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AARP Urges Vice President’s Deficit Reduction Group to Consider Impact on Real People, Not Just Budget Numbers

For Immediate Release

May 5, 2011

CONTACT: Media Relations, 202-434-2560

AARP Urges Vice President’s Deficit Reduction Group to Consider Impact on Real People, Not Just Budget Numbers

WASHINGTON—AARP CEO A. Barry Rand released the following statement today in response to the first meeting of a bipartisan, bicameral group working on a legislative framework for comprehensive deficit reduction, led by Vice President Joe Biden: 

“AARP recognizes the importance of confronting our nation’s fiscal challenges. But as leaders begin to hammer out solutions, we urge them not to subject Medicare and Social Security to arbitrary spending limits that could jeopardize the benefits that millions of older Americans have earned through a life time of hard work. 

“AARP yesterday launched a campaign to protect Medicare and Social Security from harmful cuts as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Rather than singling out Medicare, we believe the focus of any reforms should be on making the delivery of health care more efficient and cost effective to all Americans. And we believe we should tackle our budgetary challenges and devise common-sense solutions without making damaging cuts to Social Security—which, as a self-financed program, should be addressed in a separate debate focused on the need for retirement security. 

“As leaders continue their discussions, we remind them that at stake are the health and financial security of real people—not just figures on a federal balance sheet. Ensuring that all Americans have access to Medicare’s guaranteed health benefits and the financial security promised by Social Security has been a hallmark of AARP’s advocacy from the beginning. We look forward to working with leaders on both sides of the aisle as they continue their discussions. We encourage our elected leaders to remember that Social Security and Medicare provide critical lifelines for our members and millions of older Americans, and that any proposals should avoid harmful cuts to benefits that provide health and economic security for all Americans.”

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website,  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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