"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
GOP Convention Forces Mitt Romney Onto Same Stage as Unpopular Florida Gov. Rick Scott
August 07, 2012
On the Upside: Two GOP Leaders Have Rare Opportunity to Compare Notes on How Their Health Care Companies Systematically Defrauded Medicare at the Expense of Seniors, Taxpayers
For Immediate Release
August 7, 2012
Washington, DC – Try as he might, Mitt Romney will no longer be able to avoid one of the nation’s least popular governors when the GOP gathers in Tampa in a few weeks. The Republican National Committee announced Monday that Florida Gov. Rick Scott will give a speech at the convention before Romney is crowned as the party’s presidential nominee. This will break Romney’s streak of 54 consecutive public appearances in Florida without a trace of Scott. But it isn’t all bad news for Romney, the leader of the Republican Party.
“Rick Scott and Mitt Romney both made personal fortunes defrauding Medicare and exploiting people for personal gain, so it’s fitting that they’ll share the national spotlight and remind America what the Republican Party is all about,” said Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now. “First they stole from Medicare and now they want to get rid of it and leave seniors high and dry. When they’re backstage, maybe they can compare notes on the best ways to deny people needed care to pay for tax breaks for the super-rich.”
“Social Security is going to be their next target,” said Edward Coyle, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Mitt Romney will raise the retirement age and make seniors wait years longer to collect their Social Security benefits. Then retirees will have neither health care nor rent money, and the Scott-Romney team can really celebrate.”
Romney and Scott each served at the highest levels of private companies that padded corporate profits with millions from methodical Medicare fraud. Federal prosecutors finally had to step in to stop the lying and cheating at both companies.
During his tenure as CEO of private equity firm Bain Capital, Romney sat on the board of Damon Corp., a diagnostic testing company, while it cheated Medicare out of millions for unnecessary tests. Damon eventually pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud and paid $119 million in civil and criminal fines. The U.S. attorney later said it was a case of “corporate greed run amok.” Romney personally earned $473,000 in director’s compensation from Damon during the time of the fraud. Bain, which specialized in buying troubled companies, turning them around, and then selling them for a profit, tripled its investment by selling Damon to a company that closed a key Massachusetts facility and laid off 115 people.
Scott was CEO of hospital giant Columbia/HCA for 10 years before a federal Medicare fraud investigation cost him his job and resulted in one of the biggest fraud fines in U.S. history. Columbia/HCA eventually pleaded guilty to multiple counts of Medicare fraud and paid more than $1.7 billion in civil and criminal penalties, but Scott managed to walk away with a golden parachute that left him rich enough to finance his extremist political career.
“Romney and Scott have a lot in common: Each got rich by subjecting vulnerable seniors to taxpayer-funded mistreatment and waste, and now each supports a GOP budget that would end Medicare as we know it and shred the Medicaid safety net for seniors and the middle class,” said Rome.
“Maybe the theme of the Republican convention should be, ‘Seniors, you’re on your own,’” said Coyle. “If Romney and the Republicans have their way, they’ll gut Social Security and take away Medicare and Medicaid and every other protection America’s seniors have earned.”
Contacts: David Blank, 202/637-5275 or email@example.com
Avram Goldstein 202/744-1925 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Care for America Now is the nation’s leading grassroots health care coalition and led the fight to win health reform. HCAN works to promote the Affordable Care Act, protect Medicare andMedicaid, and keep Congress from being steamrolled by corporate special interests.
The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national organization that advocates for the rights and well being of more than 4 million retirees and their families.
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