"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, former Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
Initial List of Members of Congress Joining July 2 Human Chain Events is Revealed
June 21, 2013
Politicians continue to press for the Chained CPI cut to Social Security benefits as a way to reduce the deficit. However, an average earner retiring at age 65 would lose over $6,000 over 15 years if the chained CPI were adopted. On Tuesday July 2nd, the Alliance is mobilizing people in more than 40 cities across the country to form a Human Chain against the Chained CPI. This National Day of Action will showcase the broad base of Americans who support protecting and enhancing retirement security, not dismantling Social Security inch by inch.
Members of the U.S. Senate and House who are planning to join the July 2 events, as of today, are: Sens. Kay Hagan in Raleigh, NC; Tom Harkin in Des Moines, Iowa; and Sheldon Whitehouse in Providence, RI; as well as Reps. Jim Langevin (RI), also in Providence; Michelle Lujan Grisham in Albuquerque, NM; and Maxine Waters in Los Angeles, CA. To find an event near you, go to http://tinyurl.com/ndah9ea. To view the Alliance webpage for July 2, which includes both a map and a link to find an event, go to http://tinyurl.com/pd8pbsz. To join the events over Facebook, and invite your friends to do the same, go to http://on.fb.me/13QpMbH.
103 House Members, 20 Senators Co-Sponsor Resolutions Rejecting Chained CPI
103 Members of the U.S House have co-sponsored H. Con. Res. 34, the House Resolution rejecting the Chained CPI that was introduced by Rep. Cicilline (D-RI). To see who those co-sponsors are (as of June 17), go to http://tinyurl.com/ob7yqed. In addition, twenty U.S. Senators have now co-sponsored S. Con. Res. 15, a Senate Resolution introduced by Senators Harkin (D-IA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Whitehouse (D-RI), rejecting the Chained CPI. To see that list of co-sponsors as of June 17, go to http://tinyurl.com/o4465ot. The Resolutions express the sense of Congress that the Chained Consumer Price Index should not be used to calculate cost of living adjustments for Social Security.
“Alliance members have been instrumental in drumming up support for additional co-sponsors, and we thank you for that,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance.
Help Sen. Bernie Sanders Address Poverty among Seniors
Last month, Sen. Sanders, chairman of the subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced S. 1028, the Older Americans Act (OAA) Amendments of 2013. This legislation would reauthorize and strengthen the OAA, which supports Meals on Wheels and other critical programs for seniors. This past Wednesday, Sanders held a hearing to discuss the role of the OAA in addressing poverty and hunger among seniors. The hearing took place as the HELP Committee attempts to pass the reauthorization of the OAA before the August recess.
The HELP Committee is marking up S. 1028, now cosponsored by 17 Senators (http://tinyurl.com/ocalyj9), in the coming weeks. Contact your Senators, especially those on the HELP Committee (http://www.help.senate.gov), to share your support of S. 1028 as it moves through the Committee. To read Sen. Sanders’ related piece this week in Politico, “Keep Meals on Wheels Going,” go to http://tinyurl.com/o9q2neu.
Vote in the Alliance’s Social Security Bumper Sticker Poll!
The Alliance is preparing to put our message on bumpers across the country – but we would like your input on what we should say about Social Security first. Please participate in our online poll to choose the bumper sticker we use. Go to http://tinyurl.com/pjcyra2 to vote on Facebook!
Generic Drugs, Consumers Win in Supreme Court Ruling
This past Monday, the Supreme Court sided with the Federal Trade Commission in a case challenging "pay-for-delay" and other payment agreements that pharmaceutical companies make with rival companies to keep cheaper generic versions of drugs off the market. The Court ruled that regulators can challenge deals between brand-name drug companies and generic rivals that delay cheaper medicines from going on sale, which can increase costs to consumers by billions of dollars. However, the Court's 5-3 vote denied the Federal Trade Commission's request to declare "pay-for-delay" deals illegal. The case centered around drug company Solvay's agreement with four generic companies to suspend sales of the generic versions of Androgel, a gel for men with low testosterone. For more information, read a New York Times article here: http://nyti.ms/19VYRQy.
“Seniors and consumers should celebrate the decision,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “However, while it is great that regulators can challenge these unholy deals to keep generic drugs off the market, it would have been even better if the deals had been ruled illegal altogether.”
ACLU of Indiana Files Suit to Keep Seniors and the Disabled in Their Homes
Last Friday, the ACLU of Indiana filed a suit against the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), saying that changes to the Medicaid Waiver program put Hoosiers “at grave risk of immediate and irreparable harm.” The suit challenges the way in which the agency operates two of its Medicaid waiver programs, the Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver (CIH) and the Aged and Disabled Waiver (A&D). The programs serve thousands of Hoosiers, offering services that enable people to live in their communities even though their disabling conditions would otherwise require that they be institutionalized. To read more on this story, go to http://tinyurl.com/qc7a86r.
“I am glad the ACLU filed this case,” said Elmer Blankenship, President of the Indiana Alliance. “People in Indiana who could and should be living at home are being placed in institutions.”
Did You Know…
The average age at which current U.S. retirees say they actually retired is now 61, up from 59 a decade ago and 57 in the early 1990s. Conversely, 37% of non-retirees expect to retire after age 65, up from 14% in 1995 (http://tinyurl.com/cmzysvf).