In a series of video letters, working families and retirees ask members of Congress not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Because of the fiscal obstacle course created by Congress, some in Washington, D.C., want to cut these lifelines. But there is no need to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, particularly when any cuts would directly harm working families.
The first video is dedicated Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and it tells the story of Eleanor, a woman with Down syndrome who is on Medicaid. The program allows her to live an independent life, by providing training and coaching on how to live in a community, thrive as an individual, have a social life, pay taxes, use public transportation, pay rent and other skills.
The next video addresses Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.). Charlie Wagner of Oregon City says that the real solution to the deficit is to focus on cutting wasteful spending, not Social Security and other benefits. Steve Weiss explains how he is one of 8 million people on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program run by Social Security, and how cutting SSI, plus Medicare and Medicaid, would damage his life.
The third video addresses Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska). Jerry Jenkins of Alaska Community Mental Health Services says that Medicaid helps make sure that students who have behavioral problems go to school and get an education. Alvin Griffin, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, received Social Security disability benefits. While he no longer receives benefits, Griffin is thankful benefits were available to him. Vince Beltrami of the Alaska AFL-CIO explains that these programs are NOT entitlements, but are earned benefits that people pay for.
The last video comes from working families in Arizona. Their biggest concerns are where they can find jobs, losing rights that they have gained over the years and where they'll be 10 years down the road if these benefit cuts take place.