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STATEMENT OF LAWRENCE T. SMEDLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SENIOR CITIZENS, ON BUDGET RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE REPORT

 WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Lawrence T. Smedley, executive director of the National Council of Senior Citizens, on the 1993 Budget Reconciliation Conference Report:
 The National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSC) supports the 1993 Budget Reconciliation Conference Report with strong reservations over the depth of reductions in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. At the same time this bill contains important progressive tax code reforms, deeper public investments in low-income families and children, and clear deficit reduction. The bill also restricts the new income taxes on Social Security benefits to higher income persons.
 The alternatives to the report, the proposals of Sens. Dole and Boren and others, would decimate the core of Medicaid and Medicare, as well as Social Security, veterans' benefits, unemployment protection and scores of other components of this nation's fabric of shared social justice values.
 Passage of the Reconciliation Report will heighten the need for immediate and clear coverage of the health, pharmaceutical and long-term care needs of older persons, the uninsured and the poor in the Clinton health reform package. Such coverage should not be subject to delays and long phase-in schedules in the face of the reduced support for Medicaid and Medicare in the conference proposal.
 In supporting this conference report, NCSC calls on the Congress to mark its passage as the first step toward early and strong health reform for Americans of all ages.
 The National Council of Senior Citizens, founded in 1961 in the fight for Medicare, is an organization of more than 5,000 affiliated local clubs, Area Councils and State Councils, with a total membership of over five million senior activists. Together, NCSC members work for state and federal legislation to benefit the elderly and their families, and advocate on behalf of senior citizens in communities across the United States.
 -0- 8/4/93
 /CONTACT: Dan Schulder, 202-624-9539, or Kurt Vorndran, 202-624-9543, both of the National Council of Senior Citizens/


CO: National Council of Senior Citizens ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: LEG

KD-IH -- DC023 -- 9586 08/04/93 18:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 4, 1993
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