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AARP hears Mesquite residents on Medicare, Social Security

Community conversation centers on possible cuts by "supercommittee"

MESQUITE, TEXAS -- "AARP fighting to stop Congress from making a political deal that cuts Medicare and Social Security benefits. Let's cut waste and close tax loopholes instead," said John Hishta, AARP senior vice president of campaigns, at a community discussion today about Medicare, Social Security and the congressional supercommittee's deliberation on how to reduce the nation's deficit.

The conversation at the Mesquite Convention Center centered on proposals currently being considered by the "supercommittee" that would cut Medicare and Social Security as part of a budget deal, dramatically increasing health care costs for seniors, threatening their access to doctors, and reducing the benefit checks many older Texans rely on to pay their bills.

According to a recent report, 46 percent of older Texans rely on Social Security for half of their family income -- more than a million Texans -- and over half of those depend on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income. Almost 3 million Texans depend on Medicare for help covering their health care costs.

"Prices are soaring across the board, from prescriptions to utilities, and many people in Texas are barely getting by as it is so cutting their earned benefits could be devastating for them," said Bob Jackson, AARP Texas state director. "These programs need to be strengthened so older Texans can pay their bills and see their doctors, not pillaged to pay the government’s bills."

This morning's conversation was one of hundreds of its kind being held across the country as AARP reaches out to its members to hear how potential cuts would impact their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren.

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