What's at Stake in Idaho as Social Security & Medicare Cuts Considered?

AARP Releases State Stats & County Breakdown of Idahoans Who Could Get Hit by Budget Debate Outcomes, Urges President & Congress to Reject Cuts

BOISE, Idaho, July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The debate over the federal deficit looms heavily in Idaho, where the fallout from cuts being considered to Social Security and Medicare would take a drastic toll.  Today, AARP is releasing state data, including a county by county breakdown of Idahoans who receive Social Security and Medicare, reminding the President and Congress of the real people in the Gem State who would be affected by cuts to the programs.  

"Cutting Social Security and shifting more costs onto Medicare beneficiaries will hurt hundreds of thousands of hardworking Idahoans who've paid into the programs and rely on the benefits in retirement," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho.   "AARP stands in strong opposition to Social Security and Medicare benefits being on the table as part of deficit reduction."

By the numbers, Social Security and Medicare in Idaho:

  • 260,000 (17% of the state population) Idahoans receive Social Security.
  • 36% of Social Security recipients in the state would fall into poverty without the monthly checks.
  • More than half of Idahoans receiving Social Security count on it for 50% or more of their income.
  • One in four of Idaho's 65+ say Social Security accounts for 90% of their income.
  • $1,054 is the average monthly benefit for a Social Security recipient in Idaho.
  • 86% of the state's 65+ have said the check is very important to their monthly budget (http://bit.ly/aarpidecon).  
  • 225,735 Idahoans (15% of the population) count on Medicare for access to health care, from prescription drugs to visits to their doctor's office.  
  • $22,000 is the average income for half of all Medicare beneficiaries.

"Increasingly, Idahoans are less prepared for their retirement, making Social Security and Medicare even more critical," added Wordelman.  "These issues are more than just numbers on a balance sheet - cuts to the programs will affect real people in Idaho, reducing benefit checks they rely on to pay the bills and increasing health care costs, while threatening access to doctors, hospitals and nursing homes."

County breakdown of Idahoans currently receiving Social Security and Medicare who could be affected by cuts to the programs:

County

Social Security

Medicare*

Ada

53,865

47,161

Adams

1,075

921

Bannock

12,140

1,120

Bear Lake

1,360

1,215

Benewah

2,405

2,067

Bingham

7,250

6,270

Blaine

2,890

2,628

Boise

1,525

1,243

Bonner

9,285

7,988

Bonneville

15,335

13,278

Boundary

2,550

2,197

Butte

635

554

Camas

180

158

Canyon

27,880

23,945

Caribou

1,365

1,194

Cassia

3,940

3,444

Clark

125

119

Clearwater

2,715

2,355

Custer

1,020

913

Elmore

3,560

3,129

Franklin

2,065

1,799

Fremont

2,230

2,013

Gem

4,070

3,464

Gooding

2,815

2,506

Idaho

3,830

3,346

Jefferson

3,435

2,908

Jerome

3,335

2,902

Kootenai

27,935

24,128

Latah

5,090

4,522

Lemhi

2,300

1,990

Lewis

1,865

1,620

Lincoln

965

847

Madison

2,680

2,334

Minidoka

3,450

3,015

Nez Perce

9,395

8,323

Oneida

895

726

Owyhee

2,085

1,785

Payette

4,860

4,162

Power

1,270

1,108

Shoshone

3,625

3,147

Teton

885

773

Twin Falls

13,945

12,256

Valley

1,970

1,703

Washington

2,595

2,310



*2009 Medicare beneficiaries

AARP has launched a nationwide Protect Seniors (www.aarp.org/protectseniors) campaign to engage the public in delivering a simple message to Congress on the issue: Take Social Security and Medicare cuts off the table.  In Idaho, AARP is reaching out to its 180,000 members across the state and urging them to contact their members of Congress directly by calling the Protect Seniors hotline (1-800-710-8049).

AARP is Idaho's largest membership organization with over 180,000 members.
Follow us on Twitter @AARPIdaho and Facebook: AARP Idaho

SOURCE AARP Idaho

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