Brian Rothenberg, Director of Progress Ohio, announced publication by that organization of a new study on Social Security this past Friday, 10/28/11. Social Security has had major positive impact on lives of Ohio’s elderly, disabled, women & minorities according to Rothenberg.

“We’re sending this report to Ohio Senator Portman, strongly urging him to oppose any proposed cuts to Social Security,” stated Rothenberg. “Portman is on the Super Committee that is considering federal budget cuts and he needs to know how important Social Security and Medicare are to the people he represents. Cuts to Social Security or Medicare would be devastating to Ohioans and would cause great harm to our state’s economy.”

Social Security, according to the study, brings $27.9 billion to Ohio each year, over 13% of the state’s total economy. Likewise, Medicare adds another $27.7 billion to Ohio’s economy annually. Together, Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid add over $64 billion to Ohio, bringing benefits to 1 in 6 of the state’s residents. This number represents 18.4% of Ohio’s population.

“At the very time our nation is suffering through a deep recession, cutting such a vital program would ravish our state, not to mention causing horrible suffering to our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” Rothenberg said. Women and minorities are especially uplifted by Social Security, according to the study.

Highlighting the event was disabled steelworker George Korocedes, who stated that Social Security had literally saved his life! Korocedes, 59, stated that he’d worked 36 years at Stark Ceramics in Canton, Ohio, before having his pension stolen when that company filed for bankruptcy.

“I had two heart attacks after they stole our pension,” he said. “I’m now being treated for cancer. The PBGC says I’m due my pension but they won’t give it to me. I was going to die. My family was losing everything when I was able to get Social Security Disability, and that’s given me a chance to live again. Without it, we’d just have died.”

For over five years, he and other members of his steelworker’s local have continued to fight against the theft of their pensions.

“We will never give up,” he said. “Thank God for Social Security, Medicare and the United Steelworkers. It’s given us a chance!”

The Social Security study and the news conference can be accessed by going to Progress Ohio