East Texas seniors worry about losing their social security checks

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For some East Texas Seniors, a game of bingo is only temporary relief. Taking their minds off social security fears for a moment.

"I depend on it all, all the time," says Melvin Bear.

When asked what he would do without it, Bear replied, "Starve to death."

84-year-old Bear and his friends share the same concerns.

"If I didn't get it, I'd have to depend on my children and I don't want to," says Eva Richmond.

"Then the people that depend on Social Security to live on it, how are you going to pay what Medicare doesn't pay," says Irene Goldsberry.

If republicans and democrats can't agree on cuts and spending senior citizens worry their social security checks and medicare benefits are next.

"There ain't going to be no money left. The people up there in Washington are stealing it," says Bear.

Congressman Louie Gohmert claims "the truth is that social security's ability to make payments as usual will be completely unaffected even if the debt ceiling is not raised next month."

"Earlier today Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison spoke on the Senate floor saying that changes needed to happen to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare if they're still going to be around for the next generation that will need them. However, she said any proposed reform should keep its promises to those at or near retirement, like those East Texans at the Angelina County Senior Citizens Center."

These seniors aren't sure how to solve the problem, but they say that's why they sent politicians to Washington.

"I don't know that there's a perfect solution. I think maybe they should have their salaries cut and see how they feel about cutting your salaries, cutting your benefits," says Goldsberry.

With every bingo number called out, they hope the number on their checks won't shrink.

The reality for them, right now social security is really no security at all.

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