Baltimore Sun (MD)
Social Security advocates tap seniors for campaign season advocacy
"This is not a debate about numbers," said Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works. "This is not a debate about money. This is not a debate about the deficit or the long-term debt. This is a debate about fairness."
Dems slam Ryan over Social Security privatization
A national politician would do well to strongly identify themselves with Social Security, not just with rhetoric, but to be very clear that they understand the pain people are experiencing today, that they stand behind this program and they will protect the citizenry and they will not cut benefits," said Eric Kingson, a Syracuse University professor who co-founded Social Security Works. "I hope to hear that from the White House. I have not heard that yet."
People Pension (blog)
Pie in the Sky in Eastern Europe: The Ryan Plan in Action
Ryan served on the Bowles-Simpson commission, and while he didn’t vote for the co-chairs’ proposal, he asserts that his budget “builds upon the Commission’s work.” What else did the Bowles-Simpson report say about Social Security? It called for consideration of private Social Security accounts, which should encourage Americans to build wealth through savings and investment that will generate a return sufficient to allay fears that retirees will outlive their savings, and should permit Americans to have the option to transmit the remainder of their accumulated savings to their heirs.
Bowles-Simpson doesn’t say whether those private accounts would be carved out of payroll taxes, or created as add-ons to compensate for the loss of benefits their other proposals would impose. But the slipperiness of Bowles-Simpson gives Ryan something to hide behind as he heads a powerful House committee and campaigns for the vice presidency.
Journal & Courier (IN)
Guest column: We should beware a new attack on Social Security
Before readers, particularly the young, freak out after reading this story, they should access on the Web a report titled “A Young Person’s Guide to Social Security” from the Economic Policy Institute study (www.epi.org) prepared in collaboration with the National Academy of Social Insurance (www.nasi.org). The report summarizes the history of Social Security, its goals, its payment structure and the long-term projections of its economic stability.
Arizona Star Net (AZ)
Congress District 1 candidates talk Social Security
The Star ran an article this week giving candidates for U.S. Congress in Districts 2 and 3 a chance to talk about their views on Social Security, following comments made by Reps. Ron Barber and Raúl Grijalva on the 77th anniversary of the government program.
Now it's time for candidates in District 1 to have a say.
Wenona Benally Baldenegro (D)
"Social Security has a self-sustaining $2.6 trillion surplus, and I will not let GOP extremists cut this key source of income that our nation's seniors earned and paid into, their whole working lives.
US News (NAT)
Is the Ryan Medicare Overhaul Proposal a Good Idea?
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, and with Ryan comes the congressman's controversial budget plan. Romney is now endorsing the budget, and with it the provision that would overhaul the Medicare system.
Medicare, the health insurance plan for seniors, is an entitlement program many fiscal conservatives point to as a primary cause of the massive federal budget deficit. Ryan's Medicare plan would replace the current system with payments made directly to seniors, which they could then use to purchase health insurance in the private market. Those using the current system would remain under it, but in 2023, seniors would begin buying their insurance in an exchange system where Medicare would compete with private health insurance companies. Ryan says this competition will reduce the overall cost of healthcare, and the government's financial responsibility to the system.
ABC News (NAT)
More Social Security Money Withheld Because of Unpaid Student Loans
About twice as many Social Security recipients are not receiving all of their Social Security payments this year because they have unpaid federal student loans, according to a report by SmartMoney.com.
According to a 1996 law, the federal government has the authority to withhold portions of Social Security payments if defaulted debt is owed to the government, including federal student loans.
Washington Post (NAT)
Mr. Biden’s Social Security promise falls flat
In response to our inquiry, White House officials said that Mr. Biden’s “flat guarantee” was not meant to convey a change in administration position, which they said is best understood from Mr. Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, which called for “a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations.”
That speech was hardly a profile in courage: Mr. Obama opposed “slashing” benefits for future retirees. But that presumably (if tacitly) left room for trimming benefits. The president went further in failed negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner last summer, putting on the table changes in the way Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are calculated.
Kaiser Health News (NAT)
Don’t Change Medicare, Most Republicans Say In Poll
As Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul Medicare makes campaign headlines, a majority of Republicans oppose changing the government program for seniors, according to a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) That could spell trouble for presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his designated running mate Ryan as voters focus on the Wisconsin congressman’s “premium support” plan.http://capsules.
ABC News (NAT)
Paul Ryan Set to Appear With Mom at World’s Largest Retirement Community, Defend Medicare Plan
But if addressing a group of Florida seniors on Medicare reform is a challenge for Ryan, even as his drastic changes to the program would alter no benefits for those currently over 55, then Ryan is making his pitch to one of the friendliest lion’s dens possible: The Villages is a hotbed of pro-Romney money.
California Health Insurance Bills Pass Key Committees
The legislation would not let insurers charge smokers more for coverage, even though the federal health law allows for it. Assembly member Bill Monning authored one of the measures. “People have asked ‘why not, isn’t it fair to charge tobacco users more?’ The concern that we share is that, what we don’t want to price somebody out of the market altogether," said Monning.
Van Hollen: 'Sad' Ryan 'forced to flip-flop'
It's "sad," Van Hollen said, that Ryan has been "forced to flip flop on this issue by Gov. Romney."
"I want everyone to fully understand the consequences of that," Van Hollen said on an Obama campaign conference call. “They will hasten the insolvency of the Medicare program by eight years … What they are announcing is that by the end of their term, if they were to be elected, Medicare would have begun to go bankrupt.”
Talking Points Memo (NAT)
Paul Ryan On GOP Budget’s Medicare Cuts: Obama Started It!
Paul Ryan, in his ongoing evolution from active supporter to newfound critic of the Affordable Care Act’s $716 billion in Medicare savings, now claims he actually opposed the cuts before he embraced them (and then turned against them again later).
“We would never have done it in the first place,” Ryan said on Thursday.