Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security


By:  Lois Frankel Mike Michaud Yvette Clarke Rubén Hinojosa, Sr. Jackie Speier Dave Loebsack Mark Takano Steve Cohen Judy Chu Marcia Fudge Lacy Clay, Jr. Linda Sánchez Henry Waxman John Tierney Michelle Lujan Grisham Cheri Bustos Mark Pocan Gene Green Emanuel Cleaver II Tim Ryan Kathy Castor Marc Veasey Matt Cartwright Sheila Jackson Lee Eleanor Norton Mike Honda Eddie Johnson Karen Bass Ed Markey Carolyn Maloney Ann Kirkpatrick David Cicilline Barbara Lee Luis Gutiérrez Jim McDermott Ted Deutch John Garamendi Joe Courtney Lucille Roybal-Allard Hakeem Jeffries Bob Brady Louise Slaughter Alan Grayson Jerry Nadler Peter DeFazio Stephen Lynch Grace Meng Julia Brownley Alcee Hastings, Sr. Danny Davis Chaka Fattah, Sr. Hank Johnson, Jr. Paul Tonko Raul Grijalva Jim McGovern John Conyers, Jr. Charlie Rangel Ami Bera Kilili Sablan Doris Matsui Ed Pastor Elijah Cummings Corrine Brown Lois Capps Kyrsten Sinema Jim Langevin Maxine Waters Janice Hahn Ron Barber Bruce Braley Jared Huffman Donna Christensen Mel Watt Keith Ellison Sam Farr Bobby Rush Al Green John Lewis Gwen Moore Peter Welch Jan Schakowsky Rush Holt, Jr. Nydia Velázquez Donna Edwards Albio Sires Dan Kildee Carol Shea-Porter Gloria Negrete McLeod Frederica Wilson G.K. Butterfield, Jr. Eni Faleomavaega Don Payne, Jr. Bobby Scott Dina Titus Chellie Pingree Suzanne Bonamici José Serrano Tony Cárdenas Bennie Thompson Zoe Lofgren Rick Nolan Anna Eshoo Juan Vargas Alan Lowenthal Tammy Duckworth Marcy Kaptur Rosa DeLauro
Date: Feb. 15, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

This morning 107 House Democrats -- a majority of the House Democratic Caucus -- wrote President Obama urging him to reject any proposals to cut the Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits millions of American families depend upon. 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."

The full text of the letter is available below.

February 15, 2013

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.


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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