AARP: Deficit Commission Proposal Hurts Middle Class Americans

Washington–(ENEWSPF)–November 10, 2010.  With the release of the Co-Chairs’ proposal from the President’s Fiscal Commission today, AARP has responded with concern about how these recommendations would hurt the health and financial security of middle class Americans in particular, and believes that the proposal is contrary to the best interests of American families.

Over the past several months, AARP has been talking with and listening to Americans across the country about the importance of Social Security and health security, and how they feel about the conversation in Washington around potential cuts to these critical programs to help reduce the deficit.

“During these tough economic times, the last thing we should be considering is targeting the guaranteed, inflation-protected Social Security benefits that millions of Americans count on every day,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President. “Americans, particularly the middle class, are facing declining pensions, lack of savings and rising health care costs, and these unbalanced proposals take the country in the wrong direction instead of answering their real fears.  Americans are worried about their retirement security and the future of their children and grandchildren, and they do not want our leaders to target Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

“We’re also deeply concerned that the Co-Chairs’ Proposals would aim to reduce the deficit by shifting health care costs onto seniors in Medicare. Raising costs on the sick and the most economically vulnerable is both wrong and counter-productive policy.  Instead, we should be focused on efforts to lower costs throughout the health care system. Our members and millions of Americans who receive Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are not only worried about the impact of potential cuts for themselves, but for the future health retirement for their children and grandchildren.  Cuts to these programs may mean less security and a bleaker picture for them,” said LeaMond.

AARP calls on the President’s fiscal commission to refocus on the impact of cuts on real people when proposing any changes to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other vital programs, and reframe the discussion with the goal of achieving health and retirement security for all Americans.

“There is a disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country when you see proposals that talk about adding costs on the backs of Americans instead of alleviating their burden. We hope to work with members of the President’s fiscal commission and with our elected leaders to ensure that improving Americans’ health and retirement security will be addressed in the context of shoring up our nation’s fiscal outlook.  These are not mutually exclusive goals,” said LeaMond.

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