Press Releases

March 04, 2010

Press Release: 2009 Retiree Voting Record Focuses on Health Care, Medicare, and Economics

For Immediate Release

Seniors Fight Uphill Battle to Maintain Standard of Living
Washington, DC – To mark Older Americans Month, the Alliance for Retired Americans today released a new report detailing the voting record of every U.S. Senator and Representative on key issues affecting current and future retirees.  The document is available at https://retiredamericans.org/voting-record/.

“The 2009 voting record showed a continuation of support for seniors in America, despite a tough economy,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling.

“Higher scores show a commitment to improve health care, strengthen Medicare, and put seniors ahead of drug and insurance companies,” Easterling said.

The Alliance voting record examines 10 key Senate votes and 10 key House votes in 2009, showing the roll calls on issues such as helping pre-Medicare retirees afford health care, as well as Medicare-covered preventive screenings for seniors.  Several votes addressed national spending on health care, including historic votes on epic health care reform that extended the financial wellbeing of the Medicare Trust Fund.

According to the Alliance, 183 U.S. House members achieved perfect scores of 100 percent in 2009.  One hundred and eighty-five received failing grades (60 percent or lower), with 16 receiving scores of zero.

Of the House members appointed to the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2010, Reps. John Spratt (D-SC) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) scored 100% with the Alliance; Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) scored 90%; Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) scored 10%, and Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) scored 0%.  The panel is considering major changes that would affect the financial future of Social Security and Medicare.

Fifteen members of the U.S. Senate achieved perfect scores of 100 percent in 2009, while 43 received failing grades of 60 percent or lower.  Both Senators from Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar (D) and Al Franken (D), received perfect scores in 2009.  The same was true for both of the Vermont Senators, Patrick Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I).  However, all of the Senators from the states of Georgia, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming scored zero:  Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Robert Bennett (R-UT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and John Barrasso (R-WY).   Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has the lowest current lifetime Senate score with the Alliance, 1%.

“This voting record measures how committed our elected officials are to retirees and seniors.  I encourage everyone to monitor how their leaders vote.  With so much at stake, we must be as educated and active as we can be,” Easterling said.
Contact:   David Blank (202) 637-5275 or dblank@retiredamericans.org

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