A coalition of thirty-six public interest, civil rights and community organizations responded to Senator McCaskill's recent letter to the FCC, which suggested that Lifeline be de-funded and the money instead be used to fund new initiatives in the E-rate program.  The coalition, which includes AARP, United Church of Christ and Consumers Union, pointed out that seniors, people with disabilities and veterans, among others, depend on the "modest subsidy" provided by the Lifeline program "as a literal lifeline to the outside world for access to medical care, job opportunities and emergency services."  The letter also notes that the program helps many escape the poverty that made them eligible in the first place.  The coalition filed a copy of the letter with the FCC, along with a cover letter urging the agency not to pursue E-rate goals at the expense of Lifeline.