Press Releases

October 15, 2013

Retirees Support Re-Opening of Federal Government

Retiree Leader: “Seniors May not Receive Social Security checks or Medicare reimbursements” if the shutdown and debt crisis are merged in the coming weeks.

The following statement was issued today by Doug Hart, President of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans.
“Today, leaders and friends of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans gathered outside the downtown Social Security office in Phoenix to show support for re-opening the federal government without holding seniors hostage.

We are here today because we support a clean Continuing Resolution to re-open the federal government. We strongly oppose Social Security and other benefit cuts, including the chained CPI Social Security cost-of-living adjustment change, as part of any ‘grand bargain.’

If the shutdown and debt crisis are merged in the coming weeks, and the debt ceiling is not raised, seniors also may not receive Social Security checks or Medicare reimbursements.

It is of critical importance that we pass a Continuing Resolution to re-open the government and to vote against any “grand bargain” deal that dismantles our retirement security inch by inch. Even in this hostage-situation, we must oppose any cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits, including any shifting of health care costs to beneficiaries.

What we should really be doing is improving Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits, not cutting them, because working people and retirees need more economic security, not less. Proposals by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez of California lay out a path to strengthen our Social Security program, expanding benefits while extending the life of the Trust Fund, and this is the type of legislation that we need in the future.

It was not the veterans, the seniors, the workers, the people with disabilities, or the children who tanked our economy, and they should not be scapegoated into paying for it.  Speaker Boehner is wrong for holding our country hostage and forcing the government to shut down. Let’s not forget – Social Security does not contribute one red cent to the federal deficit. It is funded entirely by contributions from workers and their employers.

We are watching closely and remain hopeful that Washington finds a way to turn this thing around and do the right thing. That sure doesn’t mean trying to solve our budget problems on the backs of seniors and veterans when it was caused by Wall Street. It’s time to re-open the government and stop demanding Social Security as ransom!

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Posted 00:00AM on October 15 2013 by Tory Anderson
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