Group gathers in Gainesville in favor of social security benefits

They celebrated former president Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Bill into law in 1935.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A group in Gainesville is worried about the future of social security.

Volunteers with the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare met outside the U.S. Social Security Administration building Friday afternoon.

“These are great American programs that’s helped a lot of people,” said Mary Savage, the event organizer. “Senior citizens not only, but also the disabled and other people.”

Savage said the gathering was sponsored by the Senior Citizen Support Ad Hoc Committee. They celebrated former president Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Bill into law in 1935. The group also brought food to donate to the ElderCare of Alachua County food pantry.

According to data released by the Social Security Administration, nearly nine out of 10 people ages 65 and older received a social security benefit last year.

Karen Epple volunteers for the same program as Savage. She said the government program allowed her to retire during the pandemic.

“It would be very difficult for me to continue to work. I have some health problems that would make that very difficult,” said Epple.”I would probably be living with one of my children. My husband and myself would probably be living with one of them now because we couldn’t afford to live independently as we are now.”

Epple said she is worried future generations won’t be able to participate in the government program.

“I’m very concerned about my children and my grandchildren,” said Epple. “I worry very much about them having benefits when they retire. I don’t want them to have to work until they die.”

In February, Senator Rick Scott proposed a plan to end all federal legislation every five years. Any laws worth keeping would be repassed by congress.

Scott then revised this plan, stating it was never intended to apply to Social Security and Medicare.

“We want to preserve [the benefits],” said Savage. “We don’t want to have these great programs privatized.”

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