The National Committee Urges the White House to Reject Proposals that Target Middle Class Families

We've written to President Obama and Budget Director, Jack Lew, urging the administration to protect programs vital to hard-working Americans and their families as the administration prepares its Fiscal Year 2013 budget.  Social Security and Medicare provide lifelines to millions who still suffer in this economy, yet these programs continue to be targeted by those in Washington hoping to balance the budget by cutting benefits to seniors, the disabled, and their families.  Our President/CEO, Max Richtman said:
“The vast majority of Americans, of all ages and political stripes, do not support cutting Social Security and Medicare to balance the budget; however, they do support allowing tax cuts for the wealthy to expire.  In spite of this, benefit cuts for the middle-class continue to top the budget agenda for many in Washington.  The President’s 2013 Budget will provide an opportunity for Washington to reverse the failed fiscal policies of the past and reconnect with an American middle-class still suffering in this economy. We look forward to working with the President to protect and strengthen our vital social insurance safety net. ”
Following are just some of the proposals discussed by the White House and others which the National Committee opposes and are highlighted in our letter: Raising Medicare's eligibility age from 65 to 67. We are also deeply concerned about a plan to cut Medicare by raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67.  This would not only shift the cost saved by the federal government to 65 and 66 year-olds losing Medicare coverage, but also to employers and employees, the states, and younger people buying health insurance through the new health insurance exchanges. Expanding Medicare means testing.  Medicare Part B has been means tested since 2007. Additional means testing would undermine the social insurance nature of Medicare, and ultimately raise costs for middle and lower-income seniors who depend on it. Cutting the COLA by replacing the current the CPI-W with the chained-CPI.  This would have the effect of reducing the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that seniors depend on in retirement to protect their Social Security benefits’ purchasing power against the harmful effects of inflation.  Recent analysis estimates that, over time, the annual benefit cut stemming from the chained-CPI will accumulate to almost $1,400.  Rather than cutting the COLA for seniors we should adopt a more accurate measure of seniors’ costs, by adopting the CPI-E. In the past few months, hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens have told Washington “Hands Off – No Cuts” during rallies, protests, marches and in email, phone and petition campaigns to Congress.  Americans have engaged in the National Committee’s nationwide campaign in a big way and will continue to do so throughout this election cycle.  Average Americans understand the value of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the middle-class and they worry that Washington will turn its back on American retirees, workers and their families. You can see our full letter to the White House on the NCPSSM website.