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Rep. Napolitano Opposes Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security

September 8, 2011
Press Release

Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano joined 46 of her fellow lawmakers in opposing cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as part of any deficit-reduction package created by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the “Super Committee.” This new committee of House and Senate members has until November 23 to find $1.5 billion in deficit reduction as part of the debt limit bill signed into law last month.

“Seniors and working families are still facing job losses and housing foreclosures in this economy, and we cannot afford to make deep cuts to the Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits they rely on,” Napolitano said. “This new ‘super committee’ must balance our budget without making the recession even more painful for the most vulnerable among us. The committee members should remember the sacrifices working people have already had to make, and ensure that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are protected during these negotiations.”

Napolitano joined the other lawmakers in signing onto H. Con. Res. 72, an official resolution which would express the sense of the U.S. House of Representatives that the actions of the super committee should not reduce benefits for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Text of H. Con. Res. 72, Concurrent Resolution:

Expressing the sense of Congress that any legislative language approved by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should not reduce benefits for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients.

Whereas S.365, the `Budget Control Act of 2011', creates a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction tasked with providing recommendations and legislative language that will significantly improve the short-term and long-term fiscal imbalance of the Federal Government;

Whereas large majorities of Americans want to address the deficit in a way that preserves Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits;

Whereas the Medicare program reflects the Nation's commitment to the health and independence of older Americans and Americans with disabilities by providing health care coverage to 42 million people;

Whereas Medicare safeguards beneficiaries and their families from the ruinous costs of medical treatments and prevents individuals from spending unmanageable proportions of their incomes on medical care or being pushed into poverty by their medical bills;

Whereas Medicaid provides a safety net for both low-income and middle-class families who may have family members stricken with catastrophic illness or injury or face prolonged infirmity in old age;

Whereas cuts to Medicaid would severely impact low-income families and individuals with disabilities, and curtail access to critical services, including nursing home and community care services;

Whereas cuts to Medicaid would limit the program's ability to provide women without health care coverage with prenatal, maternity, and postnatal care and hamper the United States efforts to prevent infant and prenatal deaths;

Whereas Social Security provides essential financial support to almost 55 million people in the United States, including more than 35 million retired workers;

Whereas Social Security provides modest benefits averaging $14,000 per year for retired workers, based on contributions paid into Social Security over a worker's lifetime of employment;

Whereas Social Security can pay full benefits through 2035;

Whereas Social Security has no borrowing authority, currently has $2.7 trillion in accumulated assets, and, therefore, does not contribute to the Federal budget deficit; and

Whereas the citizens of the United States deserve thoughtful and fair Social Security reform to protect current and future benefits and to ensure ongoing retirement security for seniors, protections for persons who become disabled, and benefits for the young children and spouses of deceased and disabled workers: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),That it is the sense of Congress that—

any deficit reduction plan put forward by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should not balance the budget by eroding America's hard-earned retirement plan and social safety net;

Medicare's ability to deliver high quality health care in a cost-efficient manner should be strengthened and its benefits should be preserved for current and future retirees;

appropriate reform to strengthen Social Security's long-term outlook should ensure that Social Security remains a critical source of protection for the people of the United States and their families without further increasing the retirement age or otherwise decreasing benefits; and

Federal funding for the Medicaid program should be maintained so that senior citizens, poor and disabled children, and others with disabilities are able to gain and retain access to affordable health care.


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