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Tell Congress: Don’t cut Medicare, expand it

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Petition to Congress:

"Do not cut America’s health care benefits by supporting the Republican plan to raise the Medicare eligibility age at a time when millions of Americans have no retirement savings."

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    Tell Congress: Don’t cut Medicare, expand it

    House Speaker Paul Ryan just introduced a plan to slash America’s earned health care benefits. Their latest attack on Medicare would raise the eligibility age from 65 to 67, leaving millions stuck paying for expensive private insurance at a time when countless Americans have little or no retirement savings.1

    Ryan is making it clear yet again that gutting Medicare is a key component of his Republican Party’s extreme right-wing agenda. We need a loud and immediate outcry to stop this plan in its tracks and make sure both parties know cutting Medicare is a political loser.

    Tell Congress: Don’t cut Medicare, expand it.

    The vast majority of Americans are working long into their retirement years just to stay afloat. According to recent estimates, America’s future retirees together have $7.7 trillion less in savings than they will need to retire with dignity. They will become the first generation in recent history to retire to a lower standard of living than their parents.2

    In the face of such a retirement crisis, we should be expanding Medicare, not cutting it, by immediately lowering the eligibility age to at least 62.

    If Republicans really want to save on health care costs instead of punishing America’s working class, they would take on price-gouging drug companies. The price of pharmaceutical drugs is skyrocketing, as Big Pharma monopolies buy up competitors and rake in record profits.3 But at a time when the pharmaceutical industry is rife with immoral operators like Martin Shkreli, the “Pharma Bro” who bought an AIDS drug and immediately increased the price astronomically, Republicans still oppose allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.4

    Tell Congress: Don’t cut Medicare, expand it.

    Despite sensational claims, many working Americans are not living longer. If you are a member of the one percent, you can expect to live more than a decade longer than the poorest Americans.5 In fact, the lives of Americans experiencing lifelong poverty are getting shorter.6 Republicans are citing misleading statistics in order to justify pushing Americans into the hands private capital and profit-making health care enterprises.

    America’s retirees paid into Medicare their whole lives and earned the benefits Republicans want to take away. We need to make it clear right from the start that such a plan is absolutely unacceptable.

    Tell Congress: Don’t cut Medicare, expand it.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. Eric Beech and Richard Cowan, “House Republicans unveil healthcare alternative to Obamacare,” Reuters, June 22, 2016.
    2. Pension Rights Center, “Nation's Retirement Income Deficit Now $7.7 Trillion,” PensionRights.org, March 12, 2015.
    3. Sanders, Cummings Introduce Comprehensive Legislation to Lower Soaring Drug Prices,” House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, September 10, 2015.
    4. Katie Halper, “These 37 tweets show how the pharma CEO gouging AIDS patients is even worse than you think,” Raw Story, September 21, 2015.
    5. Michael Specter, “Life-Expectancy Inequality Grows in America,” The New Yorker, April 16, 2016.
    6. Tara Culp-Ressler, “Poor People’s Lives Are Getting Shorter,” Think Progress, April 18, 2014.