Disabilities Groups to Obama: Do not cut Social Security

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 22, 2011

35 National Disabilities Groups Representing Millions of Americans Urge President Obama & Congress Not to Cut Social Security Benefits

Groups Send Letters Opposing Changes to COLA Formula that Would Result in Significant Benefit Cuts

(Washington, DC) — Two leading disability group coalitions – the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the National Disability Leadership Alliance – sent letters to President Obama and to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate recently, urging them to oppose any effort to reduce the Social Security and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) by adopting the chained consumer price index (CPI) formula during debt-ceiling negotiations.

The letters, which were signed by a total of 35 organizations, identified specific and significant cuts to benefits that would occur in programs that people with disabilities greatly depend on – Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income – should the chained CPI be used to calculate the annual COLA. Those cuts are detailed in this fact sheet.

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities letter said: “Although some might describe use of the “chained” CPI as a mere technical change, it will likely have dramatic impacts on current and future Social Security beneficiaries. For a beneficiary receiving the average Disability Insurance benefit, benefits would be cut by $333 per year (2.6%) after 10 years, $692 (5.4%) after 20 years, and $1,710 per year (13.34%) after 50 years. These cuts could be devastating and force people to make terrible life and death choices between paying for a prescription or buying food.”

The National Disability Leadership Alliance letter said: “For many of these citizens, changing the COLA formula this way will mean taking them one step closer to a life below the poverty level. Rather than finding ways to decrease the COLA, our country should increase it to better reflect such realities as the higher out-of-pocket health care costs experienced by people with disabilities and seniors.”

A list of the organizations that signed one or both of the letters is below.

Continue reading Disabilities Groups to Obama: Do not cut Social Security

Eighty Congress Members Demand No Cuts to Social Security or Healthcare Programs

Eighty Members Sign on to Progressive Caucus Letter Demanding No Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security


July 22, 2011

Press Contacts

Adam Sarvana (Rep. Grijalva)

(202) 225-2435


Jennifer Gore (Rep. Ellison)

(202) 225-4755


Washington, D.C. – Eighty Member of Congress have now signed onto a letter spearheaded by Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) leaders to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insisting that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid be off the table in any budget deal. Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American have also signed the letter and are encouraging their respective Caucus members to join them.

Originally sent by CPC co-chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison on July 8, the letter is still open for signatures and has become the primary vehicle for House Democrats to express their support for the programs during budget negotiations. The letter says that middle-class families “have sacrificed enough, and a deal that pushes the American Dream further out of reach, in order to pay for extending tax breaks for the rich and corporations, is simply unacceptable.”

“We are united as Democrats in saying that it’s time to stand up to the Republican hostage-taking. We will not be forced to vote for a ‘final agreement’ that we do not agree to — and that the American people do not agree to. We stand united with you in insisting that benefit cuts for working families, our seniors, children, and people with disabilities must be off the table, and we stand united with you in fighting for millions of Americans who need Democrats to be firmly on their side,” the letter says.

Signatories include CPC Co-Chairs Grijalva and Ellison, along with Reps. Baca, Karen Bass, Bordallo, Brown, Carson, Christiansen, Chu, Yvette Clarke, Hansen Clarke, Clay, Cleaver, Cohen, Conyers, Critz, Cummings, Danny Davis, DeFazio, DeLauro, Deutch, Doggett, Edwards, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Frank, Fudge, Garamendi, Al Green, Gutierrez, Hahn, Hinchey, Hirono, Holmes Norton, Holt, Jesse Jackson Jr., Sheila Jackson Lee, Hank Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Kaptur, Kildee, Kucinich, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Lofgren, Lynch, Maloney, Markey, McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, Moore, Nadler, Napolitano, Olver, Pallone, Payne, Pingree, Rangel, Reyes, Richardson, Richmond, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Tim Ryan, Sablan, Schakowsky, Serrano, Stark, Sutton, Bennie Thompson, Tierney, Tonko, Towns, Waters, Waxman, Frederica Wilson, Woolsey, and Wu.

The full text of the letter is below.

Continue reading Eighty Congress Members Demand No Cuts to Social Security or Healthcare Programs