John Kerry fighting for Seniors
Seniors Unite for John Kerry
Stand up and be counted. Now is the time to fight for seniors and Social Security. The first Senator that we see in the front line to defend our earned benefit is John Kerry. Let John Kerry know you appreciate his help.
“Kerry tells AARP members he will protect Social Security
By Tracy Jan, Globe Staff
WASHINGTON – US Senator John Kerry told 7,100 Massachusetts seniors this morning that he would fight to protect Social Security and Medicare benefits from being cut as federal debt-reduction talks continue.
In the telephone town hall with AARP Massachusetts members, the Massachusetts Democrat vowed to oppose any measure that would privatize or weaken Social Security. That includes proposals that would slash benefits to current recipients or future generations, or reduce disability and survivor benefits, he said.
“Under no circumstances should benefits be cut in order to balance the budget,” Kerry said, urging seniors to be vigilant and weigh in on the discussions in Washington. “Social Security is not a driver in our near-term deficit and it’s not currently in crisis, but it can be reformed so that we strengthen it for the rest of the century.”
Kerry blamed the debt crisis on Bush-era tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that the tax cuts and the wars added more than $500 billion to the deficit in 2009 and will ultimately account for $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019.
By 2019, he said, the two policies will account for almost half — nearly $10 trillion — of the $20 trillion in debt the United States is projected to owe.
“The key thing to focus on here, folks, is how near crazy the approach of the Republicans is right now where they are unwilling to ask the wealthiest corporations and the wealthiest people in America to go back to the pre-George Bush tax level of 39 percent,” he said. “We have a bunch of ideological extremists down here who are hell bent on getting their ideologies into place,” at the expense of seniors.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has criticized Democrats for adding $3.6 trillion to the national debt over two years, fueled by the government stimulus, and accused the party of clamoring for tax hikes they say would further weaken the economy.
Kerry spoke and fielded questions for about half an hour, saying the live telephone format was “a kind of neat way to be able to talk to a lot of folks and still be stuck in Washington.”
Deborah Banda, director of AARP Massachusetts, a powerful lobbying group for the elderly, said the organization had also invited Kerry’s junior colleague, US Senator Scott Brown, for a telephone town hall, but the Massachusetts Republican could not fit it into his schedule.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party has chided Brown for not holding a single open town hall meeting since he was elected in January 2010.
Brown Spokeswoman Marcie Kinzel said the senator looks forward to working with AARP and participating in a future telephone town hall. He was unable to participate today because of previously scheduled meetings and was preparing to speak on the Senate floor about an amendment he has filed that would protect small businesses from new tax burdens, she said.
Brown, a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, filed the amendment as part of ongoing budget negotiations, responding to recent calls to change a 70-year tax break small businesses depend on.
Glen Johnson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.”
“Compact with the Greatest Generation
John Kerry unveiled his “Compact with the Greatest Generation,” a guarantee that will give seniors the protection they have earned for Social Security and Medicare, helps seniors afford their medicine, and ensure long-term care.
“My dad was a member of the Greatest Generation that achieved victory in World War II. This was the generation that saved the world from fascism, came home and built the great American middle class, led the way in the civil rights movement, protected our environment, and created great programs like Medicare,” said Kerry.
“And now that the Greatest Generation is getting older, I think it is the responsibility of all Americans to make sure we do our part for America’s seniors. You have earned the best of America – and we need to make sure you get the protection and health care you deserve,” said Kerry. "That’s why today I’m unveiling a new Compact with America’s seniors that will be a building block for the initiatives seniors can count on if I am elected President. My Compact with America’s seniors says that greatest generation seniors should be able to count on Medicare and Social Security, on affordable prescription drugs, on quality options for long term care. You’ve earned it.”
Protect Medicare and Social Security
John Kerry will never balance the budget on the backs of America’s seniors
Many politicians have supported major cuts that cause premium increases and cutbacks in benefits. John Kerry won’t.
Quality Care in All Parts of the Country – Rural and Urban
Medicare has different policies that are sometimes unfair to parts of the area. Kerry will make sure that seniors get quality care no matter where you live.
Won’t Force Seniors into an HMO
Many politicians have plans to push seniors into HMOs to get prescription drugs or affordable premiums. John Kerry will assure that seniors can pick the health care that’s right for them.
Affordable Prescription Drugs
Cutting Cost of Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs are rising at almost 20 percent which is gouging seniors and making health care more expensive, at the same time pharmaceutical companies are paying executives millions. Kerry has a plan to cut the greed out of prescriptions drugs to make them more affordable.
A Real Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit
Many politicians have a prescription drug plan to benefit pharmaceutical companies not seniors. John Kerry supports a real meaningful affordable drug benefit that:
Doesn’t force seniors into HMOs
Is run by Medicare – not private insurance companies who can charge seniors whatever they want.
Doesn’t undermine drug coverage that seniors have today.
A real benefit available to every senior that helps those with average costs and those with the highest drug costs.
Quality Options for Seniors with Long-Term Care Needs
Assure Quality Nursing Homes Care
Assure that seniors who live in nursing homes receive quality care, with adequate inspections, reimbursements, and more training for health care workers.
Protect Medicaid Support
Protect Medicare support from politicians who want to block grant this program that helps one out of two seniors in nursing homes.
Give Seniors More Options
Allow Medicaid to pay for more alternative care outside of nursing homes to allow more Americans to age in their own homes.
Support caregivers (both paid and unpaid, formal and informal) who provide the bulk of the support for those with long-term care needs.
Ask America's Greatest Generation to Help the Next
The Greatest Generation has another battle yet to fight – to help strengthen American for generations to come.
100,000 Older Americans in Service
For 10 hours of service a week, members will earn up to $2,000 a year tax free that they can apply to an education grant for a grandchild or other family member, another young person.
Older Americans in Our Schools
When seniors spend time tutoring they free up over-strained teachers to teach, and children get extra help learning.
Seniors Helping Each Other
Members will be able to offer seniors support to live independently by helping them pick up their prescriptions or checking in on them to make sure they are doing alright.
Sign the Compact
If you agree with John Kerry that the next President of the United States needs to stand up and protect Medicare and Social Security; make prescription drugs more affordable, give seniors with long-term care needs quality options, and tap seniors to help teach the next generation and strengthen our communities then sign this compact. John Kerry believes if we stand together, we can meet our promise to America’s seniors.