Seniors oppose deficit-linked cuts to Medicare

July 29, 2011 - Paul Downey

As President of NANASP, the notion of balancing the budget on the back of seniors by cutting programs like Medicare is unacceptable. Our seniors deserve better and in a survey released this morning by NANASP; nearly 80% are opposed to deficit-linked cuts. Read more about the survey. What do you think?

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Eliminating Social Security for City Workers

July 22, 2011 - Paul Downey

This week, VoiceofSanDiego.org posted the story; How One Person Could Determine City’s Social Security Future. Immediately, I knew this “either, or” proposed remedy to San Diego’s pension issue is NOT a road we should drive down.

Social Security was always intended to be one leg of a three-legged stool from a retirement perspective. The other two legs being pension and private savings/investments. In 2011, far too many Americans are attempting to stand on one-leg only — Social Security.

The reality is that pensions are out of the retirement equation for most workers. But two legs are better than one (or potentially none). Workers need social security and must take personal responsibility for private savings if they are to have a comfortable retirement.

On a daily basis at Senior Community Centers, I see seniors struggling to get by on social security alone (average payment $850/month). With it they are living in poverty; without it they would be destitute on the streets or worse. Continue reading

Senior Nutrition is the Best Medicine

July 20, 2011 - Paul Downey

Recently, after my DC trip for the NANASP Conference, I was asked to write an article for One Away; Campaign for Elder Economic Security. We spent two days talking to members of Congress, their staff and numerous others about cost-savings support services provide to Americans; and how essential it is that we protect funding for Older Americans Act (OAA). Everyone I spoke with understands the importance of senior nutrition programs; and agrees there is a connection between senior nutrition, which is the best medicine to maintain health and independent living; and savings to taxpayers by preventing unnecessary hospitalization or institutionalization. Bill and Sonia are a couple I met a few months ago and their story is anyone’s story and illustrates best OAA’s impact.

A Senior Community Centers’ social worker discovered them earlier that morning while participating in a count of homeless in downtown San Diego. A fire had destroyed their apartment, leaving them with nothing but the clothes on their back and a car. Continue reading

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