Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) announced on Tuesday that she will not seek re-election and will instead retire after over 30 years in Congress. The announcement came as a surprise to many, especially since she was heavily favored to win re-election. She cited unproductivity and polarization in Washington as the main reasons for her sudden retirement.
"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
The Alliance’s friends at American Rights at Work remind us that even in 2012, millions of workers are without minimum wage protections. More shocking is that 2.5 million of these unprotected workers are those who provide critical care to seniors and the disabled in their homes.
President Obama released his FY 2013 budget on Monday. While his administration does not propose changes to Social Security, there are several Medicare proposals which could cause beneficiaries to pay increased out-of-pocket expenses over time. One proposal would increase the number and share of beneficiaries who pay a higher, income-related premium.
On Monday, the White House’s Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, held a “Tweet-up” and conference call for seniors with Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Do you want to know more about the Affordable Care Act and dispel the myths about it? Want to ask administration officials about strengthening Social Security and Medicare for you, your kids and grandkids?
President Obama delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, and the Alliance issued a press release contrasting his ideas with the Republican response offered by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.
A million signatures were turned in on Tuesday to begin the formal process of forcing a recall election for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R). The petitions delivered to the Government Accountability Board arrived on a truck and weighed over 3000 pounds.
Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire Republican primary Tuesday with 39.3% of the vote, finishing well ahead of runners-up Ron Paul (22.8%) and Jon Huntsman (16.9%). Two days later, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans members gathered in West Palm Beach to draw a distinction between themselves and “Fat Cat Mitt Romney Supporters,” who were attending a high-end Romney fundraiser at the home of Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross.
According to the Rasmussen Reports company, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), coming off his photo finish with Mitt Romney in the Republican Iowa caucus, is now in second place nationally among Republican voters in the race for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination.
The congressional deadlock over extending payroll tax cuts – sparked by a revolt of House Tea Party Republicans – will hurt seniors on Medicare unless a resolution is reached quickly. Seniors with incomes below $15,000 per year are at risk of losing access to critical medical services through the Qualified Individual (QI) program. The program, which is set to expire on December 31, pays for Medicare Part B premiums that cover physician and other outpatient services, as well as the low income subsidy for Part D prescription drug coverage. The QI benefit represents an average savings of $5,199 per year for these low-income seniors. Without an extension of the program by Congress, states would have the right to terminate benefits on January 1.
Also caught in the crossfire are reimbursements to nearly 650,000 doctors who care for Medicare patients. According to the Associated Press, Medicare sent an alert to doctors to say that they will hold up paying claims for the first 10 business days of the new year, but without congressional action it would then be forced to implement a 27.4 percent cut in reimbursement rates, which may prompt physicians to refuse to see Medicare patients.