AARP Members Descend on Capitol Hill, Urge Representatives: No Cuts to Medicare or Social Security

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scores of AARP members will travel to the nation's capitol on Wednesday, October 12 for a nationwide AARP lobby day to bring a message to their Senate and House representatives not to make harmful cuts to Social Security or Medicare.

The so-called congressional "supercommittee" is currently considering proposals that would cut Medicare and Social Security, actions that could result in dramatic increases in the costs of health care for seniors, threaten their access to doctors, and reduce the benefit checks older Americans rely on.

"We want to send a clear message that Social Security and Medicare cuts must be off the table as part of any deal by the supercommittee," said David Mitchell, AARP Arizona State Director.  "Seniors have spent their lives working for their Medicare and Social Security benefits and they should not be just another line-item in the budget.  Congress instead should be looking at closing tax loopholes and cutting waste as ways to cut our federal budget."

It's estimated that the average annual income of half of Americans 65 years and older is less than $18,500 per year.  In Arizona, 47% of people 65 and older rely on Social Security for 50% or more of their family income, while 141,000 Arizonans rely on their Social Security check for 90% or more of their family income.  

In addition, Medicare beneficiaries nationwide already pay about $3000 in out of pocket costs per year for medical expenses.  

"We're urging people to join our AARP lobby day on Wednesday by placing a telephone call using our AARP toll free number.  The message is simple.  Tell your representative don't cut my Social Security or Medicare," added Mitchell.

The AARP toll free number to call on October 12 is (888) 722-8514.

"Now is the time to contact your member of Congress.  The stakes couldn't be higher." Mitchell added.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

CONTACT:  Cynthia J. Fagyas
(602) 262-5165