Advocates Decry Possible Medicare and Social Security Cuts in Fiscal Cliff Debate

Dec 7, 2012

Advocates for the elderly across the region are raising red flags over potential cuts to Medicare and Social Security as federal leaders argue over what should be done to avoid the fiscal cliff.

AARP Vermont is concerned that last minute budget deals in Washington could have a negative impact on Vermonters.  The group has issued an analysis of how a budget deal that may include Medicare and Social Security changes would impact the state’s seniors.

One example they use is that about 91-thousand seniors in the state are enrolled in Social Security. Proposed cost-of living changes could cost those beneficiaries about 270-million dollars over 10 years, and 112-billion dollars nationwide. AARP-Vermont Spokesman David Reville.

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare echoes the AARP’s concerns.  Director of Government Relations and Policy Dan Adcock says the programs should not be part of the deficit deliberations.

Social Security and Medicare provide billions of dollars for New Yorkers.  Statewide Senior Action Council Public Policy Consultant Michael Burgess calls the programs the backbone of the middle class.

Proposals in the deficit debate include a change in the cost of living adjustment for Social Security which could lead to cuts for recipients. Medicare proposals include increasing the eligibility age from 65 to 67.