Washington, DC, May 4 —
With the national debate heating up on raising the debt ceiling, today AARP launched a new campaign to fight proposals that contain arbitrary limits, caps or triggers that would result in harmful cuts to critical Social Security and Medicare benefits that millions of Americans count on.
The campaign includes a multi-million dollar national advertising schedule, plus local grassroots and online activities. It will engage AARP members and the public around the potential impact that such proposals could have on current and future generations, and encourage them to contact their members of Congress to oppose harmful cuts to Social Security and Medicare. In Massachusetts, 1,117, 870 residents currently rely on Social Security and 1,049,511 count on Medicare – benefits they have earned through a lifetime of hard work.
“Older Massachusetts residents care deeply about the nation’s fiscal health, but they also believe we must protect Social Security and Medicare; making political deals that cut their hard earned benefits is the wrong way to address these challenges,” says Deborah Banda, state director of AARP Massachusetts, which represents more than 800,000 members age 50 and older. “Imposing arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts will reduce benefits for today’s seniors and tomorrow’s retirees – and will also add to the financial burden that Americans are already shouldering for their health and financial security.”
According to a recent AARP survey, Massachusetts residents age 50 and older say health and economic issues remain the biggest challenges for people as they get older. The vast majority report Social Security (85%) and Medicare (88%) are extremely important to them, and they worry about the programs meeting their needs.
Beginning today, the campaign will air a national television spot that says: “You’ve worked hard your entire life. Paid your dues. Raised a family. You’ve earned a little peace of mind. Now, some in Congress want to make harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Cutting your benefits so Washington can pay its bills. AARP believes the country can do better. We can cut wasteful spending without cutting the benefits you’ve earned. Join us. Tell Congress to stop the harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security.”
Banda added, “The discussion about the nation’s finances is about real people – it cannot be reduced to a simple budget exercise. Congress must balance addressing the nation’s long-term debt with preserving the health and economic security that Social Security and Medicare provide. Older Massachusetts residents count on these programs to pay their bills, see their doctors and live with dignity.”
To view the new television ad and learn about AARP’s campaign, visit aarp.org/protectseniors.