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Protect Social Security and Medicare from Benefit Cuts

A new congressional “super committee” has been charged with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years – and some want to put cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits on the table. The bipartisan panel of six Republicans and six Democrats has until November 23 to come up with a plan. Congress then has until December 23 to vote on the super committee’s recommendations. If either deadline is not met, automatic budget cuts in domestic and defense spending would be triggered instead, beginning in 2013.

See Also: Tell Washington: Stop Cuts to Medicare and Social Security Benefits

AARP’s message to Congress is simple: don’t make a deal that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits. Cutting these benefits could dramatically increase health care costs for seniors and future retirees, threaten seniors’ access to doctors and hospitals and reduce the benefit checks seniors rely on to pay their bills.

Nebraska may not have any members of Congress on the super committee tasked with finding ways to reduce the nation’s debt, but that doesn’t mean Nebraskans will be left out. AARP is working to put the concerns of Nebraskans on the map for the committee.

AARP has launched an on-line effort encouraging its members and the public to sign onto a letter to the committee urging them to cut waste and fraud and close tax loopholes, not hard-earned Social Security and Medicare benefits.

When you take action, you are added to an online map of the nation, showing members of the super committee the widespread opposition to cutting benefits. You can also share your story and tell Congress what cuts would mean to you and your family. Add your name to the map and share your story.

“Nebraskans who have paid into Social Security and Medicare are counting on the super committee and Congress to protect Social Security and Medicare benefits – the committee’s decisions could well determine how Nebraskans live in retirement,” said Connie Benjamin, State Director of AARP in Nebraska. “Prices are rising across the board, from prescriptions to food and utilities, and many in our state are just scraping by. Cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits could take a very harsh toll.”

Two new reports from AARP’s Public Policy Institute confirm how important Social Security is as a lifeline for older Nebraskans. More than 53 percent of state residents age 65+ rely on Social Security for half or more of their income, while 19 percent count on the benefits for 90 percent or more of their family income. Without Social Security, nearly 33,000 Nebraskans age 65+ would fall into poverty.

See complete report findings online.

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