Why Is Obama Needlessly Scaring Seniors?

By Amy Payne

Apparently things aren’t ugly enough in Washington, so President Obama has started scaring senior citizens.

“In a government shutdown, Social Security checks still go out on time,” he said last week. “In an economic shutdown, if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, they don’t go out on time.”

This scaremongering is completely unnecessary, says Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs, Romina Boccia.
President Obama is needlessly scaring seniors by suggesting that their Social Security benefit checks may not arrive on time if the U.S. runs out of borrowing authority at the debt limit. The 57 million Americans who receive Social Security benefits should know that their benefits will not be affected—unless President Obama and the Treasury deliberately choose not to pay them.

Boccia details three reasons why Social Security checks can still be paid even if the U.S. hits the debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, Congress is in gridlock confronting the real threat to seniors: Obamacare. For this entire segment of the population, Obamacare threatens:

  • Less access to care
  • Fewer health plan choices
  • Less access to physicians
  • Higher premiums in Medicare Part D
  • Higher taxes
  • And on top of all that, the future of Medicare is still in jeopardy. As Heritage expert Alyene Senger says, “Rather than implementing the structural reform desperately needed in Medicare, Obamacare’s provisions threaten current seniors’ ability to access care and leave Medicare in jeopardy for future generations.”

    There is a real threat to our seniors’ personal health care decisions and their savings. Congress should act now to defund this unfair, unworkable, unaffordable law.

    [See John Hinderaker’s legal perspective on why “The Federal Government Can’t, and Won’t, Default on Its Debt Obligations.“]

    Amy Payne is Assistant Director of Strategic Communications at The Heritage Foundation. In that capacity, Amy serves as Managing Editor of The Foundry, Heritage’s public policy news blog, as well as the “Morning Bell,” one of Washington’s most widely read and influential e-newsletters. This article first appeared on in The Foundry.

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