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Showing posts from June, 2012

Retiree Leader on Supreme Court Ruling

For Immediate Release                                            Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275
June 28, 2012                                                         

Retiree Leader: Supreme Court Ruling
Victory for Current, Future Retirees

Law Helps Millions of Seniors Afford Doctors, Prescription Drugs

The following statement was issued by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act.

“Today is an historic day for Americans of all ages, an affirmation of a law that helps children, workers, and retirees obtain affordable health care.  Americans can now live more secure, knowing that their health and well-being are no longer tied to the whims and greed of the big insurance companies.

“The law has helped millions of seniors better afford to see a doctor and fill a prescription.  In 2011, over 3.6 million seniors on Medicare saved a total o…

SOAR Helps Knox Seniors Show Their Stuff

Exercise Group To Resume Normal Operations At Knox Community Center By: Ben Published: June 27th, 2012
The exercise group attended the meeting en masse to be heard regarding the council's decision.

Applause filled the room at this week's meeting of the Knox City Council, as they approved a motion to allow an exercise group to resume use of the community center at no charge.

The group had been using the Knox Community Center free of charge since 1998, but were recently asked to move operations to the Girl Scout Cabin in order to avoid paying a fee to use the center. Virginia Wireman-Duncan, the leader of the exercise group, said they felt they should be able to use the center free of charge because they did not charge any of their members any kind of fee in order to exercise with the group.

Councilman Don Kring made a suggestion to allow all no-charge exercise groups to use the center on Mondays and Wednesdays – the days this particular exercise group has met on since 19…

Indiana AFL-CIO Endorses Candidates


For Immediate Release: Monday, June 25, 2012
Media Contact: Jeff Harris, Indiana State AFL-CIO, 317.632.9147

Federation of labor unions endorses candidates that support working families

INDIANAPOLIS — Today the Indiana AFL-CIO, a statewide federation of labor unions representing more than 300,000 active workers, issued the following endorsements of candidates for the 2012 General Election:

Joe Donnelly (D)

John Gregg/ Vi Simpson (D)

Glenda Ritz (D)

Congressional District
01 Pete Visclosky (D) (I)
02 Brendan Mullen (D)
03 Kevin Boyd (D)
04 Tara Nelson (D)
05 Scott Reske (D)
06 Brad Bookout (D)
07 Andre Carson (D)
08 Dave Crooks (D)
09 Shelli Yoder (D)

State Senate District
02 Lonnie Randolph (D) (I)
03 Earline Rogers (D) (I)
07 Brad Thompson (D)
08 Jim Arnold (D) (I)
10 John Broden (D) (I)
12 Jim Ball (D)
16 Tom Keen (D)

Romney - Champion of Outsourcing Jobs

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 6-22-12

‘Name Our Campaign’ – Alliance Summer of Action
Thousands of Alliance members, seniors and allies across the country will mobilize this July 30th, on the 47th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, to warn against drastic cuts discussed in Congress - like the Paul Ryan budget plan, which would threaten the retirement security of future generations. Watch for new reports and materials. In August, the anniversary of Social Security will trigger more events and actions. Please think of a tagline to “Name Our Campaign” for the summer activities! Last summer’s slogan was Senior Summer: Protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The campaign kicks off in early July; you can be the one to name this year’s! Go to and enter by this Sunday. If your slogan is chosen, you will receive a tote bag and tee shirt, as well as a mention in a future Friday Alert, and your slogan will be used in materials throughout the summer!

Evidence of Affordable Care Act Success Comes as Supr…

The Pence Plan for Indiana

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 6-15-12

Romney's Health Plan: Perfect for the Healthy and the Wealthy
As the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law, Mitt Romney laid out a plan on Tuesday in Orlando that would make the health insurance system more like a “consumer market” - leaving it to competition to drive down prices and increase quality. Romney also promised to take federal funds away from Medicaid and other federal benefit programs and give them to state governments, then place the states in charge of covering the uninsured. In addition, the likely Republican presidential nominee said that if the Supreme Court does not overturn the health care law in full, he would work to repeal whatever remains of it on his first day as president by granting a waiver to all 50 states to opt out of the legislation’s restrictions. For more, go to The Washington Post article at

Obama Campaign Spokeswoman Liz Smith warned in a statement that Romney’s plan will…

MIke Pence Blah Blah Yammer Yammer Yammer

Why Obama?

The SOAR Executive Board unanimously endorsed President Barack Obama for reelection and strongly believes he deserves to be re-elected for a second term.  He has earned the right to continue the job he was elected to do in 2008.  He has turned around our economy that was in the midst of a deep recession by focusing his efforts on creating jobs, recommitting our nation to manufacturing and enforcing U.S. trade laws.

President Obama and his Administration have succeeded in regulating Wall Street and passing health care reform. Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies no longer can deny care to those with pre-existing conditions, no longer can drop people when they get sick, and no longer can they place lifetime limits on care.

Because of President Obama’s emphasis on jobs and his administration’s emphasis on enforcing our nation’s trade laws in his first term, our members who work in a wide range of industries including, steel, aluminum, glass and paper making; auto part…

Divide And Conquer

The Attack On The Middle Class,                             Divide And Conquer

The disappointing results of the recall election of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin have revealed the challenges workers and the middle class are faced with. The least of which is not the unbridled, obscene amounts of money corporate interests and billionaires poured into this race, outspending the opponent 8 to 1.

What should be a wake up call for all of us is the statement by Walker that his strategy in stripping state employees of their basic work place democratic rights is based on a divide and conquer approach.

This strategy simply pits one worker against another, based on the premise that one is getting more than the other. Thereby diverting attention to what is really causing both to lose and causing workers to vote against their own best interest.

