December 4, 2012
Please take a minute to use the toll-free number below -- as we join with our coalition partner, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare -- to make sure Congress hears our message loud and clear.
NO CUTS to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid
Call on Wed 12/5: 1-800-998-0180
After a lifetime of unequal pay, women rely disproportionately on Social Security and Medicare in their retirement years. Medicaid is equally crucial for women, providing health coverage to some 10 million women last year alone.
Yet Republican leaders in Congress are insisting that these programs be cut substantially rather than allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest. Very little time remains in this lame duck session for negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff to conclude before an automatic across-the-board cut to all federal programs goes into effect.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that Social Security is NOT on the table in these discussions because the system is self-financed and by law cannot contribute to the federal debt.
However, we have heard that conservatives in Congress want to impose a change in the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), altering the way that Social Security benefits are calculated to keep up with inflation. Conservatives want to switch to an index called the "chained CPI," which would, in fact, result in a serious reduction in Social Security benefits. The average 65-year-old Social Security beneficiary would lose about $130 in benefits the first year, but by the time that senior is 95, the amount would be $1,400. For many elderly women, Social Security is their ONLY source of income, and such a reduction would be disastrous.
Please call on Wed 12/5 and tell your member of Congress to oppose the chained CPI and keep Social Security out of the fiscal cliff discussion.
In addition, conservative legislators and corporate-backed advocacy groups are pressuring negotiators for a range of harmful changes to Medicare, including increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 67, imposing a spending cap, or means-testing Medicare benefits.
NOW and our allies strongly oppose these changes to the structure of Medicare, as they would eventually force middle- and lower-income families to shoulder the lion's share of deficit reduction while the wealthiest continue to avoid paying their fair share in income taxes. Moreover, these dangerous cuts are not necessary: When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, controls on provider reimbursements will go into effect and other reforms will be made to control costs without denying health care services to seniors.
Finally, the most important health care program for low-income women and their families is being targeted. Three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries are women; the program provides their only source of reproductive health care and it supports the vast majority of nursing home residents who are women. Absolutely NO cuts should be made to this vital program.
Please tell Congress that NO CUTS to Medicare or Medicaid should be part of the debt and deficit agreements, and that Social Security should not even be considered in debt or deficit talks. Women are depending on Congress to protect these programs!