Press Release             

Contact: Nathan Heggem
Senior Communications and
Policy Associate

October 12, 2011

Medicare Rights Center Sends Petition With Nearly 20,000 Signatures to
Congressional Supercommittee
--Petition Urges Committee Members to Preserve Medicare and Reject Proposals That
Increase Costs for Beneficiaries--

New York, NY–The Medicare Rights Center today delivered a petition to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the supercommittee, urging members to protect Medicare from changes that would increase costs and decrease coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. In less than two weeks, the petition gathered signatures from 19,531 individuals, with all 50 states represented.

“Nearly 20,000 individuals have raised their voices to send a powerful message to members of the supercommittee: Medicare cuts that shift costs to beneficiaries and cut coverage are unacceptable,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “We know that, on paper, people with Medicare are in a poor position to take on additional costs, as half of Medicare beneficiaries have incomes below $22,000 per year. But it’s not until we pause to listen to the voices of individuals that we grasp the full scope of the opposition to these proposals. The petition signers’ individual comments—eloquent and filled with passion—illustrate the damage these proposals would do better than facts and figures ever could.”

One of the petition signers, Ms. M from Boonsboro, Maryland, included the following comment with her signature:

“Our seniors spent their lives working hard to help make America great, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, not tossed aside like a worn-out shoe! Far too many seniors are either having to choose between medical care and rent/utilities/etc. or forgoing necessary medical care or medications because the cost is prohibitive.”

The supercommittee is considering various deficit-reduction proposals in an attempt to find at least $1.2 trillion in additional deficit reduction. If the committee formulates recommendations, it must vote on them by November 23, 2011.

Read Medicare Rights’ letter to the supercommittee.

To learn more about the importance of Medicare in Americans’ lives, read “Medicare Voices.”

Medicare Rights is still collecting stories from people with Medicare and their families and caregivers. Visit our Facebook page to learn more. Medicare stories can also be sent via e-mail to

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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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