Wednesday, December 7th 2016

Contact: Linda Benesch, [email protected]

Schumer, Pelosi, and Sanders Headline #HandsOffMedicare Press Conference

Seniors and Activists Delivered Over One Million Petition Signatures to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell

(Washington, DC) Today, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)  joined seniors and activists for a #HandsOffMedicare Press Conference. The seniors and activists then delivered more than one million petition signatures demanding that President Elect Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) keep their hands off the American people’s earned Medicare benefits.

Video of the event, including the lawmakers’ remarks and a reporter Q &A, is available here

“Between the nomination of an avowed Medicare opponent, Congressman Price, to serve as HHS Secretary and Republicans here in Washington threatening to privatize Medicare, it’s clear that Republicans are plotting a war on seniors next year. Every senior and every American should hear this loudly and clearly: Democrats will not let them win that fight. After the 2004 elections, Republicans tried to take the rug out from under our seniors to privatize Social Security. After the 2016 elections, it seems they’re intent on trying the same trick on Medicare. Just as their efforts failed then, they will fail now.” – Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

“Destroying Medicare and making seniors pay more is not what the American people voted for in November. Democrats will protect Medicare will all of our strength, just as we did in 2005 when President Bush wanted to privatize Social Security. We will not stand by while Republicans dismantle the promise of a healthy and dignified retirement for working people in America.” – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

“Mr. Trump, we are going to hold you accountable. You told the seniors of this country and you told working people you were on their side. Millions of us are going to demand that you keep your promise. We’re going to tell the Republican leadership in the House and the Senate to forget about all their plans to ‘voucherize’ and privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”– Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

“As a candidate, Donald Trump said ‘I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican’ and ‘I’m not going to cut Medicare and Medicaid.’ But as President elect, he is working with two Republican Leaders who have absolutely the reverse view: Speaker Paul Ryan and HHS nominee Tom Price. Paul Ryan calls his healthcare plan a ‘Better Way’, but we call it a ‘Bitter Day’ for senior citizens and for people with disabilities. Today, we’re telling Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress that Americans won’t stand for them cutting our benefits in order to fund tax cuts for the very wealthiest.” – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

“The election results may have been surprising, but we can’t let there be one second of confusion about our commitment to our seniors. Medicare is the bedrock of a secure retirement for nearly 50 million American seniors. I am proud to join my fellow Democrats in Congress to fight at every opportunity to deny the GOP their fantasy of destroying Medicare to boost big business and wealthy Americans. While the wealthiest retirees don’t know what it’s like to stretch their monthly budgets by skipping meals or doses of medication, it is a reality for too many of my constituents. It is our responsibility to make this crystal clear: Republicans must keep their hands off Medicare.” – Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL)

“This is the United States of America. A life of dignity until somebody leaves this earth is deserved and earned. That’s not what the Republicans want for our seniors today. In just one Congress, they want to take that away from all of us. We are going to fight their plan in Congress and on the streets of America.” – Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)

“No one voted to destroy Medicare, but Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, and Tom Price are determined to make it happen anyway. Medicare is over a half century old. Having worked on the program for over four of those five decades, I know that this is the greatest threat the program has ever faced. For the economic security of all Americans, we must prevail in defending it.” – Nancy Altman, Co-Director of Social Security Works 

Petition signatures collected by Social Security Works, CREDO,, Our Revolution, Alliance for Retired Americans, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, the AFL-CIO, People’s Action, National Nurses United, JustCare, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.