According to a new study in the journal Health Affairs, states would save money by accepting the Medicaid expansion in President Obama's health care law. The study finds that fourteen of the states that have rejected the expansion will spend a combined $1 billion more on uncompensated care, and give up $8.4 billion in payments from the federal government. In addition, 3.6 million Americans who would have received coverage in the expansion will remain uninsured.
"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 Social Security and Medicare Trustees issued their annual reports on the state of the two programs’ finances today. Social Security, according to its Trustees, has a $2.7 trillion surplus, enough to fully meet the demands of a growing retiree cohort through 2033 – the same as last year. With no action from Congress, it would cover most benefits through 2087. The Trustees report for Medicare noted that its Trust Fund, which covers hospital care, can fully pay benefits through 2026 – two years later than forecast last year. The Medicare trustees report shows reduced cost growth; this is further proof in many experts’ eyes that health care reform is working for seniors.
On Monday, the Alliance released its annual report detailing the voting record of every U.S. Senator and Representative on key issues affecting current and future retirees.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) recently introduced the Strengthen Social Security Act, S.567. Instead of offering a cold, calculated benefit cut like the chained CPI, this bill would actually increase Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA’s) by an average of $800!
On Wednesday, over a hundred Alliance activists joined with several leading members of the U.S. Senate and House for an energetic press event on Capitol Hill. The event was headlined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and also featured remarks by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Al Franken (D-MN); as well as Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and David Cicilline (D-RI).
May is Older Americans Month, when communities around the country come together to honor seniors. In the proclamation issued by the White House, President Obama notes the contributions retirees make to the country through volunteer programs such as Senior Corps. You can read the proclamation at http://tinyurl.com/cgsrorp.
This week, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives expressing clear opposition to using the chained CPI method to calculate cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for Social Security benefits. In light of recent budget proposals that include chained CPI, it is crucial that Rep. Cicilline’s resolution receives a high level of support.
The Alliance joined the broad Strengthen Social Security coalition Tuesday at the White House to deliver 2.3 million petitions against the proposal to change the Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) to the chained CPI formula, which would cut benefits for current and future beneficiaries. President Obama’s budget released Wednesday outlines over $4 trillion in deficit reduction, but headlines centered around his first-ever proposal to cut Social Security. Tuesday’s action was widely covered in the media. Tens of millions of workers, seniors and disabled veterans were represented. Their message: “We must not balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, disabled vets, the sick, the women or the children.” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), headlining Tuesday’s event, said, “When one out of four major profitable corporations pays nothing in federal income taxes, we know how we can deal with deficit reduction in a way that is fair.” Videos from the press conference and rally can be viewed here http://bit.ly/ZKr1Lh.
Press reports indicate that President Obama will include cuts to Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs) and Medicare in his budget proposal next Wednesday http://nyti.ms/14T0YSY. The President will reportedly propose the use of the chained CPI to calculate cost of living adjustments (COLAs) if it is linked to taxes on the wealthy and infrastructure investments.