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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Solomon Urges “Clarity” on Social Security and Medicare Positions

Calling for “clarity and candor on Social Security and Medicare” in the race to succeed retiring Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, progressive Democrat Norman Solomon said Tuesday [July 26] that he hopes other candidates will join him in taking specific stands to protect seniors and others who depend on Social Security and Medicare.

“Benefits for seniors are under attack,” Solomon said, “and they deserve to know that their next member of Congress will fight for them in Washington.”

“Matters of profound principle are at stake, whether the issue is raising the age of Medicare eligibility or reducing the cost-of-living allowance for Social Security,” he added. “Voters have a right to know where candidates for Congress stand at this historic moment.”

Citing many press reports, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted Monday that the president offered Republicans “a rise in the age of Medicare eligibility.” Other media, including Gannett and Fox, reported that Obama had placed a Medicare age increase on the negotiating table.

Solomon said he strongly opposes efforts to hike the minimum Medicare age from 65 to 67. “Raising the age of Medicare eligibility would harm the health and well-being of millions of Americans,” he said. “I’m committed to opposing such proposals, on the campaign trail and in Congress.”

Solomon also reiterated his opposition to proposals that would make a downward adjustment of cost-of-living allowances for Social Security recipients. “Reducing Social Security benefits under any guise is absolutely unacceptable,” he said. “Such a step would violate a sacred trust with this country’s seniors and others who depend on Social Security to stay out of poverty.”

The current edition of the Pacific Sun carries a full-page ad from the Solomon for Congress campaign headlined: “Cutting Social Security and Medicare is Not ‘Fiscal Responsibility.’ It’s Betrayal.” (To see the ad, click here.)

“I’m not a traditional politician,” Solomon said. “I’m an independent Democrat who will be a strong advocate for seniors, the middle class and low-income Americans -- no matter which party is in power on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.”