CFL News
January 30, 2013

Letter to the editor: Only bullies cut Medicare

In a joint letter to the editor published in the Chicago Sun-Times, Jorge Ramirez and Michael Carrigan stand up to Republican bullies in Congress who want to slash programs to families and seniors

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

By Jorge Ramirez and Michael Carrigan

Only bullies cut Medicare

If House Republicans plan to use the “fiscal cliff” showdown to hold working people, seniors and the disadvantaged hostage with demands of benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, then they’re nothing more than schoolyard bullies.

The nation’s most important family protection programs serve millions of Illinoisans. Cutting their benefits, increasing eligibility ages and slashing funding would place the burden on these vulnerable individuals, employers and state governments who would end up picking up the tab. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the cost of increasing the Medicare age fully to 67 would be two times as much as the net savings to the federal government. Proposed changes to the way Medicaid is funded would cut federal support to Illinois’ program by $27.8 billion over 10 years.

Voters rejected these policies in the last election and embraced a different plan: Fix the economy, stop lowering tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and Wall Street and close loopholes these millionaires exploit to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Jorge Ramirez, President, Chicago Federation of Labor

Michael Carrigan, president, Illinois AFL-CIO