Clyburn touts healthcare reform, Social Security success

By Jack Kuenzie - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - President Barack Obama has plenty of critics in South Carolina and few issues anger them more than the president's success on healthcare reform.

But in Columbia, Congressman Jim Clyburn told seniors that bill will save Social Security and provide a range of other benefits.

Social Security is 75 now and of vital importance to folks like retired teacher Adell Adams.

"I get retirement and I think I get pretty good retirement," said Adams. "But without Social Security, my life would be much more stringent. I would have a hard time with it."

Clyburn is one of the programs supporters and according to him, this year's healthcare reform bill pumped new life into a program that benefits nearly 900,000 South Carolinians.

"We fixed Social Security's longevity in that bill for 10 to 20 years," said Clyburn. "You ain't hearing nobody talking about, is it going to be there for you because we fixed it in the healthcare reform bill. And so everybody needs to know that."

While roughly 60 percent of Palmetto State Social Security recipients are retirees, Clyburn and AARP say many people don't realize the program provides critical help for surviving family members and the disabled.

"That's a wonderful thing about Social Security," said Jane Wiley with AARP. "Even if you don't have a disability policy of your own, you have one through Social Security."

Clyburn says healthcare reform also funded community colleges and raised maximums for student loans.

He also has a message to those now pushing to repeal healthcare reform.

"A lot of things we did with that bill, it wasn't just healthcare," said Clyburn. "And so when people start criticizing what happened, I ask them, especially if they've got children or grandchildren trying to go to college, take another look at what you're criticizing."

Social Security this year will spend more on benefits that it takes in from payroll taxes and in 2015, it will likely start running a deficit each year.

That's one reason for all the talk about raising the retirement age, something AARP does not support.

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