Putting aside the fact that most of the problems with funding public employee pensions and other state budgetary problems and that our overall economi…

Wisconsin - Not Our Waterloo

If you listened to right-wing commentators after the Walker recall election, you heard about the declining influence of organized labor. This was not our last stand! Unlike Napoleon in the battle of Waterloo, we have not been defeated and exiled never to be heard from again. If anything, we have been reenergized in our fight to prevent the one per centers from destroying our country. As USW International President Leo W. Gerard stated, the defeat was “disappointing, but we’re not done fighting for workers’ rights.”

The two biggest factors in the recall was the huge amount of money spent by the Walker campaign to keep his job, thanks to the “Citizens United” ruling by the Supreme Court and the debate on whether utilizing the recall procedure for anything rather than malfeasance is the proper use of this type of referendum.

This was a perfect example of corporate money drowning out the voices of real people. According to the New York Times, Walker and his Republican allies spent $45.6 m…

Important Notice To All Steel VEBA Participants


Steel Industry Retirees Need to Pay Close Attention to VEBA Enrollment Rules and Consider Their Options

On June 5, 2012, a bankruptcy court in New York approved the creation of a new Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) for steel industry retirees who are eligible for the health care tax credit (HCTC).  This VEBA, which is known as the “Steel Retiree VEBA Trust,” is the creation of three trustees and a San Francisco law firm with no prior connection to the steel industry or its retiree population. 

The USW is concerned that the introduction of this new VEBA and the efforts to sell the VEBA to retiree populations could create risks for some of our retirees.  For that reason, we are sending this message.  To be clear, this new VEBA is not sponsored, affiliated or endorsed by the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

Many of the potentially eligible participants of this new VEBA are either already covered by a USW-negotiated VEBA or a…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert, 6-8-12

Wisconsin Governor Wins Recall Election but Appears to Have Lost State Senate
Governor Scott Walker (R) held onto his office, but appears to have lost the state Senate, after Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall elections. Walker won his own race over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), 53%- 46%, despite union voters’ backing Walker’s recall, 75 percent to 25 percent. If former state Sen. John Lehman’s (D) victory over Walker ally/state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R) holds up, it will give Democrats a one-seat (17-16) majority in the state Senate. With all precincts counted, Lehman holds a 51 percent to 49 percent lead—about 800 votes over Wanggaard. But the incumbent has not conceded and indicated he may seek a recount.

Earlier, last Friday, 11,000 Wisconsin retirees had taken part in an Alliance telephone-town hall to discuss issues important to seniors prior to the elections.

Officials from the Election Protection Coalition reported a number of voters who would have been able to vote in 2010 but weren’t …

What is Alan Simpson Afraid Of?

Alan Simpson, co-author of the Bowles-Simpson plan that has been cited as a starting point for this year’s round of deficit negotiations, has a colorful way of speaking and an axe to grind against our Social Security system. Simpson has been particularly vocal about trying to defend “young people,” so Social Security Works gathered a group of young experts who didn’t see how Simpson’s plan to cut the system would help save it:

For more information, visit

A Warning Sign for Workers and Retirees

Behind Alan Simpson Bluster, A Warning Sign for Workers and Retirees
By Barbara J. Easterling

Behind the shock and awe of Alan Simpson's hate-filled letter to the California chapter of my organization -- he recently wrote that members of the Alliance for Retired Americans were "a wretched group of seniors" and "greedy geezers" -- lies a cautionary tale for workers and retirees: Beware of politicians looking for political cover to cut Social Security.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of Social Security's death have been greatly exaggerated. The little-known truth is that the Social Security Trust Fund has a $2.7 trillion surplus, enough to fully pay all benefits through 2033 and a vast majority through 2086. Mitt Romney and Alan Simpson and others spread these popular myths of gloom and doom to deflect attention away from a major cause of our deficits: unneeded tax breaks for the rich and big corporations.

The December 2010 recommendations of a fiscal commi…

Retirees Medicare Preventive Services

Medicare covers a full range of preventive services to help keep you healthy and help find problems early, when treatment is most effective. Ask your doctor which of these services is right for you.

Those on Medicare can get the following preventive services.

One time "Welcome to Medicare" Preventive Visit within the first 12 months you have Medicare Part B.Yearly "Wellness" Visit - get this visit 12 months after your "Welcome to Medicare" preventive visit or 12 months after your Part B effective date.Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm ScreeningBone Mass Measurement (Bone Density Test)Cardiovascular Screenings (cholesterol, lipids, triglycerides)Colorectal Cancer ScreeningsDiabetes ScreeningDiabetes Self-management TrainingFlu ShotGlaucoma TestHepatitis B ShotHIV ScreeningMammogram (screening for breast cancer)Medical Nutrition Therapy ServicesPap Test and Pelvic Exam (includes a breast exam)Pneumococcal ShotProstate Cancer ScreeningsSmoking Cessation (counseling t…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 6-1-2012

Wisconsin Recall Elections to Take Place on Tuesday
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) is fighting for his political life in the upcoming June 5 recall election, with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) hoping to unseat him. The governor drew widespread ire when he introduced his landmark proposal to curb dramatically the collective bargaining rights of the state’s public employees several months ago. Walker has raised about $31 million since he took office, including a remarkable $5.9 million in the last five weeks. Thousands of Wisconsin Alliance members are expected to join a tele-town hall on behalf of Barrett this afternoon. The call will feature Rep. Gwen Moore, State Senator Lena Taylor, and Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt.

Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R) is also facing a recall election; hers is against Democratic nominee Mahlon Mitchell of Madison, the head of the state firefighters’ union. In addition, control of the state Senate is at stake next week.…