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AARP To Senators: Keep Social Security, Medicare Out Of Debt Talks

As Washington leaders fight to come up with a plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling, AARP Ohio is calling on legislators to leave Social Security out of the negotiations. In debt ceiling talks, President Barack Obama and some members of Congress suggest cutting entitlement programs, like Social Security, as a way to curb federal spending. AARP Ohio collected more than 52,000 signatures from its members and delivered them to U.S. senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, asking the senators to find another way to cut spending and not touch Social Security. The group held a luncheon to discuss the debt limit debate and how it could affect Ohio retirees. AARP Ohio President Joanne Limbach said Social Security should be off the table. "The debt ceiling is really not connected to these programs. This has become a political issue, not a policy issue," Limbach said. "And what we're looking at is the policy in this. And from a policy point of view, Social Security does not belong in this discussion." But Don Rouch, who attended the luncheon, said Social Security should be part of the discussion. Rouch proposes increasing Social Security's eligibility age. "I'm not saying that's the answer, and I'm sure somebody would be very much against that, especially the ones who are getting ready to retire. But at the same time it would be the easiest way, I think, of decreasing this problem," Rouch said. Limbach said Medicare could be part of a greater issue, but she said cuts to it should not be made during a debt ceiling increase or under a time crunch.