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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May 06, 2011

May is Older Americans Month

Honoring the contributions of older Americans across the nation, President Obama proclaimed the Older Americans Month theme this year is “Connecting the Community.” The President acknowledges how social media and new technology allow seniors to remain actively engaged in their communities and connected to their far-away friends and families well into their later years. The proclamation also relates to seniors’ health care.

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April 29, 2011

In More Than 50 Cities, Activists Say, "Don't Make Us Work 'Til We Die!"

This week, the Alliance, in coordination with the Strengthen Social Security Campaign and other groups, held events in more than 50 cities to counter Rep. Paul Ryan’s Republican budget, which passed in the House two weeks ago. The budget included painful changes that would deeply affect seniors, such as privatization of Medicare - turning care over to insurance companies; reducing Medicaid benefits by $1.4 trillion; and raising the retirement age, forcing people to work much too late into their lives.

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April 21, 2011

Alliance Members Tell Congress, "Don't Make Us Work 'Til We Die!"

The Alliance is teaming with “Strengthen Social Security” and other groups with rallies, advertisements, and grassroots lobbying campaigns to defend Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from the proposed cuts. Retirees across the country will be showing the effects of what diminishing retirement security legislation means to “real people” by dressing up in work clothes and demonstrating what it means to “Work ’Til We Die.”

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April 15, 2011

Alliance Reacts to President Obama's Plan to Reduce the National Deficit

On Wednesday, President Obama gave a speech outlining his plan for reducing the national deficit by $4 trillion before 2023. The President’s framework rejects plans that would “end Medicare as we know it” or transform Medicaid into a dramatically underfunded block grant.

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April 08, 2011

Republican Budget Would Drastically Alter Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security

On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a proposal to cut more than $4 trillion in federal spending over the next decade through drastic changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Ryan’s plan privatizes Medicare, turning it over to health insurance companies. Seniors who currently rely on the federal government for Medicare benefits would be given coupons for a fixed dollar amount, and then forced to fend for themselves in the private health insurance market.

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