Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) is introducing a Senate resolution to tell the President and congressional budget negotiators on both sides of the aisle in unambiguous terms: Cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits should be off the table.No, President Obama is not a grandmaster at negotiations. He's veered into beltway land where our commitment to our seniors is seen today as better managed by the insurance industry and for-profit schemes.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: No Cuts in Medicare, Social Security Benefit on Debt Limit Bill.From Whitehouse for U.S. Senate and the Democratic Underground:
Text of the Sense of the Senate on Protecting Social Security and Medicare
(a) Findings -- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Over 34 million retired workers currently receive Social Security benefits -- averaging a modest $14,100 a year.
(2) In 2008, 23% of retirees receiving Social Security depended on it for all or almost all of their income.
(3) According to the AARP, Social Security kept 36% of seniors out of poverty in 2008.
(4) Reducing Social Security benefits would cause many seniors to have to choose between food and drugs and rent and heat.
(5) Ninety-five percent of seniors -- almost 37 million in 2008 -- get their health coverage through Medicare.
(6) Without Medicare, seniors -- many of whom live off of Social Security -- would have to turn to the costly and uncertain private market for health insurance.
(7) Social Security and Medicare are extremely successful social insurance programs that permit America’s seniors to retire with dignity and security after a lifetime of hard work, and relieve young American families of worry about their own futures, allowing freedom of opportunity in America.
(b) Sense of the Senate: It is the Sense of the Senate that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should not include cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits.