Another Republican-manufactured fiscal crisis is fast approaching and it threatens the fragile economic recovery with the automatic, across–the-board sequestration budget cuts scheduled to kick in on March 1. Republicans have indicated they will block any attempt to stop the sequester unless there are benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
But a majority of House Democrats late last week signed a House Progressive Caucus letter to President Obama opposing benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
We write to affirm our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits in any final bill to replace sequestration.
Isaiah J. Poole on the Campaign for America’s Future Blog writes the lawmakers specifically stress their opposition to “chained CPI,” which he says many in Congress and the Obama administration are considering. He writes that chained CPI which would be used to calculate cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients:
would lock recipients into a declining standard of living over time, as their benefits would not keep up with rising costs of such items as health care that take up a disproportionate share of their spending.
In their letter to Obama, the lawmakers write:
Earned Social Security and Medicare benefits provide the financial and health protections necessary to keep individuals and families out of poverty. Medicaid is not only a lifeline for low-income children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and families, it is the primary source of long-term care services and supports for 3.6 million individuals. We cannot overstate their importance for our constituents and our country.
In recent actions and call-in day to Congress working families have urged their representatives and senators to:
- Protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from benefit cuts.
- Repeal the “sequester” and close loopholes for Wall Street and the wealthiest 2% of Americans instead.