"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, 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
Aging Baby Boomers Expected to Almost Double Nation’s Senior Population
May 09, 2014
Two newly released reports from the U.S. Census Bureau project that the 65-and-older population in the United States will nearly double by 2050. That segment of the population is expected to jump from 43.1 million in 2012 to 83.7 million in 2050. The majority of the growth is projected to occur between 2012 and 2030, as baby boomers hit retirement age. In addition, the older population is expected to include increasing levels of racial and ethnic diversity: the 65-and-older population expected to be 39% percent minority by 2050, up from 20.7% in 2012. The first of the baby boomers turned 65 in 2011.
According to the Census Bureau, the growing 65-and-older population should lead to continued growth in health care related industries and will have implications for businesses and policy makers as they adjust to the nation’s changing demographics. “These projections highlight the importance of protecting Medicare and expanding Social Security, so all of these new seniors will be able to enjoy a more dignified, secure retirement,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. To read more about the reports, go to http://1.usa.gov/1niTUZ3.
Age Divide among Voters is Especially Pronounced in North Carolina
With control of the U.S. Senate potentially hanging in the balance, incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) has a difficult fight ahead this year to hang on to her seat. North Carolina has one of sharpest divides in the country between older, conservative voters and younger, more liberal voters. While incumbents tend to win in states like North Carolina that are competitive during presidential elections, turnout among older voters tends to far outpace that of younger voters during mid-term elections. As a result, Sen. Hagan’s chances may hinge on broadening her appeal beyond her young base as she faces Thom Tillis, who won the Republican primary this week.
“Since the youth vote tends to drop in midterm elections, it’s particularly important for seniors to turn out this year to support pro-retiree candidates as we work to stop the House-passed Paul Ryan budget in the Senate and expand Social Security,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director for the Alliance. Read the full New York Times article about North Carolina at http://nyti.ms/1jF1f1Z.
Letter to U.S. Trade Representative Voices Concerns over Trans-Pacific Partnership
The Alliance joined 10 other organizations in submitting a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman expressing concerns about prescription drug and intellectual property provisions of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive proposed trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Like many trade deals, the TPP was drafted in a process involving little public transparency. The letter argues that proposed provisions of the agreement involving prescription drugs and patent standards would negatively impact Medicare and ultimately hurt consumers in terms of drug affordability and safety. For the full letter, go to http://www.cbpp.org/files/tpp_4_30_14.pdf.
Hospital Readmission is more likely if Patient is Unmarried, from High–Poverty Area
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program has focused attention on ways to reduce thirty-day readmissions as well as factors affecting hospital readmission risk. Using inpatient data from an urban teaching hospital, researchers examined how elements of individual characteristics and neighborhood socioeconomic status influenced the likelihood of readmission. Patients living in high-poverty neighborhoods were 24 percent more likely than others to be readmitted, after adjusting for demographic characteristics and clinical conditions. Married patients were at significantly reduced risk of readmission, which suggests that they had more social support than unmarried patients. To read the full report from the journal Health Affairs, go to http://tinyurl.com/mecl69e.
Deciding When to Take Social Security Benefits? Attend a NASI Webinar on May 14th
This coming Wednesday, May 14th from 1pm to 2pm EDT, the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) will be cohosting a free webinar on Social Security and decisions about when to start collecting benefits. The presentation will also include focused information for widowed spouses, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans. NASI is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing factual information about social insurance programs including Social Security and Medicare. The webinar will be co-hosted by the National Women’s Law Center, the National Urban League, and the National Council of La Raza. To register, go to http://tinyurl.com/kagg3ej.
The Alliance Remembers Joyce Hermanstorfer
The Alliance fondly remembers Iowa Alliance member Joyce Hermanstorfer, who passed away last Friday at the age of 71. A native of Ottumwa, Iowa, Joyce was an original member of the Iowa Alliance and went on to serve as a regional board member. A kind spirit with a big heart, Joyce was devoted to helping others. In addition to her activism with the Alliance, she was President of CWA Eastern Iowa Retiree Members' Chapter 70901 and worked closely with the Hawkeye Labor Council and the Special Olympics.
Click the link below for a photo of Joyce in action. She is in the center left, wearing a red sweater.
Victorious Kentucky Derby Trainer, 77, is Oldest Winner Ever
Art Sherman, 77, became the oldest trainer ever to win the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Sherman promises that he'll be back on the job early next week at his small southern California stable, helping his son groom other prospects before looking ahead to California Chrome's next challenge in two weeks at the Preakness. See his story in USA Today at http://tinyurl.com/mycn3ar.
“Art Sherman’s work with his horse, California Chrome, just goes to show that active seniors can accomplish amazing things,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.
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