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Bay Staters Speak Out

About a million Bay State seniors rely on Social Security and Medicare – and from the Berkshires to the Cape, they are sending a loud and clear message to Sen. John Kerry and the Supercommittee: No cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

See Also: Today’s Threat to Medicare and Social Security: The Supercommittee

Sen. Kerry is one of the 12 U.S. Senators and Representatives on the bipartisan Supercommittee, which must soon submit a recommendation on how to reduce the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. Still on the table: options that would cut Medicare and Social Security benefits.

The vast majority of Massachusetts residents age 50 worry about the future of these landmark programs, and thousands are speaking out and sharing their thoughts on what Social Security and Medicare mean to them. Here are just a few of their stories:

“I am a single mom with a disabled daughter, who receives benefits. I am working full time to support us. I would like to be able to retire soon and take care of all of our living expenses, and our health costs. I will be 72 years old tomorrow. Getting so tired, but afraid of leaving my full time job. Where would we live, eat, get health coverage?” – Lucille K., Auburn

“If my benefits get cut, I will be homeless and cannot afford to buy food, my monthly medications and see my current doctors. It would be a great tragedy for me.” – Edgar C., Boston

“Medicare is VERY important to my husband and I. It is something we worked very hard for, for many years, and now that we depend on it for our health care coverage, it seems like the benefits are slowly (or not so slowly) being taken away from us. It is scary not knowing what the future holds. We are just hoping and praying that we stay healthy.” – Joan M., Yarmouth Port

“I am a 71 year old widow (I was widowed at 40, raised 3 kids and sent them to college) and I depend almost entirely on my Social Security for income. Together with Social Security, my tiny retirement fund and $500 from a rental property I own with my son add up to $2400 monthly income. I budget very strictly, and manage fairly well, but any cut to Social Security or increase in the costs of Medicare or my Medigap policy would be a disaster for me. Two years of no COLA plus increases in food, gasoline, heating expenses, etc., threaten my independence.” – Susan W., Williamstown

“Social Security will be my main source of income when I retire, if I ever get to. I have a 401K also but it has been hit hard and I don’t’ think it can catch up again by the time I am 65. Without Medicare I will never be able to retire. Please do not eliminate or cut these benefits to those of us who have already put in our hard earned dollars all our lives. I am depending on what my estimated Social Security income is now.” – Diane G., Pittsfield

“I am 58 years of age and worked at a pharmacy for over ten years. I have seen more senior citizens use credit cards just to pay for their medication because they cannot afford it out of pocket. They have six months to pay the card off before they have to refill their prescription. I am also hearing of others that are so happy to go to a center for a meal especially when there is fresh fruit. I cannot comprehend why we as a nation are going through such hardship.” – Marguerite P., Springfield

Put Your Name on the Map

Show Sen. Kerry and the Supercommittee that Massachusetts residents, along with Americans all over the country, are counting on them to protect your hard earned Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Sign our open letter – and put yourself on the map!