$4.8 Billion in Cuts to Social Security & SSI to Pay for Highways? Contact Congress to Say No!

$4.8 Billion in Cuts to Social Security & SSI to Pay for Highways? Contact Congress to Say No!

We invite you to join us and our partner organizations to say no to the CUFF Act (S 1758 and HR 2504). This Act would take $4.8 billion in cuts from Social Security and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits to pay for a new highway bill. This is unacceptable. Please read and share the Justice in Aging alert below, and contact your Congress people today. Urge them to protect the benefits of our country’s beneficiaries who are most in need and to say NO to the CUFF Act.

Take Action Now to Stop Congress from Cutting Benefits to Older Americans

Right now, members of Congress are debating whether to pass the CUFF Act (S 1758 and HR 2504) in order to pay for a highway bill. If passed, it would take $4.8 billion in Social Security and SSI Benefits from low-income older Americans and people with disabilities. We can’t let that happen. A Senate vote on the highway bill is expected this week, possibly tomorrow. The CUFF Act should not be part of it. Your representatives need to hear from you today.

For more information, read the fact sheet, and Justice in Aging’s Statement for the Record, then call or email your Senators now and tell them to VOTE NO on S 1758, and if you have time, contact your Representative as well.

To find the names and contact information of your Senators and Representative, simply type in your zip code here. No time to compose a letter? Feel free to use the sample text below. Also download and attach this fact sheet to your note to provide them with more information.

It is important that your Senators and your Representative hear from you today
, either by phone or email. Not only will our nation’s poorest older Americans and people with disabilities lose what for many is their only source of income, some people will experience life-threatening loss of health care due to loss of Medicare Part B Coverage.

Sample Letter:

Dear [SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE NAME HERE]

I am writing to urge you to VOTE NO on attaching the CUFF Act to the highway bill or using it as a means of paying for any other legislation. If it is passed hundreds of thousands of people will lose Social Security Old Age or Disability Insurance benefits and SSI benefits. These are our nation’s most needy individuals. A significant number of people will become homeless and many will lose their Medicare outpatient (Part B) coverage.

Creating highway funding by slashing the sole source of income for our nation’s poorest individuals is just bad policy. The CUFF Act will not help law enforcement secure the arrest of people they are seeking for serious crimes as its proponents claim. The Social Security Administration already informs law enforcement of anyone on parole or with an outstanding warrant who turns up in their database. I’ve attached a fact sheet for more information.

I urge you to vote No on the CUFF Act.

Sincerely [YOUR NAME]

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.