July 15, 2011

Cantor Obstructionism Imperils Finding a Debt Ceiling Solution

With little more than two weeks to go before a possible government default, congressional leaders are sounding out their members this weekend over a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling while cutting the overall debt by some $2 trillion over ten years -- or look for an unorthodox legislative approach.

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July 08, 2011

Debt Ceiling Talks Focus on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Cuts

President Obama is pressing congressional leaders “to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue,” The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

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July 01, 2011

Top Democrats Reject Coburn-Lieberman Plan to Cut Medicare

According to The Washington Post, leading congressional Democrats “immediately recoiled” Tuesday from a new proposal to cut $600 billion in Medicare spending over the next decade — in part by raising the eligibility age. Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) unveiled the proposal as part of a bipartisan effort to produce the kind of savings necessary to achieve the $2 trillion in debt reduction both parties say is needed to convince lawmakers to vote to raise the debt ceiling.

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June 24, 2011

Following AARP Story, GOP Has New Ammunition in Goal of Cutting Social Security

According to Politico, the seniors lobby AARP is in “damage-control mode” following a news report last Friday in The Wall Street Journal that the group is open to cuts to Social Security benefits. A nationwide tour by AARP soliciting feedback from their members and seniors about what Social Security reforms the group should propose is now on hold until after the current round of deficit talks in Washington passes, according to David Certner, AARP’s Legislative Director.

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June 17, 2011

Coyle Stresses Disagreement with AARP Regarding Social Security Benefit Cuts

A story ran in The Wall Street Journal today stating that AARP supports cutting Social Security benefits. “AARP does not speak for all seniors.  And on this topic probably not for many of their own members,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance. “There is no ambiguity on where the Alliance for Retired Americans stands on Social Security - never has been, never will be. We are against Social Security benefit cuts for seniors,” he continued.

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June 10, 2011

It’s Back… Social Security Privatization Bill Introduced on Capitol Hill

A bad idea that just won’t go away, Social Security privatization is once again back in the public debate with the recent introduction of a bill in Congress to create private savings plans in lieu of Social Security.  The legislation, H.R. 2109, was introduced by Rep. Pete Sessions (TX), who also serves as head of the House Republican campaign committee.  The bill has been co-sponsored by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Dan Burton (IN), Randy Neugebauer (TX), Lamar Smith (TX), Lee Terry (NE) and Jeb Hensarling (TX), all Republicans.

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June 03, 2011

2010 Alliance Voting Record, Compiling Key Congressional Votes, is Now Available

On Tuesday, the Alliance released its 2010 Congressional Voting Record, detailing the votes of every U.S. Senator and Representative on key issues affecting current and future retirees. The document is available at http://bit.ly/kpet7N. “At a time when Congress has been debating the future of Social Security and Medicare, it is more important than ever that people of all ages know the issues and how their elected officials voted,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling. The voting record examines ten key Senate votes and ten key House votes from 2010, giving the roll calls on issues such as strengthening Medicare, help for Social Security recipients, and protecting older Americans from consumer and lending fraud. According to the Voting Record, 183 U.S. House Members achieved perfect scores of 100% in 2010, while 83 members of the House received scores of zero. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the architect of the GOP’s plan to privatize Medicare and cut Social Security, was one of the House members receiving a grade of zero. Twenty-two members of the U.S. Senate received perfect scores of 100%, while 16 Senators received scores of zero.

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May 27, 2011

Republicans Gamble with Medicare, Lose Big

The GOP’s desire to privatize Medicare and turn it into voucher program has not only hit a speed bump, it has completely backfired.  Their proposal, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), passed the House on April 15, but is becoming increasingly unpopular amongst a wide array of voters.  After weeks of angry town hall meetings, this week saw two specific political consequences of the wildly unpopular plan.  First, Democrat Kathy Hochul, who was outspoken in her opposition to the plan, won a special election to fill a vacant congressional seat in upstate New York.  Hochul’s victory would have been hard to predict months ago, as it is one the most conservative House districts in the state and is a seat the Republicans had held for 40 years.  Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by 30,000 in the district.  Many political analysts viewed the race as referendum on the Ryan Medicare plan.

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May 20, 2011

Nevada Activists Say Fund Medicare Fully, Rather Than Subsidizing Oil Companies

Senate Republicans did not help their relationship with seniors and working Americans this week when they voted to keep $4 billion per year in subsidies for oil companies while supporting a budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it. Even with polls showing a majority of Americans wanting to keep Medicare intact, Senate Republicans voted to keep the oil subsidies after they had previously embraced an agenda to turn Medicare into a voucher system. The nation’s five largest oil companies made nearly $1 trillion in profits in the past decade, and profits are soaring even more with gas prices hovering today around $4 a gallon.

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May 13, 2011

Grassroots Pressure Influences the Medicare Debate

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the GOP has been on defense with older voters since Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget plan passed the House on April 15 with the support of all but four Republicans. “Since then,” the article reads, “Republicans have faced scathing criticism in public settings from seniors on both sides of the aisle, who say they have deep concerns about turning Medicare into a program where the government subsidizes future retirees through vouchers and private insurance.”

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