AARP Launches Next Wave of Efforts Urging Congress, White House To Protect Social Security and Medicare From Benefits Cuts

Jul 13, 2011, 11:05 ET from AARP Illinois

New national television ad, grassroots activities, and Capitol Hill blitz tell lawmakers, "Seniors are not pushovers."

CHICAGO, July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, AARP launched its latest wave of efforts, centered around a new direct-message television ad, urging Congress and the President to make responsible decisions during the deficit reduction debate by cutting waste and closing loopholes instead of cutting critical Medicare and Social Security benefits that millions of Americans have earned through a lifetime of hard work.

The new, multi-million dollar advertisement is AARP's third focusing specifically on the deficit debate, and begins airing today nationally and in local markets.  In addition to the TV ads, AARP Illinois leaders, including State President Merri Dee, are hitting Capitol Hill today to urge Members of Congress to oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of a deal to pay the nation's bills.  AARP is keeping up the pressure on Congress and the President by engaging its millions of members to make their voices heard through direct mail, phone calls, email alerts, publications, and tele-townhall meetings.  To date, over 12,000 phone calls and emails have gone into Illinois congressional offices urging elected leaders to protect Social Security and Medicare.

"We're taking the voice of older Americans to the airwaves, to Capitol Hill and across the country," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. "Don't cut the Social Security and Medicare benefits seniors have earned."

AARP will air the television spot beginning July 13.  The television ad script follows here:

"I'm a grandfather.  A retired teacher.  And I count on Social Security.

"Here's what I'm not…

"A pushover.

"Right now, some in Washington want to make a deal cutting the Social Security and Medicare benefits we worked for.

"With billions in waste and loopholes, how could they look at us?

"Maybe we seem like an easy target…

"Until you realize…

"…there are 50 million of us.

"Tell the politicians to cut waste and loopholes, not our benefits."

To date, nearly 4.5 million petitions have been signed and will be delivered to Congress, and over 500,000 calls and emails have gone into congressional offices and to the White House over the past several weeks urging elected leaders to protect Medicare and Social Security from harmful cuts as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Gallo added: "We know Washington needs to make tough decisions to reduce the deficit, but they should make responsible decisions instead of cutting the Social Security and Medicare benefits that seniors have worked for their entire lives."

To view the new television ad and learn about AARP's campaign, visit