AARP, the group advocating for people ages 50 and up, released a survey Wednesday showing that most older Americans don’t want lawmakers to alter the Social Security and Medicare programs during the lame-duck session.
It’s a warning shot to lawmakers looking for options to avoid the fiscal cliff from a group that has almost 38 million members and last year spent more than $15 million on federal lobbying.
The survey found that 70 percent of older Americans said that changes to the entitlement programs should not be part of any end-of-the-year deal addressing the deficit and looming tax increases.
“This survey shows that older Americans have significant concerns about any attempt to make major changes to the lifeline programs of Social Security and Medicare in rushed negotiations in the short time before a new Congress arrives,” AARP Executive Vice President of the State and National Group Nancy LeaMond said in a statement. “We commend the bipartisan group of leaders and public officials who have expressed the need to work together on important issues facing our country including the deficit.”
The survey also found that 76 percent of people over age 50 oppose reducing benefits for Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly and disabled, to reduce the deficit. And 75 percent of respondents oppose reducing Social Security benefits to reduce the deficit.
The AARP survey was conducted by Woelfel Research Inc., which interviewed 800 adults over the age of 50.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.