On Thursday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the liberal wing of the Supreme Court to save the heart of President Obama’s landmark health care law, agreeing that the requirement for nearly all Americans to secure health insurance is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority.
The court modified another key provision of the law, however, ruling that the federal government cannot withdraw existing Medicaid funding from states that decide not to participate in a broad expansion of Medicaid eligibility.
“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,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance. “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.”
Coyle continued, “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 of $2.1 billion on their drug costs, an average of $604 person. Just last year, over 32 million seniors received at least one new free preventive care benefit through Medicare. Medicare’s ‘Doughnut Hole’ – a shameful legacy of the big drug companies’ sway in Washington – is closing, and premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are down 16 percent since the law took effect in 2010.”
Coyle went on to warn that yesterday’s ruling will be a short-lived victory if, this November, we fail to elect a President and Congress with the courage to stand up for the middle class. A repeal vote in the U.S. House, scheduled for July 11, will provide an opportunity for lawmakers to show their constituents where they stand.
“This year’s presidential election provides a clear contrast between Barack Obama, who had the courage to risk his presidency fighting for the middle class, versus Mitt Romney, who would replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan that is good for only the healthy and the wealthy,” Coyle said.
He concluded, “Today is a tremendous victory for seniors, their children, and their grandchildren. But we cannot rest on our laurels. In the 2012 elections we cannot let politicians roll back the progress we have made.”
Romney has made it clear that he would repeal Obamacare, saying he would “kill it dead.” For more fact sheets and background on how health reform is good for seniors, please visit these three locations on the Alliance web site: Affordable Care Act Myth Busters at www.bit.ly/x1U472; the Health Care Reform page at www.bit.ly/cQTDL9; and the Medicare page at www.bit.ly/Ljzb17.
Alliance’s Summer Slogan Contest Winner is….
Congratulations to Jen Roberts of Wisconsin, the winner of the Alliance’s national contest to name our summer campaign slogan. “Jen’s entry, ‘Let’s not be the Last Generation to Retire’ was chosen from several wonderful entries. Thank you to all who lent us their creativity!” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. Look for the slogan on materials celebrating the anniversary of Medicare in July and the anniversary of Social Security in August!
Romney’s Outsourcing Hurts Retirees
Pouncing on a new Washington Post report on certain Bain Capital investments, leaders in the American labor movement last Friday assaulted former Bain CEO and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Romney as a “happy outsourcer” willing to send American jobs overseas for personal gain. The problems with the American economy, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said on a call with reporters, are “vulture capitalists and Wall Street and CEOs who put their own pay ahead of workers. Our problems are companies like Bain Capital and happy outsourcers like Mitt Romney.”
“The better you work, the better you retire,” added Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “When jobs get shipped overseas, American workers not only lose their paychecks, they become less likely to have the retirement savings and health care benefits they will need to have a comfortable, dignified retirement.”
Social Security: The Young Trust Democrats More
According to the publication The Hill, (www.bit.ly/LnYK3u) young voters believe that Democrats will do the better job of protecting Social Security, by a whopping 50-26 percent margin. A poll released last Friday found that President Obama has a 13 point lead over Romney among voters between the ages of 18-29. Obama was the choice of half of young voters surveyed by the Garfield Institute for Public Leadership at Hiram College, versus just 37 percent for Romney.
Alliance Educational Fund Awards Seidman Prize
The Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund has awarded its seventh annual Bert and Annabel Seidman Prize for Advancing Social Policy to National Labor College (NLC) student co-winners Jon Leinbaugh of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, from Rockford, Illinois, and Joe Walsh, a member of the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters from Attica, New York. The prize encourages NLC students to research and analyze social policies that affect the older population.
Ms. Easterling said, “I am pleased to honor the memory of Bert and Annabel Seidman with Mr. Leinbaugh’s paper on the importance of volunteering after retirement, and Mr. Walsh’s paper on how to strengthen Social Security for all Americans.” Mr. Leinbaugh and Mr. Walsh will split the $3,000 award for their research.
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