National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

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National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Motto Ensuring the Essentials for the 21st Century
Formation 18 November 1982 (1982-11-18)[1]
Founder James Roosevelt[2]
Type 501(c)(4) advocacy organization with affiliated political action committee and 501(c)(3) foundation
Purpose Preservation of Social Security and Medicare
Location
Region
United States
President/CEO
Max Richtman
Chair
Carroll Estes
Revenue (2014)
$22,079,955[3]
Expenses (2014) $25,013,421[3]
Staff
45[4]
Slogan Trusted. Independent. Effective.
Mission "The National Committee is dedicated to protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits for all communities and generations."[5]
Website www.ncpssm.org

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 works to preserve entitlement programs through direct mail campaigns, candidate endorsements, incumbent ratings, grassroots activity, issue advertising, and campaign contributions.[2][6]

NCPSSM promotes tax increases as a way to address what it describes as modest long-term issues with Social Security's solvency. The organization opposes Social Security privatization and supports prescription drug benefits in Medicare.[7] Through its political action committee, the organization donates money to support Democratic candidates and to oppose Republican candidates.[8]

Overview[edit]

NCPSSM was founded in 1982 by former Congressman James Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is currently led by Max Richtman, former staff director of the Senate Special Aging Committee.[9] The organization began as a direct mail organization which urged recipients to contact public officials and become dues-paying members. The NCPSSM eventually developed a professional research and lobbying capacity.[10][4]

The majority of the organization's budget goes to direct mail campaigns. Most of the organization's income is raised through $12 annual membership fees paid by direct mail recipients, the majority of whom are senior citizens.[2][11]

Activities[edit]

NCPSSM supported passage of the Affordable Care Act.[12] The organization opposed the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and the Republican Party's efforts to reform Social Security in 2005.[13]

Through its political action committee (PAC), NCPSSM supports incumbents and challengers who it believes have demonstrated a strong commitment to preserving the current Social Security and Medicare systems. Voting records, campaign questionnaires and candidate interviews are considered when determining PAC support. NCPSSM has the wealthiest political action committee of all old-age organizations.[4]

NCPSSM is a member of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, a coalition of American non-profit organizations interested in senior issues.[14]

The NCPSSM supports lifting the Social Security payroll tax cap. The organization does not believe that there is a Social Security crisis.[15]

Criticism[edit]

The group's first fundraising appeal promised to send a printout of an individual's Social Security records in exchange for a $10 contribution. This solicitation tactic was met with criticism as the Social Security Administration provides such information for free. The organization halted this appeal.[16]

In 1987, Social Security Commissioner Dorcas Hardy accused NCPSSM of using scare tactics to get money from elderly people afraid of losing their benefits.[17] Later that same year, the group came under investigation by members of Congress who accused the organization of frightening the elderly about the safety of their Social Security benefits. A hearing was scheduled to address "misleading and deceptive mailings to Social Security beneficiaries."[2][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Government Accountability Office. Social security advocacy organizations that mail fundraising letters : report to the chairman, Subcommittee on Social Security, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives. DIANE Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 9781428979031. 
  2. ^ a b c d Rosenblatt, Robert (March 10, 1987). "Committee Headed by James Roosevelt Under Investigation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "IRS Form 990 2014" (PDF). Guidestar. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Day, Christine (2014). What Older Americans Think: Interest Groups and Aging Policy. Princeton University Press. p. 28. ISBN 9781400861125. 
  5. ^ "Our Focus". National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "National Cmte to Preserve Social Security & Medicare". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Farley, Robert; Roberton, Lori (July 11, 2014). "More Senior Scare in Montana". FactCheck.org (Annenberg Public Policy Center). Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE". Follow the Unlimited Money (Sunlight Foundation). Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Hiltzik, Michael (May 24, 2012). "Alan Simpson opens his yap on Social Security". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Steckenrider, Janie; Parrott, Tonya (1998). New Directions in Old-Age Policies. SUNY Press. ISBN 9780791439135. 
  11. ^ Dumay, Jan (May 2014). "Fright Mail Targets Seniors". 435 Kansas City's Magazine. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Moeller, Philip (June 29, 2012). "Seniors Win Big in Court's Obamacare Ruling". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  13. ^ Morone, James; Ehlke, Dan (2014). Health Politics and Policy. Cengage Learning. p. 274. ISBN 9781305175785. 
  14. ^ "Membership". Leadership Council of Aging Americans. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  15. ^ Richtman, Max (April 26, 2012). "Opposing view: 'There's no Social Security crisis'". USA Today. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Gilmour, John (1995). Strategic Disagreement: Stalemate in American Politics. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 179. ISBN 9780822971696. 
  17. ^ "Social Security Lobbyists Accused of Scare Tactics". Los Angeles Times. United Press International. January 9, 1987. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 

External links[edit]