October 01, 2013
House Republicans’ Shutdown Turns Seniors into Hostages
We must make sure these tactics are not “Rewarded”
with Cuts to Social Security and Medicare
The following statement was issued today by Doug Hart, President of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans.
Glendale, AZ – Today, over 50 seniors and retiree leaders from the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans gathered outside of Congressman Trent Franks’ District Office to celebrate the Affordable Health Care Act and express disdain for today’s government shutdown.
“The Affordable Care Act offers seniors free preventive care and closes the doughnut hole gap in prescription drug coverage. For House Republicans like Congressman Trent Franks to say that he doesn’t like it, and therefore will shut down the government over it, is a preposterous attempt to take our government – and seniors – hostage.
“The United States is a country of laws, and the Affordable Care Act is the law of this land. Health care reform was not only signed into law by President Obama in 2010 – it was also ratified once again by the American people when the elections of 2012 took place.
“As a result of furloughs and service cuts during the last shutdown, claims for Social Security and disability benefits were not being taken and callers were denied service on the Social Security Administration’s 800 number.
“During the 1995-96 shutdowns, veterans also saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed.
“We must stand firm against these tactics, and not allow the House Republicans’ unreasonable demands to erode the Social Security and Medicare benefits that seniors rely on. In particular, we must make sure that these hostage-taking schemes are not used to negotiate the Chained CPI formula change to seniors’ future Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, cutting their benefits. That is one of the results that these hostage-takers would love to see happen most of all. We must also beware of attempts to shift Medicare costs to beneficiaries.”