Protect Social Security Medicare and Medicaid!

Please click here to sign the petition to Protect Social Security. Medicare and Medicaid:

Women, communities of color and allies call on  Congress and the President to protect Social Security, Medicare and  Medicaid

The Issues

As Congress reconvenes to address the budget, the first order of business  must be to protect the benefits we rely on through Social Security, Medicare and  Medicaid.

Congress failed for the last 2 years to agree on proposals to manage the  federal budget and the deficit, and now faces a “fiscal cliff:” without further  action, cuts to the military and social programs would be phased in starting in  January, 2013. The Bush-era tax cuts would also expire, meaning taxes would go  up both for wealthy and middle-income people, starting in January. To avoid  these consequences, Congress could just raise tax rates for the wealthiest 2% of  the population, but carve out middle-income people, who need the cash to  stimulate the economy. Failing that, groups associated with finance capital have  advocated for a “Grand Bargain,” first proposed by the failed Simpson-Bowles  commission, to cut benefits for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as a  trade off for some tax increases.

Cutting benefits from Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid would be  especially harmful to the health of women, who live longer but have lower  incomes. Additionally, women of color, who already experience a host of health  disparities and difficulties in accessing critical health services, would be  disproportionately impacted by any erosion of Medicaid.

Raising the age of eligibility for Social Security income support, or  reducing benefits, would tip millions of elderly women into poverty,  including many without family or friends as caregivers, and who are people of  color. They would have to spend down their savings to become eligible for  Medicaid, and experience medically unnecessary confinement in nursing homes as a  result.

Medicare is the major source of payment for hospital and ambulatory care as  well as for rehabilitation services and considerable home health and nursing  home care. Forcing women to neglect necessary care at ages 65-67 would result in  greater risk of complications from chronic diseases as they grow older.

Medicaid provides essential support to pregnant women, their children and  people using long term care services at home, in their communities and in  skilled nursing facilities. Any reduction of these benefits would irretrievably  harm health and hasten death among women.

Further, the Social Security Trust Fund is entirely solvent through 2038,  requiring only minor tweaks in the interim to extend into the future. Medicare  and Medicaid are affected by health care cost increases, but cutting benefits  will not solve those problems.

Protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

The text of the petition

On Nov. 6, women and communities of color gave the margin of victory to a  President and members of Congress who promised to fight for higher taxes on the  wealthy, for more public investment and for careful cuts in spending, while  revitalizing the economy.

As Congress begins to negotiate on the budget, the first order of business  must be to protect the benefits we rely on through Social Security, Medicare and  Medicaid. Cutting benefits from Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid would be  especially harmful to the health of women, who live longer but have lower  incomes. Additionally, women of color, who already experience a host of health  disparities and difficulties in accessing critical health services would be  disproportionately impacted by any erosion of Medicaid. These cuts would do  nothing to address the deficit. Such cuts would force women ages 65-67 to  neglect needed health care, worsening chronic conditions throughout their lives.  Reduced income support would force many elderly women without family or friends  as caregivers to spend down to qualify for Medicaid, and experience medically  unnecessary confinement in nursing homes as a result.

There is a ready solution to raise revenue: Let the Bush tax cuts expire for  the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

We urge you to fight for:

1. No cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits

2. Let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

Click here to sign http://trustwomen.civicactions.org/twsilverribbon/protect_social_security_medicare_and_medicaid

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