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AARP, Members Fight for Social Security, Medicare

You’ve likely seen the TV commercials where the AARP member says, “We are 50 million seniors who earned our benefits and you will be hearing from us…today and on Election Day.”

See Also: Stop Cuts to Medicare and Social Security Benefits

The ads remind Congress that Social Security and Medicare should not be used to pay down the Federal debt.

During the first phase of our campaign more than 15,000 Nevadans and over three million Americans signed petitions, wrote letters and called their Members of Congress telling them not to use their retirement security programs to fund the nation’s debt. More recently, we’ve encouraged members to put themselves on the map and tell us their stories about how Social Security and Medicare make a difference in their quality of life. More than 7 million have responded.

What’s Really at Stake

By Nov. 23, the super committee, a bipartisan group selected by Congress to reduce the Federal debt by at least 1.2 trillion, must submit their recommendations to Congress. Though much of the super committee’s work is behind closed doors, AARP believes it’s important to let Congress know that our members are watching. Much of the debate during the debt talks revolved around cutting Social Security and Medicare—which some in Congress called “entitlements.”

Our members and all Americans have paid into both the Social Security and Medicare systems; and these benefits have been earned through a lifetime of hard work. The suggestion that these benefits should be cut breaks a promise between the government and its people. Social Security has not contributed one dime to the Federal debt and cutting those earned benefits could be devastating for many.

In Nevada alone, 31% of those collecting Social Security would live in poverty without it.

Many (over 45%) rely on Social Security for over half their income, another 22% rely on Social Security for over 90%.

What You Can Do

If you haven’t yet contacted your Nevada Senators and Representative to voice your opinion, do so at 1-800-928-8084. Tell your friends and family to call too. And if the super committee proposes cuts to Medicare and Social Security on Nov. 23; call your Members of Congress again.

You can also send a letter to the super committee (even if they are not your elected officials) and sign your name to our map.

And finally, you can share your story about the importance of Social Security and/or Medicare to you. Numbers and data are never as compelling as reading the personal stories of individuals whose lives have been changed for the better as a result of these critical retirement security programs. 

In Nevada, we’re also holding a telephone town hall on Dec. 12 from 10 to 12 PT to discuss the recommendations of the super committee. Visit our webpage for details on how you can join the conversation.