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House Democrats Call On President Obama To Reject Benefit Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, And Social Security Benefits

resident Barack Obama delivers remarks to discuss proposals unveiled in the State of the Union Address that focus on strengthening the economy for the middle class and those striving to get there, at Hyde Park Academy, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 15, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

resident Barack Obama delivers remarks to discuss proposals unveiled in the State of the Union Address that focus on strengthening the economy for the middle class and those striving to get there, at Hyde Park Academy, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 15, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

HOUSE PROGRESSIVES and Democrats sent a letter to President Obama opposing entitlement benefit cuts, demanding he reject these cuts at a time when the 1% are the only ones benefiting from the recovery.

The press release and letter are below.

WASHINGTON–107 House Democrats, a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives, wrote President Obama today, urging him to reject any proposals to cut benefits millions of American families depend upon through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The letter was led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL),Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and Rep Donna Edwards (D-MD).

The Members specifically singled out “Chained CPI”–a proposal to reduce Social Security benefits by changing the way inflation is calculated–and raising the Medicare retirement age as policies they oppose.

“A commitment to keeping the middle-class strong and reducing poverty requires a commitment to keeping Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid strong,” the Members said in the letter. “We urge you to reject any proposals to cut benefits, and we look forward to working with you to enact approaches that instead rely on economic growth and more fair revenue-raising policies to solve our fiscal problems.”

You can read the full text of the letter below.

Dear President Obama:

We want to thank you for standing strong in the American Taxpayer Relief Act to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from benefit cuts that would jeopardize the well-being of millions of Americans.

We write to affirm our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits in any final bill to replace sequestration. 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.

That is why we remain deeply opposed to proposals to reduce Social Security benefits through use of the chained CPI to calculate cost-of-living adjustments. We remain committed to making the changes that will extend solvency for 75 years, but Social Security has not contributed to our current fiscal problems and it should not be on the bargaining table.

Similarly, we oppose proposals to increase Medicare cost-sharing requirements or to raise the age of eligibility. Half of all Medicare recipients live on less than $22,000 a year — yet they spend, on average, three times as much of those limited incomes on health care as other Americans. Raising their already heavy cost-sharing burden or increasing the age of eligibility doesn’t lower health care costs, it just shifts them to those who can least afford more financial burdens — seniors, people with disabilities and their families.

A commitment to keeping the middle-class strong and reducing poverty requires a commitment to keeping Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid strong. We urge you to reject any proposals to cut benefits, and we look forward to working with you to enact approaches that instead rely on economic growth and more fair revenue-raising policies to solve our fiscal problems.

Sincerely,

Schakowsky, Jan

Ellison, Keith

Grijalva, Raúl M.

Conyers, John

Edwards, Donna

Barber, Ron

Bass, Karen

Bera, Ami

Bonamici, Suzanne

Brady, Robert

Braley, Bruce L.

Brown, Corrine

Brownley, Julia

Bustos, Cheri

Butterfield, G.K.

Capps, Lois

Cardenas, Tony

Cartwright, Matthew

Castor, Kathy

Christensen, Donna M.,

Chu, Judy

Cicilline, David

Clarke, Yvette D.

Clay Jr., William “Lacy”

Cleaver, Emanuel

Cohen, Steve

Conyers Jr., John

Courtney, Joe

Cummings, Elijah

Davis, Danny K.

DeFazio, Peter

DeLauro, Rosa L.

Deutch, Ted

Duckworth, Tammy

Edwards, Donna F.

Ellison, Keith

Eshoo, Anna G.

Faleomavaega, Eni F. H.

Farr, Sam

Fattah, Chaka

Frankel, Lois

Fudge, Marcia L.

Garamendi, John

Grayson, Alan

Green, Al

Green, Gene

Grijalva, Raul

Gutierrez, Luis

Hahn, Janice

Hastings, Alcee L.

Hinojosa, Rubén

Holt, Rush

Honda, Mike

Huffman, Jared

Jackson Lee, Sheila

Jeffries, Hakeem

Johnson, Eddie Bernice

Johnson, Henry C. “Hank” Jr.

