Washington– Armed with a new report showing the harm to millions of Americans if benefits from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are reduced, local AFL-CIO leaders from across the country, including Missouri, were in Washington last week lobbying their state congressional delegations.
They asked the lawmakers to let Bush tax cuts for the top two percent expire and say no to reduced benefits for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. They were joined by hundreds of other advocates from other progressive and labor groups.
“Working people, jobless people and retirees, who just voted for a middle-class economy, shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health care and retirement security so that the richest two percent can continue getting more tax breaks,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “It’s time to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits that support our working families. It’s time to eliminate tax breaks for the richest two percent. That’s fair, reasonable, and good public policy.”
Missouri AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer-elect Mike Louis led the Missouri delegation.
The AFL-CIO report showed 1,166,223 Missouri working families would be affected by cuts to Social Security, including 202,465 workers with disabilities. Of the 1,065,266 Missourian who get their health care coverage from Medicaid, 582,361 are children and 94,318 are seniors.
Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans President Dave Meinell, a member of the delegation, said, "This is not just about my generation, it's about my kids and grandkids. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are Americans success stories and promises that we must protect for future generations.”
The lobby fly-in day coincided with a new state-by- state report released by the AFL-CIO detailing how many Americans across the country would be affected if Congress cuts benefits for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The report notes the number of people per state who currently receive Social Security, including people with disabilities and children, as well as the number of people per state who get their health care coverage from Medicaid, including children and seniors. The report also highlights the amount of money the three programs combined deliver to each state’s economy and the economic costs to individuals if the Medicare eligibility age were increased.