February 22, 2013

Alliance Lobby Week Comes Just Days Before Sequester Cuts are Set to Kick In

Alliance members scheduled more than 70 district meetings with their elected officials for this week’s President’s Day Lobby Week. The appointments came as the Senate is set to vote next week - right after the Congressional recess ends -  on a plan to stop the March 1 sequester (automatic budget cuts) without harming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

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February 15, 2013

State of the Union Speech Mentions Key Alliance Issues

President Barack Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, and he featured seniors in his remarks several times. “We are pleased that the President supported reducing taxpayer subsidies for prescription drug companies during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night. That is an example of a Medicare change that makes sense,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance.

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February 08, 2013

In Group Letter, Alliance State Presidents Urge President Obama to Protect Seniors

Congressional Republicans are taking the economy hostage again — threatening to blow it up unless vital services for seniors are cut.  On Thursday, President Obama warned that Republicans would seek to replace the sequester (automatic cuts currently scheduled to take effect) with cuts to programs such as Social Security and Medicare, while refusing to raise new tax revenue.

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February 01, 2013

Americans Willing to Pay More in Taxes if it means Keeping Social Security Benefits

Americans support Social Security and are willing to pay more to preserve and even improve benefits, according to a new survey released on Thursday by the nonpartisan National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). The study, Strengthening Social Security: What Do Americans Want?, finds a sharp contrast between what Americans say they want and changes being discussed in Washington, such as cutting benefits by using a “chained” Consumer Price Index to determine Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

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January 25, 2013

Obama Inaugural Address Includes Support for Protecting Social Security, Medicare

President Barack Obama kicked off his second term on Monday, and his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol was filled with pomp and pageantry. The traditional celebrations came a day after he was sworn in on Sunday, on the constitutionally-required date, in a low-key ceremony at the White House.

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January 18, 2013

Debt Ceiling Endgame Becomes a Little Clearer

On Tuesday, The Washington Post addressed how the federal budget negotiations might play out during the next several weeks. The various scenarios have direct implications regarding whether Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are in immediate danger of being cut drastically.

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January 11, 2013

Republicans Say they are Willing to Shut Down the Government in March

White House officials are eyeing a return to elements of a “grand bargain” they tried to reach late last year with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in order to defuse a fresh threat to the U.S. economy in just two months, according to The Washington Post and sources familiar with the discussions.

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January 04, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Deal is Reached, Seniors Dodge Budget Cuts – For Now

The U.S. House of Representative voted 257-167 on Tuesday night to let income taxes on the wealthy rise sharply for the first time in two decades, fulfilling President Obama’s promise to raise taxes on the rich and avoiding the worst effects of the “fiscal cliff.”

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December 21, 2012

Social Security COLA Cut on Table in “Fiscal Cliff” Talks

While negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner remain stalled, disturbing media reports indicate an option on the table changing the federal statistical formula used to calculate Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). “This would lower Social Security benefits for millions of seniors. Social Security did not cause our federal deficit, and retirees should not pay the price for more tax breaks for millionaires,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling.

Known in policy circles as the “chained CPI,” the policy change would mean that an average earner retiring in 2011 at age 65 would lose over $6,000 over 15 years.  The change assumes that a lower COLA is acceptable because consumers could substitute cheaper products when prices go up.  Health care costs, however, consume a large amount of seniors’ income.  These costs cannot simply be substituted with a cheaper version. For example, a senior cannot save money by opting for a double bypass surgery instead of a triple bypass.  Share an Alliance fact sheet on the “chained  CPI” – http://bit.ly/Zm31wV.

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December 14, 2012

A Sign of Hope that the Medicare Eligibility Age will not Rise

One of President Barack Obama's top Senate allies says he's been assured by the White House that the President won't yield to GOP demands to increase the eligibility age for Medicare. AP reports that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the revelation to reporters on Thursday, after a Capitol Hill news conference.

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