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Social Security vital, speakers say

April 27, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Retirement security is one theme of White House Conference on Aging events, and many speakers at the conference’s regional forum April 27 in Cleveland took the opportunity to stress the importance of the Social Security program to retired adults.

“Social security must remain the strong foundation for retirement security in our country,” Jeannine English, AARP president (left in the collection of photos to the right), said in her remarks. That thought was echoed by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) (second from left), who said, “Social security really is about retirement security,” as well as Ben Harris (third from left), chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. “One can’t talk about retirement security without talking about Social Security,” he said during a panel discussion on retirement security and elder justice.

Harris added that the administration of President Barack Obama plans to fight any suggested cuts to current and future Social Security benefits as well as attempts to privatize Social Security.

“Great societies pay particular attention to those parts of our population who have gained wisdom,” U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) (right) said. “A debt is owed to those who came before us.”

While many participating in the conference in person gathered for afternooon breakout sessions at the Global Center for Health Innovation, Cleveland-area older adults and advocates rallied nearby to call attention to the importance of Social Security (photograph below). This year is the 80th anniversary of the program being signed into law.

Healthy aging, long-term services and supports, and elder justice are the other three themes of the conference.

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