lined thanks to the overwhelming rejection by the public.  Yet here we are a decade later and conservatives campaigning for Congress and the White House are resuscitating the Bush strategy by offering up approaches to Social Security which are stark reminders that the GOP playbook really hasn’t changed that much.  What E ...

     

 

 

Older Americans Month

     

 

 

GOP Budget Plan: Even More Cuts for Seniors in Medicare

In keeping with every GOP budget passed over many years, benefit cuts for average Americans and tax cuts for the wealthy rule the day.  The Senate this week will pass the Budget Conference Report (it only needs a majority, which the GOP now has) including massive benefit cuts for seniors in Medicare.   National Committee policy staff has laid out what this Budget bill means for seniors in our letter to the Senate:   The conference agreement would be devastating to today's seniors and future retirees, people with disabilities and children due to the proposed changes it makes to Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.  While it proposes huge cuts to our social insurance safety net, the conference report would give massive tax cuts to the very wealthy. The conference agreement assumes the privatization of Medicare and achieves savings by shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries.  Beginning in 2024, when people become eligible for Medicare they would not enroll in the curre ...

     

 

 

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