"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
Remember to Vote on November 6th!
Election Day - Tuesday, November 6 - is now just four days away. “I want to thank all of our activists who have been working tirelessly, planning ahead for months,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “Now is not the time to let up. We must decide if we want to elect a President who represents all of us, or just a select few.”
Ms. Easterling continued, “Please make sure to vote this Tuesday if you have not already taken advantage of early voting. We need all hands on deck to make sure that we have the votes of everyone who supports President Barack Obama and other Alliance-endorsed candidates. For everyone – but especially if you live in a swing state like Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Hampshire, or Pennsylvania: we are relying on you. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden deserve to be re-elected, because they will keep Social Security and Medicare from being privatized and turned over to Wall Street and the big insurance companies.”
Ms. Easterling added, “Besides the race for President, key statewide races in states such as Massachusetts, Indiana, Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, and Wisconsin will determine who controls the U.S. Senate. And in the House of Representatives, Republicans look to make their majority more comfortable.”
“In case there are long lines on Tuesday, bring a book, water, a snack, a chair – and your friends and neighbors. Above all else, don’t leave until you’ve made sure that your own vote is counted!” Ms. Easterling concluded.
For a map with Alliance-endorsed candidates, go to http://bit.ly/PoHcY7. For a reminder of what the Paul Ryan budget, endorsed by Mitt Romney, would mean for seniors, Social Security, and Medicare, go to http://bit.ly/PoCA28.
Biden Video Captures the Message
There is now a 2-minute campaign video of Vice President Biden speaking specifically about seniors issues. It contrasts President Obama and Vice President Biden with Mr. Romney and Rep. Ryan on Medicare, Social Security, and other issues. Biden notes that the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan would cost seniors tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. Click here to watch: http://bit.ly/StEqPw.
Voter Protection: The Effect of Hurricane Sandy
With election officials scrambling to prepare polling places pummeled by Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said yesterday that the state would deploy military trucks to serve as makeshift polling places and extend the deadline for requesting mail-in ballots. A spokesman for Guadagno said that voters had until the end of business Thursday to request mail-in ballots, and that they could be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day. The previous deadline had passed last Tuesday. For more information, and details about other states affected by the hurricane, go to http://bit.ly/PrrITk. “Hurricane Sandy was a terrible tragedy,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “Our hearts go out to all who have suffered the loss of loved ones, and to those who have lost their homes. Let’s contain the damage and not let it affect the elections.”
Hurricane Sandy may not be the only obstacle. “If you become aware of any voting intimidation, irregularities or have any problems, please call 1-866-OUR VOTE,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance. “That is the number for the toll-free nationwide Election Protection Hotline, a joint project of a coalition of groups, including the AFL-CIO and the Alliance, promoting voting rights.” If you have a voting problem, you can also ask to speak with the chief election official or a voting rights volunteer at the polls. For more information on voter protection, please visit http://bit.ly/R0DftK. The site includes information on how new voter identification laws apply to you and your state.
Kaiser Study Gives Clues to what is on Voters’ Minds
The Kaiser Family Foundation's October Health Tracking Poll (http://bit.ly/YmlYeM) finds, one week before the presidential election, the economy remains the primary concern on voters' minds nationally, but health policy issues are also in the mix. The Kaiser Foundation is a health-care policy group based in California.
The study estimated that a Medicare plan similar to Mr. Romney's proposal would likely result in higher premiums for 59% of Medicare beneficiaries. It found that for Democratic voters, Medicare (43%), Medicaid (43%), and the Affordable Care Act (41%) all share the top spot as the most important issue, along with the economy.
The economy is the winner (67%) for Republican voters, with the most important health issue, the Affordable Care Act (49%), ranking third behind the deficit (58%).
On Medicare, senior voters are the most likely to oppose switching to vouchers: 72 percent prefer keeping Medicare as is, compared to 58 percent of likely voters under 65. “That makes sense, since the Congressional Budget Office projects that new beneficiaries could pay more than $5,900 more per year in out-of-pocket costs by 2050 if we go to vouchers,” said Mr. Coyle.
Florida Alliance Goes International
In Tampa yesterday, Florida Alliance members took part in a discussion with eleven international journalists participating in the East-West Center's upcoming 2012 U.S. Presidential Election Reporting Seminar. The East-West Center, headquartered in Honolulu, promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the U.S., Asia, and the Pacific. FLARA guests included State President Tony Fransetta, Barbara Phillipi, Tony Kiwak, Tom Snover, Bob Wagner, Georgina Wagner, Ray Davis, Carolyn Davis, David Bernstein, and Marilyn Warner.
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