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Activists Deliver a Million "Hands Off Our Medicare" Petitions to Capitol Hill

Activists Deliver a Million “Hands Off Our Medicare” Petitions to Capitol Hill

December 9, 2016

Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta spoke at a Capitol Hill press conference and petition delivery event with allies on Wednesday December 7, 2016 that renewed the fight to protect Medicare and Medicaid.

At the event, Medicare champions including incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) promised to fight tooth and nail to block any GOP effort to weaken, cut, or privatize Medicare. Other speakers included House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), and Representatives Tony Cárdenas (CA), Ted Deutch (FL) and Jan Schakowsky (IL). Several representatives from other advocacy groups also expressed their horror that Republicans have threatened to slash and privatize the program. A video of the event is available here.

Alliance members signed 279,000 of the 1,000,000 petitions that were delivered, telling House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to keep their hands off Medicare.

“This was just the beginning of our fight to save our guaranteed Medicare benefits,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “We are outraged that many politicians want to do this in order to give millionaires and billionaires more tax cuts.”

“Our members are irate,” said Fiesta. “They paid into the Medicare system for decades, and heard President-elect Trump repeatedly promise to protect their earned health care benefits. Medicare must be protected, preserved and expanded for future generations, not dismantled.”

Join us on Monday to Learn How You Can Help

The event marked the launch of a new Alliance campaign to protect seniors from Republican efforts to dismantle Medicare and make deep cuts to Medicaid. Call-in days to Capitol Hill and the new administration’s White House are scheduled for January.

As part of the campaign, you are invited to join an online Webinar on Monday, December 12th at 3 pm ET. During this online meeting Alliance leaders will share the latest information about the threats to Medicare, provide ways for you to get involved and answer questions. All you need to participate is a computer with an internet connection.

“Now more than ever we need to stand up and defend the benefits we have earned after a lifetime of hard work,” said Fiesta.

Click here to RSVP.

We need your help reminding people why it’s important to protect Medicare’s guaranteed earned health care benefits.

If you are willing to be interviewed for a story on our website, please contact David Blank by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (202) 637-5275. You can also click here to tell us online what saving the program means to you personally.

One person who shared her story is Wendy Boszak, 68, of Reno, Nevada. She is president of Women of Washoe – WOW, the first all-woman chapter of the Alliance and the Nevada Alliance. 

She believes that if Medicare were cut or privatized, her financial well-being and health would suffer. Her modest pension and Social Security continue to be threatened and medical costs drain savings that fluctuate on Wall Street.

“My Medicare costs are already almost $4,000 per year just with premiums. People don’t realize how much seniors are paying as it is,” she said. “In addition, during my working years I was pre-paying into Medicare.”

Asked what she would like to say to Speaker Ryan if she had the opportunity, Wendy said it’s not recordable. But after re-thinking it, she said, “People did not vote for Trump to have Medicare cut. Keep your hands off it!”

Get inspired by reading more stories here.

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