Seniors Taking Benefits Fight to Capitol Hill

Tuesday, 11 Oct 2011 11:16 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Older Americans and retirees will be cornering lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday to stress the heavy burden on senior citizens of cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits.
 
“We want to send a clear message that Social Security and Medicare cuts must be off the table as part of any deal by the supercommittee,” Arizona AARP Director David Mitchell said in a statement. “Seniors have spent their lives working for their Medicare and Social Security benefits and they should not be just another line item in the budget.  
 
”Congress instead should be looking at closing tax loopholes and cutting waste as ways to cut our federal budget,” he said.
 
The visit to Capitol Hill by what the AARP described as “scores” of its members is part of an ongoing campaign by the senior citizens’ lobbying group aimed at sending a simple message to lawmakers, Mitchell said: “Don’t cut my Social Security or Medicare.”
 
As part of the effort, members are also being urged to telephone their lawmakers on Wednesday.
 
The AARP estimates that half of the nation’s seniors who are 65 and older are getting by on less than $18,500 a year, much of it from Social Security benefits.
 
Proposals being considered by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction would make cuts over the next 10 years to entitlement programs, which AARP argues would not only reduce benefits for older Americans but drive up healthcare and other costs.

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