?After so many months of heated budget partisanship and rhetoric, President Obama confirmed what America?s seniors have known for a lifetime?programs like Social Security and Medicare are investments which help make us the great nation we are today?and should not be sacrificed for deficit reduction. We applaud the President for stating clearly that destroying programs and services which benefit middle class Americans and seniors does not represent the kind of America most of us are proud of. GOP budget proposals which end Medicare as we know it while providing even more tax cuts for the wealthy is not shared sacrifice and America?s seniors understand that.? Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEOPresident Obama?s budget proposal provides a clear and dramatic contrast with the GOP Budget plan introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan. Under the GOP plan, America?s retirees would go back in time to the day before Medicare was enacted and over one-half of the senior population had no health care coverage at all. President Obama vowed he would not allow the dismantling of Medicare and the shifting of healthcare costs to seniors proposed in the GOP plan.President Obama also acknowledged a basic truth, too often ignored in Washington these days, that Social Security has not caused the current deficit crisis. This fact is exactly why the National Committee, representing millions of members and supporters nationwide, believe Social Security has no place in this deficit reduction debate.?As always, the devil?s in the details being hammered out behind closed doors but America?s seniors should celebrate the fact that there is a budget proposal on the table that better represents the real world our retirees are living in. We will continue to urge Congress to reject any proposals which limit seniors? access to care in Medicare or propose Social Security benefit cuts in the name of deficit reduction. Our work is far from over but at least now fairness for America?s seniors and their families is brought back into the debate.?