The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare participated today in the delivery of over 1,000,000 petition signatures demanding that Congress “keep its hands off of Medicare.” National Committee President and CEO Max Richtman joined Senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic Reps.Ted Deutch, Jan Schakowsky, and Tony Cárdenas in presenting the petitions on Capitol Hill this morning.
Calling GOP plans to privatize a program that 53 million Americans depend on the “War on Medicare,” Richtman warned, “We are going to hear that Medicare needs to be ‘modernized.’ Modernization is a good thing if you are remodeling a kitchen… but not for Medicare.”
The petitions were delivered to the offices of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who wants to privatize Medicare by replacing guaranteed benefits with vouchers. Ryan’s “coupon care” program will result in benefit cuts and higher out of pocket costs for seniors. Equally alarming is President-elect Trump’s pick of a diehard privatizer, Rep. Tom Price, for Health & Human Services Secretary. Richtman summarized the GOP’s message to seniors on Medicare and their families, “You are going to be on your own and good luck… and I’m not even sure about the good luck part.”
Senator Sanders delivered an impassioned message to President-elect Trump, who promised during the campaign not to touch Social Security and Medicare. “Mr. Trump,” he thundered, “We are going to hold you accountable. Millions of us are going to demand that you keep your promise.”
Members of the National Committee’s Capital Action Team came to Capitol Hill in their bright yellow t-shirts to drive home the message that every day Americans won’t tolerate Ryan and Price’s efforts to destroy Medicare.
Richtman handed out red boxing gloves to Reps. Pelosi, Schakowsky and Deutch symbolizing advocates’ readiness to take on lawmakers who try to wreck Medicare. He ended the petition delivery event with a strong call to arms. “Now, let’s all get to work and win this war.”
A National Committee on-line petition drive is underway to continue building a wall of public opposition to any proposals to cut Medicare.