Where We Stand ; Your AARP
By A. Barry Rand, CEO
A Reprieve, but No Solution
Reprieve! Thanks to the nearly 1
million AARP members
who contacted their
directly and the millions more who signed
our petition, Congress
passed a debt ceiling
bill that does not include immediate, harmful benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare
and Medicaid. You made a difference, and I
applaud you. But our fight is far from over.
Since this debate began, we have been
fighting to stop the president and Congress
from cutting Medicare and Social Security
benefits as part of a deal to pay the nation’s
bills. While the debt ceiling bill passed by
Congress and signed by the president is far
from ideal, it does provide Social Security
and Medicare beneficiaries with peace of
mind, knowing they will receive their Social
Security checks and continue to have access
to their health care. And it protects Medicaid
for the millions of low-income Americans,
especially children and older people, who
rely on the long-term services it provides.
Given some of the proposals that were be-
ing considered, this is a major victory. When
AARP members and people 50-plus raised
their voices to let Congress and the presi-
dent know that the overwhelming majority
of Americans want Social Security, Medicare
and Medicaid protected, Congress did the
right thing and avoided disaster.
Deficit agreement time line
Oct. 1. First impact of Round One. Discretionary
spending capped at 2011 spending levels. Savings: $25
billion in 2012; $917 billion between 2012 and 2023.
Nov. 23. Round Two. Congressional super-committee recommends cuts over 10 years totaling
Dec. 23. Deadline for congressional votes on
proposed cuts over 10 years totaling $1.2 trillion.
Enforcement trigger. If agreement isn’t
reached, cuts of $1.2 trillion are automatically
imposed, 50 percent defense and 50 percent nondefense. Social Security, Medicaid, programs for low-income families and civilian and military retirement
are exempted. Payments to Medicare providers are
cut by 2 percent.