Press Release             

Contact: Nathan Heggem
Senior Communications and
Policy Associate

August 2, 2011

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on the
Passage of the Debt Ceiling Deal

New York, NY – While compromise was necessary to prevent a default, those who support Medicare and Medicaid cannot afford to become complacent as the future of the programs rests in the hands of the bipartisan committee established by this agreement. Over the next few months, policymakers must avoid making hasty decisions that would lead to deep cuts and irreversible changes to Medicare, shifting greater costs to beneficiaries—half of whom earn less than $22,000 per year—and reducing access to care. Changes to Medicare and Medicaid must address the root cause of the programs’ increasing costs, which is rising costs in the health care sector overall. Furthermore, in order to offset the need for deep cuts to these programs, any bipartisan committee proposal must raise revenues by eliminating tax cuts and loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Only by promoting shared sacrifice can we avoid balancing the budget on the backs of older Americans, people with disabilities and their families.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.


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