Fact Sheets and Position Papers
One in four people over the age of 65 report not taking at least one prescription drug as prescribed due to its cost. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical corporations are making record profits, lining the pockets of their executives and shareholders while patients struggle to afford the drugs they need to stay healthy.
To help reverse the pharmaceutical industry’s stranglehold on our health care system, on August 16, 2022 President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. It means lower prescription drug prices for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.
Americans pay the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world. Older and retired Americans,
who take the most medications to stay healthy and often live on fixed incomes, bear the brunt of
this crisis. According to a March 29, 2021 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in 2020 Americans paid two to four times more for 20 brand-named drugs than people in Canada, France and Australia.
The Alliance supports several proposed solutions to address this, including Medicare drug price negotiation and capping out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000.
To continue to provide retirement security for current and future generations, it is time to strengthen and expand Social Security and increase benefits. Many members of Congress recognize the need for action and are proposing legislation that will ensure the Social Security system remains strong and Americans receive the benefits they have earned.
The labor movement has been, and continues to be, the leading force in the fight to strengthen Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, ensuring a measure of retirement security for all Americans. Our country, our democracy and our people benefit when workers have a strong voice at work and are able to join together to build a more secure future for their families and their communities.
To strengthen workers’ voices on the job, Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, H.R. 842 and S. 420. H.R. 842 passed the House on March 9, 2021.
This would pave the way for Social Security and Medicare cuts, creating “Rescue Committees” with the authority to recommend changes to the Social Security, Medicare and Highway Trust Funds. There would be no limits to what they can propose, including benefit cuts for current and future retirees.
The average monthly Social Security benefit and cost-of-living adjustments haven’t kept pace with the rising costs that seniors face. Plus, many spouses and widow(er)s are negatively affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
To address these problems, Representative John Larson (D-CT) and Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Chris Van Hollen (MD) introduced H.R. 5723 and S. 3071, the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust Act.
Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provisions claw back the Social Security benefits of workers or their spouse or widow(er) if they worked for a period of time in jobs not covered by Social Security.
To address this problem, Senators Sherrod Brown (OH) and Susan Collins (ME) and Representatives Rodney Davis (IL) and Abigail Spanberger (VA) introduced the Social Security Fairness Act (S. 1302 and H.R. 82), which would repeal WEP and GPO.
Our fact sheet has the latest figures for 2022.
During 2020, 158.4 million Americans, or 66% of registered voters — a record number — voted in the Presidential election. The election also saw record vote by mail numbers, with 46% of voters casting their ballots by mail, up from 25% in the 2016 election. However, in the aftermath of the 2020 elections, state legislatures around the country are proposing legislation that would make it more difficult to cast a ballot.
Forty-nine state legislatures have introduced over 440 bills to restrict voting access in a number of ways including limits to voting by mail, increased voter ID requirements, elimination of drop boxes to return mail ballots and restrictions to in-person early voting, while at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting.