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State of the Union Reaction

Max Richtman, President/CEO The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

February 12, 2013


“President Obama is right to keep his focus on economic recovery, including job creation and economic investment.  His promise to restore the basic bargain that built this country must include preserving and strengthening the nation’s retirement and health security programs, Social Security and Medicare.  There are Medicare reforms that can save money such as reducing taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies as the President proposed tonight.  We can also allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, allow prescription drug re-importation in Part D and lift the payroll tax cap in Social Security.  However, reform proposals such as Medicare means testing, as the President proposed tonight, or cutting the annual COLA through the adoption of a chained CPI as the President has said remains on the table, will violate his promise not to ‘damage a secure retirement’. 

We urge the President to stick to his previously stated views that Social Security’s long-term solvency should not be a part of the deficit debate since it’s not a driver of our deficits.  Contrary to the political spin, changing the cost of living formula for millions, including; veterans, retirees, and people with disabilities isn’t a “technical change” it’s an immediate benefit cut. For seniors it means $130 per year for the typical 65-year old retiree that would grow exponentially to a $1,400 cut after 30 years of retirement. 

While we welcome President Obama’s continued efforts to move Congress toward a path of fiscal responsibility, America’s seniors know that in Washington, so-called ‘sensible reforms’ can mean virtually anything. We urge the President to remember that reducing already modest benefits to seniors isn’t the path to economic growth. “…Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO


The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.

Media Inquiries to:
Pamela Causey 202-216-8378/202-236-2123
Kim Wright 202-216-8414


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