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The AARP, the nation’s largest senior citizen advocacy group and among the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, urged the Super Congress not to roll back the welfare state yesterday.

“Americans want Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid to be strengthened as part of a broader conversation around health and economic security, not one focused solely on deficit reduction,” Rand said. “AARP believes that the American public deserves a seat at the table in any forum, including the newly created super committee, and we ask that members of the new committee actively solicit input from people across the country, particularly older Americans,” said A. Barry Rand, AARP’s CEO.

The group warned that cuts to the cherished programs “could undermine the standard of living today and for future middle-class generations.”

The AARP came under fire from the left for reportedly shifting its position to favor some “reforms” of the programs (as opposed to outright opposition to changes during the privatization of Social Security fight in 2005) this past year, but this seems mostly to be a question of rhetoric — and a desire to be part of what they see as an inevitable conversation about their members’ top priority.

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