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Republican leaders in Congress led by Rep. Paul Ryan have Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block in their new budget plans. Newly appointed cabinet members including the Health and Human Services Secretary and the Budget Director have echoed calls to make cuts to the programs. But during the campaign President Donald Trump promised repeatedly that he would not make cuts to Medicare or Social Security. That promise must be kept.
"I am going to protect and save your Social Security and your Medicare," Trump said during the campaign. "You made a deal a long time ago." Unfortunately, that is not a popular opinion within his own party which wants to make drastic cuts to the national budget. That could turn into a long, drawn out battle.
Even some of Trump's own appointments oppose the President's views. The new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price, presented a piece of legislation to the House of Representatives that would provide less funding for Medicare.
The AARP is among many strongly advocating for protecting Medicare. "AARP believes Medicare is a promise that must be kept and President Donald Trump agrees. Now, we need to make sure our elected leaders in Congress hear that message."
So while many Republicans in Congress work on legislation to cut funding for Medicare and Social Security, eliminate their benefits, and advocate for voucher systems, President Trump must prepare to fight for the programs he promised to protect and keep his pledge to not cut Medicare or Social Security.
Cutting Medicare would harm tens of millions of Americans who currently rely on the program or will need it in the next few years. That must not happen.
With his own party opposing his views, the President needs to stand firm to his campaign promises. Voice your support of Medicare and Social Security, and tell President Trump to stand by his promise, fight Republicans in Congress and the Cabinet, and protect the programs that millions rely on for their basic needs!
President Donald J. Trump:
The protection, services, and benefits provided by Medicare and Social Security are essential to the life and well-being of tens of millions of Americans today, and that number will only continue to grow in the years to come. During the past two years of campaigning, you promised repeatedly that you would not cut Medicare or Social Security. You must stand by that promise and protect those programs, despite the opinions, proposals, and legislation coming from Republicans in Congress and members of your own administration.
Cuts to Medicare funding, or changes to the program such as privatization or vouchers, would be catastrophic for the millions of Americans who depend on that coverage for their healthcare needs. Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan, has endorsed a plan which would eliminate the current guaranteed coverage. Similar proposals by other officials would result in less benefits at a higher price something that our nation's elderly and sick cannot afford; nor should those who have dutifully paid into these programs for decades be robbed of the benefits they were promised.
Recognizing that improvements may be deemed necessary over time for any program, including Social Security and Medicare, the measures being proposed currently are drastic and unnecessary. No experiment should come at the risk of American families and individuals. No one who has paid into these programs should be denied the benefits they were assured. No promise or conviction is worth breaking, and it is my sincere hope and trust that you will not break your promise or compromise your conviction here.
The members of the Cabinet are your advisors, but the trust of the American people has been placed in your hands. Please, do not break that trust.
The AARP, among many other organizations and individuals, is asking you to keep your word and not cut Medicare funding or benefits. "For the sake of the tens of millions of Americans who now rely on Medicare or who will become Medicare recipients in coming years, let's hope President Trump's campaign promise not to touch Medicare holds true," AARP President Eric Schneidewind recently said. "On behalf of not just our 38 million members nationwide, but of all older Americans and their families, AARP will continue to defend Medicare and its guaranteed level of coverage and we urge others to join us in that effort."
Long-term solutions must be found to ensure the solvency and permanence of Social Security and Medicare, but those solutions must never include the loss of benefits or increase in costs for Americans who paid into the programs for years and even decades. The national debt must be resolved, but it must not be done so at the expense of senior citizens who rely on the programs to live.
I urge you to stand by your campaign promise to not cut Medicare or Social Security. I implore you to make clear to the American people, and to the leaders and elected officials in Congress, that these programs are essential to the well-being of tens of millions of Americans and must not be taken away or altered. I ask that you stand strong against opposition and protect all American citizens by protecting Medicare and Social Security as you promised to do.