Kaptur, Marcy

Kildee, Daniel

Kirkpatrick, Ann

Langevin, Jim

Lee, Barbara

Lewis, John

Loebsack, David

Lofgren, Zoe

Lowenthal, Alan

Lujan Grisham, Michelle

Lynch, Stephen F.

Maloney, Carolyn

Markey, Ed

Matsui, Doris O.

McDermott, Jim

McGovern, James

Meng, Grace

Michaud, Michael

Moore, Gwen

Nadler, Jerrold

Negrete McLeod, Gloria

Nolan, Rick

Norton, Eleanor Holmes

Pastor, Ed

Payne Jr., Donald

Pingree, Chellie

Pocan, Mark

Rangel, Charles B.

Roybal-Allard, Lucille

Rush, Bobby L.

Ryan, Tim

Sablan, Gregorio

Sanchez, Linda

Scott, Robert C.

Serrano, José E.

Shea-Porter, Carol

Sinema, Kyrsten

Sires, Albio

Slaughter, Louise

Speier, Jackie

Takano, Mark

Thompson, Bennie G.

Tierney, John

Titus, Dina

Tonko, Paul D.

Vargas, Juan

Veasey, Marc

Velázquez, Nydia M.

Waters, Maxine

Watt, Mel

Waxman, Henry

Welch, Peter

Wilson, Frederica

cc: Speaker John Boehner

House Minority Leader Pelosi

Senate Majority Leader Reid

Senate Minority Leader McConnell

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8 Responses to House Democrats Call On President Obama To Reject Benefit Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, And Social Security Benefits

  1. Art Pronin February 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    these guys sent a letter of the same effect back in oct- but there are more signing it this time! if your congressfolk are on this please call their office with support

  2. jinbaltimore February 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Yes!

    More of this please.

  3. LiberalJoe February 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    What a crock of s&*t this letter is. Just about every one that signed this letter and was in Congress in prior terms caved on ” I won’t support any healthcare deal without a public option” or signed the ACA that included Stupak or sold out a host of progressive causes in the past like the extension of the Bush tax cuts. you name it they caved.

    What is more important is what goes on in the Senate-that is where it gets stopped.

    I’m pretty sure Pres Obama isn’t losing any sleep because of this-he fully expects to roll the house progressive caucus and senate Dems on the big three.

    Dem Congress folks like Schakowsky are pitiful-they go one Ed , Rachel and Lawrence and talk tough about progressive/liberal causes and in the end they fold like cheap suits.

    I guarantee you that if chained CPI is passed at least half the folks on this list will vote for it. I’d be more surprised if a deal that Pres Obama cuts with Boehner that included chained CPI or raising medicare eligibility or cuts to medicaid is beaten back by Congressional Dems in both Chambers. The Repubs won’t pass them without Dem help. They need Dem help so.they can blame the Dems the next election.

    Here is a partial list of elected Dems who you can count on to vote for chained CPi or other cuts to the big three to pass a deal-Schumer, Durbin, Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer, Schakowsky, Feinstein, Cleaver, McCaskill, Van Hollen. Feel free to ad as many as you can think of.

    I’m with Howard Dean-lets go into sequester. It won’t last long. A pox on all their houses.
    We need an absolute change in Dem leadership Reid, Durbin, Schumer. Pelosi, Hoyer, Crowley-they all need to go.

  4. Cujo359 February 16, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    I look forward to this group of Democrats casting the deciding votes in favor of cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I look forward to it only because in a world full of uncertainty, there needs to be something we can depend on. We can always depend on these folks to vote for the things they write letters opposing.

  5. TPAZ February 17, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Why do Democratic congressional representatives feel the need to send to the leader of the Democratic Party a signed letter asking him to do a big D democratic thing on a domestic policy issue? This is the Democratic Party’s wheelhouse. It doesn’t inspire confidence that the POTUS will do the right for his party and the little guy on Mail Street.

  6. TPAZ February 17, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Main Street not Mail Street

  7. Uh-oh February 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    It’s time for his party to abandon Obama on issues like this–it is the only way to force him to act like a democrat. I would LOVE to see the Democrats in the house vote against any “deal” that includes any sort of cuts in SS, Medicare, or Medicaid.

  8. dbynon February 23, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    They can send all the letters they want. This president has proven time and time again that he will do as he pleases, regardless of what his party wants.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong