AARP Launches Ad Campaign Urging Debt Panel To Steer Clear Of Medicare
According to the national ad campaign's script, which urges the deficit panel to take Medicare cuts off the table, Social Security payments have been earned by a lifetime of work and Medicare, the health insurance plan for seniors, is paid for by participants.
Los Angeles Times: AARP To 'Super Committee': Hands Off Social Security And Medicare
AARP, which lobbies on behalf of seniors, has launched a television campaign designed to persuade members of the congressional "super committee" charged with finding $1.5 trillion worth of deficit reduction to leave Social Security and Medicare alone (Muskal, 9/21).
CQ HealthBeat: AARP Ad Targets Super Committee
Writing a letter or sending their lobbyists to pressure the deficit reduction committee isn't enough for AARP. The senior citizens' group on Wednesday launched a national television ad aimed at convincing the panel to take cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits off the table. "Our members and average Americans, like those featured in this ad, have worked hard over their lifetimes and depend on the Medicare and Social Security benefits they have earned for their health and retirement security," Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president, said in announcing the ad campaign. "Seniors, who have average incomes of under $20,000, want their elected leaders to cut waste and tax loopholes, not their hard-earned benefits" (9/21).
As the budgeters continue the search for savings, California Healthline raises this point about Medicare -
California Healthline: Reform's Unanswered Question: To Trim or Transform Medicare?
It's gotten very, very hard to find someone in Washington, D.C., who wants to leave Medicare untouched, let alone expects the program to escape more cuts this year. ... There's irony in cutting Medicare now, given that its annual spending growth has fallen to just 3.5 percent per beneficiary and that the program appears to be as efficient as ever (Diamond, 9/21).
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports on the lobbying efforts surrounding the "super committee's" deliberations.
The New York Times: Lobbyists Line Up To Sway Special Committee
As lobbyists and executives in education, agriculture, social services and other areas game out the possibilities, some say their sectors could conceivably be better off, and the sting of cutbacks less painful, if the automatic cuts take effect. … Real estate insiders want to preserve mortgage interest deductions for higher-priced residences and second homes. Pharmacies oppose cuts in medical reimbursements. And advocates for the elderly want to protect Social Security and Medicare (Lichtblau, 9/21).