Medicare, Social Security Should Not be Cut, AARP Tells 'Super Committee'

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond

Medicare and Social Security should not be included in the government’s efforts to reduce the national deficit, AARP said in a recently launched television campaign aimed at persuading members of the congressional "super committee," the Los Angeles Times reports.

The national ad campaign, set to air on CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC and Fox News, targets the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which can consider spending cuts, tax overhaul and cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security to save the country $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

“Our members and average Americans, like those featured in this ad, have worked hard over their lifetimes and depend on the Medicare and Social Security benefits they have earned for their health and retirement security,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president, told the Times. “Seniors, who have average incomes of under $20,000, want their elected leaders to cut waste and tax loopholes, not their hard-earned benefits.”

According to the ad’s script, Social Security payments have been earned by a lifetime of work and Medicare, the health insurance plan for seniors, is paid by participants.

“My heart medication isn’t some political game,” the ad script says. “I worked hard. “I paid into my Medicare .… And I earned my Social Security .… Now, instead of cutting waste and loopholes, Washington wants to cut our benefits? That wasn’t the agreement.”

In addition to the ad campaign, AARP state leaders have invited members of the super committee to participate in "tele-town hall" meetings to hear the concerns of older Americans who rely on Medicare and Social Security benefits. According to AARP, many of its members have already participated in more than 100 such meetings with congressional representatives. The super committee has until Nov. 23 to finalize its recommendations. Congress must then vote on those recommendations by Dec. 23. If no consensus is made, automatic spending cuts worth $1.2 trillion will go into effect. How do you feel about this issue? Click here to tell us.
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