Majority of House Democrats Call on President Obama to Reject Benefit Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Benefits
(WASHINGTON) - 107 House Democrats, a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives, wrote President Obama today, urging him to reject any proposals to cut benefits millions of American families depend upon through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The letter was led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL),Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and Rep Donna Edwards (D-MD).
The Members specifically singled out “Chained CPI”—a proposal to reduce Social Security benefits by changing the way inflation is calculated—and raising the Medicare retirement age as policies they oppose.
“A commitment to keeping the middle-class strong and reducing poverty requires a commitment to keeping Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid strong,” the Members said in the letter. “We urge you to reject any proposals to cut benefits, and we look forward to working with you to enact approaches that instead rely on economic growth and more fair revenue-raising policies to solve our fiscal problems.”
You can read the full text of the letter below.
February 15, 2013
Dear President Obama:
We want to thank you for standing strong in the American Taxpayer Relief Act to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from benefit cuts that would jeopardize the well-being of millions of Americans.
We write to affirm our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits in any final bill to replace sequestration. Earned Social Security and Medicare benefits provide the financial and health protections necessary to keep individuals and families out of poverty. Medicaid is not only a lifeline for low-income children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and families, it is the primary source of long-term care services and supports for 3.6 million individuals. We cannot overstate their importance for our constituents and our country.
That is why we remain deeply opposed to proposals to reduce Social Security benefits through use of the chained CPI to calculate cost-of-living adjustments. We remain committed to making the changes that will extend solvency for 75 years, but Social Security has not contributed to our current fiscal problems and it should not be on the bargaining table.
Similarly, we oppose proposals to increase Medicare cost-sharing requirements or to raise the age of eligibility. Half of all Medicare recipients live on less than $22,000 a year – yet they spend, on average, three times as much of those limited incomes on health care as other Americans. Raising their already heavy cost-sharing burden or increasing the age of eligibility doesn’t lower health care costs, it just shifts them to those who can least afford more financial burdens – seniors, people with disabilities and their families.
A commitment to keeping the middle-class strong and reducing poverty requires a commitment to keeping Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid strong. We urge you to reject any proposals to cut benefits, and we look forward to working with you to enact approaches that instead rely on economic growth and more fair revenue-raising policies to solve our fiscal problems.