The first of three presidential debates took place on Wednesday, with President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney both striving to gain favor with the middle class and seniors. Romney continued to hide the details about how he’d repeal Obamacare and still keep all of its benefits for seniors, such as more affordable prescription drugs and free preventive care.
"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
A transcript of a speech made in 2005 by Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan has received renewed attention this week, after the national Catholic weekly publication America published an article on his remarks. In his speech, Ryan took an extremist stance on Social Security and Medicare. He called Social Security and Medicare “collectivist” and “socialistic” and described his plans for privatization.
On Friday afternoon, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addressed AARP’s National Annual Conference in New Orleans. He stated, on the record, that he is for raising the retirement age. The address was not well-received. Audience members called Ryan a “liar,” told him to “go home,” and booed his critique of President Obama and health reform.
With the Democratic and Republican conventions over, Medicare continues to garner attention. Launching a two-day campaign swing in Florida, former President Bill Clinton pushed back in Miami on Tuesday against what he described as Republican scare tactics over health care programs for older Americans.
The 46th Democratic National Convention took place this week, ending last night with the official nomination of Barack Obama for re-election as U.S. President. The 2012 platform adopted by the Democratic Party this week in Charlotte shows the stark contrasts between the two parties on the key issues of Social Security and Medicare.
Delegates to this week’s Republican National Convention approved a party platform calling for sweeping changes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Pledging to “save Medicare by modernizing it,” the platform supports vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s plan to push seniors toward vouchers to buy health coverage from private insurance companies. The platform would also raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67. Medicaid, which is the only way that 70 percent of seniors can afford long-term and nursing home care, would be cut under the GOP plan, with much of the program turned over to individual states.
When Mitt Romney says he will reverse the changes to Medicare under health reform, he means he will reinstitute overpayments to insurance companies and protect pharmaceutical and medical device companies. This would weaken Medicare, making it insolvent earlier – in 2016.
On Saturday morning, Mitt Romney unveiled U.S. Representative and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his choice for running mate in his quest to become U.S. President. Alliance Executive Director Edward F. Coyle was quick to react to the choice of Ryan, who has made clear his plan to end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system - shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors. Ryan also seeks to raise the retirement age, privatize Social Security and cut benefits under that program.
Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance, issued a response this week to a Monday segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe filled with half-truths and outright lies about Social Security’s future. In the segment, host Joe Scarborough perpetuated the myth that Social Security adds to the deficit, when in reality the Social Security Trust Fund has a $2.7 trillion surplus.
The Alliance celebrated the 47th Birthday of Medicare and Medicaid on July 30, and 50 “Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire” summer campaign events have now taken place since July 22.