Here’s what you can do.
Call your representative. Call you senator. Post on their Facebook page.
It’s a toll free call at 1-866-251-4044 and you automatically be directed to your senator.
Tell them to stop the devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Tell them:
* No increase in the eligibility age of Medicare or cuts in Medicare benefits
* No cuts in cost of living increases for Social Security
* No cuts in Medicaid funding
Trading cuts in these vital programs for the dubious allure of some revenue increases down the road, if at all, is not an agreement that works for the American people.
These are not abstract discussions, but life and death matters.
Many seniors on Medicare are already struggling with high out of pocket costs
As a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, picked up by the Washington Post noted this week: “Nearly half of Medicare recipients have incomes at or below 200 percent of poverty.”
Further, the 47 percent of Medicare recipients who are at or close to poverty, are already spending nearly a fourth of their budgets on health care, the Post noted.
As to Social Security, there was this news from the Economic Policy Institute yesterday: for the poorest 40 percent of 65-and-older households, Social Security payouts constitute more than four-fifths of total income.
Tens of millions count on these critical programs, two of the most significant reforms in American history. They should not be sacrificed just to appease those politicians who refuse to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans or restore a fair tax system for the majority of U.S. corporations that paid no taxes for one year or more the past decade, according a Government Accountability Office.
Nurses understand the human costs of Washington politics.
That’s why we have been barraging Congress with calls, and going to the streets, as more than 100 RNs did just today in Orange County, Ca. to oppose cuts in Social Security and Medicare.
Nurses witness what politicians choose to ignore. Nurses never do. We see the weary sick faces of those who are brought to the emergency rooms with conditions that could have been avoided if they could afford their medications.
Nurses hold the hands of cancer patients who decline treatment for fear it would financially wipe out their families.
We watch as ailing patients are released from the hospital – only to return to a homeless shelter.
Nurses are also seeing the impact in our families. Hundreds have been telling us their stories, like this account from a Bay Area California RN:
“I am working and nearing retirement age. My son has been out of work since June of 2008 and this means he has been a 99-weeker for a long time. He had to return home, of course," she said. "My mother, who happily lived in Florida, ran her own business for many years found that she was unable to support herself. She has lived with me since September of 2008. We are making it but many times with little or nothing left when payday nears.”
Millions of Americans face similar peril, especially if the apparently clueless people in Washington make cuts that make this hardship worse. (And we’d like to hear your story, go to www.mainstreetcontract.org)
We will not be silent if our parents, our grandparents, our sisters and brothers are abandoned in the gutter, unable to pay their rent and staring at homelessness, unable to take life saving medications they’ve been prescribed because of the cost.
Nurses fight for our patients. And, we are are not backing down from one. We hope you won’t either.
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