National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

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The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) is a United States advocacy group whose goal is to protect Social Security and Medicare. NCPSSM was founded in 1982 by former Congressman James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and is now led by Max Richtman, former staff director of the Senate Special Aging Committee.[1] It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501 (c) (4)[2] organization representing millions of members. NCPSSM works to protect Social Security in its original form,[3] with candidate endorsements, incumbent ratings, grassroots activity, issue advertising, and campaign contributions.[4] The NCPSSM opposes Social Security privatization, and supports prescription drug benefits in Medicare.[4]


The National Committee was founded in 1982, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., near Capitol Hill. The National Committee acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the board of directors and professional staff.

The organization's work is supported through annual membership dues and contributions. NCPSSM does not receive federal, state or local government funding, and does not sell any products, services or goods. NCPSSM members participate in and support petition drives, letter campaigns, surveys and polls. To date, more than 74 million petitions and letters to Congress and the President have been signed by the National Committee’s members and supporters.

NCPSSM supported provisions in the new healthcare reform[5] law that would strengthen Medicare including closing the Medicare Part D prescription drug “doughnut hole” by 2020, reducing billions in subsidies to private insurers in Medicare,[6] eliminating copays for preventive care, and the passage of the Community Living Assistance Services and Support CLASS Act.[7] The National Committee opposed the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and it continues to seek reforms to correct the flaws it sees in the current law. Other National Committee campaigns included the defeat of President's Bush's plan to privatize Social Security in 2005, the passage of the Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act in 2000 and the 1995 campaign against a proposed $270 billion in cuts to Medicare.

The National Committee’s policy analysts and lobbyists meet regularly with Members of the United States Congress and their staffs to present the National Committee's positions and make recommendations regarding current legislative proposals. Through its political action committee (PAC), NCPSSM supports incumbents and challengers who they believe have demonstrated a strong commitment to seniors' issues. Voting records, campaign questionnaires and candidate interviews are considered when determining PAC support.

Grassroots activities are conducted through a national network of managers, area representatives, advocacy leaders, volunteers and a Washington D.C. Rally Corps. NCPSSM representatives organize and participate in workshops, forums, conferences and exhibits to provide legislative updates, advocacy training and education all over the U.S.


NCPSSM was founded in 1982 by former Congressman James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who signed the Social Security Act into law. Two additional leaders have also headed the organization; from 1989–2001, former Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Martha A. McSteen,[8] and former Congresswoman Barbara B. Kennelly, who served from 2002 to 2011.[9] The National Committee is currently led by President and CEO, Max Richtman.[10]

In 1994, NCPSSM was admitted as a member of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO),[11] a coalition of 64 of the nation's non-profit organizations serving older Americans. By unanimous vote in 1999, NCPSSM became one of five chairing organizations for LCAO and since then led the coalition twice. Former NCPSSM President and CEO Barbara B. Kennelly took over as chair of the LCAO for the 2010-2011 year.

NCPSSM members elect the National Committee’s Board of Directors. The Board meets three times per year to provide strategic guidance and support for the work of NCPSSM staff. Leaders in business, government, policy, education, healthcare and advocacy fill the 14 board positions.

The National Committee commemorated 25 years of advocacy in 2008 and launched the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to protect, promote and ensure the financial security, health and well-being of current and future generations of Americans through research, analysis and public education.

Advocacy campaigns[edit]

2010 - The National Committee supported measures to close the Medicare Part D prescription “Doughnut Hole” and strengthen Medicare for seniors in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. After the passing of health care reform, the National Committee continues to educate seniors about the new provisions in the law (closing of the “doughnut hole” by 2020,[12] elimination of preventive care copays, and cuts for subsidies to private insurers in Medicare Advantage Plans, and the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act[7] by creating informational DVDs, YouTube videos and newsletters for its members and the general public.

2009 – The National Committee campaigned to make seniors eligible for stimulus checks. The initial proposal for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 targeted all workers but excluded non-working seniors. Seniors were included in the final bill.[13] Seniors are not required to complete any IRS filings and will automatically receive checks.

2008 – The National Committee campaigned to stop the "Medicare Trigger"[14] that imposes a 45 percent cap on the government's funding of Medicare.

2008 – The National Committee led efforts to convince Congress to pass the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA,[15] which reduced government subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans, improved benefits for mental health, and averted a 10.6 percent cut in fees to physicians who treat Medicare patients, helping to preserve beneficiary access to doctors and other practitioners.

2007 – The National Committee helped persuade the House to pass legislation strengthening Medicare for future generations and correcting many of the flaws in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003.

2007 – The National Committee worked to persuade Congress to increase funding levels and thereby prevent massive furloughs at the Social Security Administration. The National Committee fought for increased funds, averting office closures all over the country in 2007. After continued intense lobbying, Congress approved funding for Fiscal Year 2008 at $451 million over the previous year's level, which helped expedite disability reviews.

2005/2006 – The National Committee joined seniors’ advocates nationwide to stop an attempt to privatize Social Security, sending petitions to Capitol Hill and letters to Congress and the White House, reaffirming seniors' rejection of Social Security private accounts. The National Committee coordinated town hall meetings, Capitol Hill briefings, talk show appearances and a member-supported media campaign to educate and inform lawmakers and the public about the potential negative effects of Social Security privatization.

Ask Mary Jane[edit]

Recognized by The Wall Street Journal[16] as a resource for Social Security questions, "Ask Mary Jane" invites Social Security recipients to ask policy expert Mary Jane Yarrington their questions on benefits. The National Committee keeps an archive of the questions and answers on its website.

Individuals of note[edit]


  1. ^ [1],"Kennelly to Step Down as President and CEO of National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare ",2011, accessed April 25, 2011.
  2. ^ "Social Welfare Organizations" "", August 20, 2010, accessed December 6, 2010.
  3. ^ NCPSSM: Message from the National Committee President
  4. ^ a b National Cmte to Preserve Social Security & Medicare|
  5. ^ "Implementation Guideline," "The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation",accessed December 6, 2010.
  6. ^ Galewitz, Phil."Democrats Target Federal Subsidies for Medicare's Private Plans", "Kaiser Health News", September 9, 2009, accessed December 6, 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act Summary","American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging", accessed December 6, 2010.
  8. ^ "SSA Commissioners", "", accessed December 5, 2010.
  9. ^ [2],"Moving On", 2011, accessed April 25, 2011.
  10. ^ [3],"National Committee Names Max Richtman as New President and CEO", 2011, accessed August 5, 2011.
  11. ^ "Leadership Council of Aging Organizations", "Alliance for Aging Research", accessed December 5, 2010.
  12. ^ "How the Healthcare Overhaul Could Affect You", "New York Times", March 21, 2010, accessed December 6, 2010.
  13. ^ "Seniors to receive $250 stimulus check in May", "CNN Politics", March 26, 2009, accessed December 6, 2010.
  14. ^ Horney, James R."The President's Budget and the Medicare 'Trigger'", "Center on Budget and Policy Priorities", February 15, 2008, accessed December 6, 2010.
  15. ^ "MIPPA Watch! Updates on Provisions Now Effective from Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008" "California Health Advocates", October 17, 2008, accessed December 6, 2010.
  16. ^ Ruffenach, Glenn "The Baby Boomer's Guide To Social Security", "The Wall Street Journal", November 17, 2007, accessed December 6, 2010.