September 17, 2010

New York Times Spotlights Perils for Older Workers if Retirement Age Increased

This week the New York Times ran a powerful portrait of life on the job for many older Americans, showing just how devastating a retirement age increase would be for millions of workers. Against a backdrop of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) pledging that a Republican-led Congress would increase the age to 70, the Times told the stories of several workers – an airline baggage handler, a nursing assistant, and a tire maker – including one who noted that at work, “dessert with lunch is ibuprofen.”  A recent study by the Center for Economic Policy Research found that one in three workers over age 58 works a physically demanding job.

Alliance members have a chance to prevent this nightmare for older workers.  Please click hereto urge your elected officials to support two efforts in Congress to save Social Security for current and future retirees.  The first is a resolution by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) to oppose an increase in the retirement age, and the second is a letter from Representative Grijalva toPresident Obama opposing any cuts in benefits or any form of privatization that would turn Social Security over to Wall Street.

Health Law Has New Benefits for Seniors, Young Adults

Recognizing the difficulty many young workers are having in affording their own insurance, the new health reform law will now allow those up to age 26 to stay on their parent’s health insurance programs. More information here.

“Please encourage your family and neighbors to learn more about these exciting new benefits,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling, who added that “for retirees the new law will help them better afford to fill a prescription, see a doctor, and obtain free life-saving tests and screenings for many diseases.”  Over one million seniors in the Medicare Part D “donut hole” coverage gap have already received $250 checks to offset this hardship. For more information on benefits for retirees, see Alliance fact sheets on the web.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) told the Cincinnati Enquirer this week that one of his goals if he were to become Speaker would be to deny the Obama administration the funding to implement the new health law’s benefits.  “They’ll get not one dime from us.  Not a dime.” Boehner told the paper.

ONE NATION – Join the March on October 2nd

On Saturday, October 2 join the ONE NATION Working Together March in Washington D.C. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the entire country will march as a united front. Retirees and working people alike will board buses with their unions or progressive organizations to march at this critical time in history. They will march for jobs, justice, and education. They will march for an economy that works for all.  They will march for a nation in which each person who wants to work can find a job that pays enough to support a family. They will march to create a million new jobs right away, and to encourage decisive action that will get us out of the Great Recession. For more information, click here.

Alliance This Week: Ohio, California, New Hampshire, Washington DC
Ohio Alliance members held their annual convention this week, discussing Social Security and health reform and re-electing officers David Freisner, Sam Burnett, and Sally Steagall.  Alliance president Barbara Easterling spoke to a leadership conference of the California School Employee Association, saying that the November 2 elections are a true crossroads for the future of retirement in America.

New Hampshire Alliance members today join Governor John Lynch as he signs a bill into law that will help Granite State residents better afford hearing aids.  Also this week, Alliance Executive Director Edward F. Coyle spoke at a Capitol Hill protest against a group of self-described “Young Guns” in Congress who want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Remembering Emil Shaw…

Emil Shaw, the former president of the New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans and lifelong activist, passed away last Sunday, September 12th at the age of 81. His wife, Rose, family and many friends were at his side.

Emil was a Holocaust survivor who escaped Nazi Austria at age nine with his parents, one of whom was an American citizen. He and Rose taught in New York City public schools for 30 years before relocating to New Mexico for retirement. This month, Rose and Emil celebrated 60 years of marriage. Emil was a leader in Albuquerque’s peace and justice community, as well as labor and leftist movements. More here.

A memorial service & celebration of Emil Shaw’s life was held yesterday at Congregation Nahalat Shalom in Albuquerque. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to your favorite charity, social justice organization or to Peoplesworld.org.

Did You Know…

Of the CEOs of the 50 U.S. firms that slashed the most jobs between November 2008 and April 2010, Fred Hassan of the drug company Schering-Plough made the most money in 2009: $49.7 million. The figures used in the calculation include the 16,000 layoffs resulting from the merger between Schering-Plough and Merck (Huffington Post).

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