As President Trump prepares on Tuesday to deliver his first address to Congress, many older Americans are anxiously awaiting any potential updates on his plans for the future of Medicare and Social Security.
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While on the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump promised, if elected, budget cuts for the so-called entitlement programs would be off the table.
“I am going to protect and save your Social Security and your Medicare. You made a deal a long time ago,” Trump said in November.
And AARP, one of the largest-spending lobbying groups in the country, wants to hold him to it.
“Before the president addresses Congress [on Tuesday], AARP staff and volunteers in all 50 states are contacting their members of Congress to underscore the importance of Medicare to its 57 million beneficiaries as well as the millions of hard working Americans who are paying in to the program. AARP is also encouraging Americans of all ages to contact their members of Congress and tell them ‘to get to work for the American people by protecting Medicare from cuts and attempts to turn it into a voucher system,’” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond.
Prior to Medicare being enacted, nearly 1 in 2 older Americans had no health insurance, according to AARP. Some of those individuals confronted with a serious illness would often deplete their savings or forgo healthcare all together due to the cost.
While some GOP lawmakers have proposed tweaking the programs to better balance the government books, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told FOX’s Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that the president’s budget plan does not include cuts to Social Security or Medicare.
"We are not touching those now. So don't expect to see that as part of this budget, OK," said Mnuchin. "We are very focused on other aspects and that's what's very important to us. And that's the president's priority."