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Our History

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) was founded in 1982 by former Congressman James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who signed the Social Security Act into law.  Two additional leaders of prominence have also headed the organization; from 1989 - 2001, former Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Martha A. McSteen, and former Congresswoman Barbara B. Kennelly, who headed the organization from 2002 - 2011. Max Richtman, who served as Executive Vice President since 1989, was appointed as President and CEO in August 2011.

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare is the nation's leading advocacy group that fights to protect Social Security and Medicare. We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization representing the views of millions of members and supporters nationwide. The mission of the NCPSSM is to protect, preserve, promote, and ensure the financial security, health, and the well being of current and future generations of Americans.

NCPSSM receives no federal, state or local government funding, and we do not sell any products, services or goods, which distinguishes us from other national seniors' organizations. We are a membership organization supported through annual membership dues and contributions. Our NCPSSM members are engaged and actively participate in petition drives, letter campaigns, surveys and polls. To date, more than 88 million petitions and letters to Congress and the President have been signed by our members and supporters. The credibility and strength of the National Committee’s influence has been attributed to the success of many important legislative initiatives over our long history. We’ve successfully defeated cuts to Social Security proposed over the decades including in the 2004 & 2011 Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment, President Bush’s 2005 campaign to privatize Social Security, the 2011 Congressional Super Committee, and recent attempts to adopt a stingier COLA formula for beneficiaries.  Our Medicare victories include the successful 1995 campaign against a proposed $270 billion cut to Medicare and the battle against the harmful Medicare “trigger” in 2008.  We supported important Medicare improvements in the Affordable Care Act, continue to fight against the GOP/Ryan budget’s privatization of Medicare and other proposals to cut Medicare benefits through means-testing and cost-shifting.

A team of highly experienced policy analysts and lobbyists meets regularly with Members of Congress and their staffs to present the National Committee's positions and make recommendations regarding current legislative proposals. Through its Political Action Committee, NCPSSM supports incumbents and challengers who have demonstrated a strong commitment to seniors' issues. Voting records, campaign questionnaires and candidate interviews guide are considered when determining PAC support.   

Grassroots activities are conducted through a national network of managers, Area Representatives, Advocacy Leaders, volunteers and the Washington DC Rally Corp. NCPSSM representatives organize and participate in workshops, forums, conferences and exhibits to provide legislative updates, advocacy training and education.

In 1994, NCPSSM was admitted as a member of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), a coalition of 64 of the nation's non-profit organizations serving older Americans. By unanimous vote in 1999, NCPSSM became one of five chairing organizations for LCAO and since then has successfully led the coalition numerous times.

The Board of Directors is elected by the NCPSSM members. The Board meets three times per year to provide strategic guidance and support for the work of NCPSSM staff. Leaders in business, government, policy, education, healthcare and advocacy fill the 14 board positions.   

The National Committee commemorated 25 years of advocacy in 2008, the same year we launched the NCPSSM Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to protect, promote and ensure the financial security, health and well-being of current and future generations of Americans through research, analysis and public education. The Foundation has led the first of its kind national education campaign, “Know Your Rights”,  to educate LGBT Americans about their new rights to Social Security benefits thanks to the Supreme Court’s June 2013 Windsor ruling in the Defense of Marriage Act.  

Read the list of NCPSSM accomplishments

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New Online Resource Details Social Security’s Economic Impact in States and Counties Nationwide

Social Security’s economic contributions to communities, counties, and states continue to be misunderstood and often ignored in Washington’s fiscal debates. A new online report unveiled by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation provides a detailed look at the significant economic impact generated by Social Security benefits.

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