President Obama’s State of the Union address avoided mention of some policies that would prove damaging to retirees, such as the chained CPI cut to earned Social Security benefits or other cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
"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
This week, U.S. Supreme Court heard Harris vs. Quinn, a case concerning in-home care providers who work with Medicaid patients, and their right to unionize. In response to high turnover rates and low wages amongst home care providers, 20,000 individuals in Illinois voted to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), securing higher union wages in negotiations with the state.
Negotiations to extend emergency benefits for the long-term jobless came to a standstill in the Senate on Tuesday. That leaves more than 1.4 million people without federal unemployment aid at least until late January, when lawmakers are likely to resume consideration of the legislation.
Huffington Post reports that sequestration's budget cuts last year have left thousands of families in the cold this winter. Congress cut funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program by about $155 million, and total funding has decreased from $5.1 billion to $3.32 billion since 2010.
This Tuesday, the Senate voted to end debate on a two-year budget deal and put it up for final passage. On Wednesday, the deal passed the Senate in a 64-36 vote. The bill sets spending levels for 2014 and 2015 and reduces sequester spending cuts by $63 billion over the next two years. The agreement heeds our calls against cuts to our Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; however, it missed a key opportunity to close tax loopholes that corporations and wealthy individuals use to escape paying their fair share of taxes, in many cases any taxes at all.
On Thursday, the House voted 332-94 to approve a two-year budget deal crafted by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The legislation won the support of 169 Republicans as well as 163 Democrats, and now heads to the Senate, where it is likely to pass next week.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) are only a few billion dollars in budgetary savings away from a deal that would set spending levels and blunt the impact of across-the-board spending cuts for the next two years, according to Politico and its sources.
You have heard of Black Friday and maybe even Cyber Monday. We’d like to introduce you to GivingTuesday, a relatively new and growing holiday tradition that takes place next Tuesday, December 3rd. After feasting, football, and shopping, you can make giving back part of your family's celebrations by participating in GivingTuesday with the Alliance for Retired Americans.
Richard Fiesta has been named the Alliance for Retired Americans’ new executive director, succeeding Edward F. Coyle, who has managed and grown the 4 million-member grassroots advocacy organization since its 2001 founding.
The Alliance continued holding events with coalition partners around Veterans Day this week, drawing attention to the fact that veterans’ benefits would be cut in multiple ways if the chained CPI cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) formula were to be adopted.