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Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 7-6-12

House Prepares for July 11 Vote to Repeal New Medicare Benefits for Seniors
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is preparing for a July 11 vote to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act, including new Medicare benefits that are helping millions of seniors better afford to see a doctor and fill a prescription.  “If the court does not strike down the entire law, the House will move to repeal what’s left of it,” Boehner vowed on the day before the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law.  Appearing on Fox News over the weekend, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that providing health coverage to the 30 million Americans who would obtain it under the law is “not the issue,” and instead advocated replacing the law with a more incremental approach.  “Before the July 11 repeal vote, retirees need to urge their Representative to stand up for the needs of area seniors,” said Alliance Executive Director Edward J. Coyle.

Alliance Members Take to the Streets, Airwaves to Celebrate Supreme Court Ruling
In the hours after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld health insurance reform, Alliance members across the country celebrated the ruling and vowed to protect the law’s new Medicare benefits.  In Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, Alliance members rallied in support of health reform and participated in local media interviews.  Many activists with the Alliance were quoted and photographed in media accounts of the court ruling.  Also, Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling and Executive Director Edward J. Coyle each conducted radio interviews to comment on how the new law helps seniors and how imperative the November elections are to protect this progress.  “Thanks to all the Alliance members who braved the heat to put a local angle on how health reform is good for seniors,” said Alliance Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks. More here:

“Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire” Campaign Gets Started
The Alliance’s new campaign, “Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire” kicks off next week with events and actions.  Check out a new video providing context for the upcoming grassroots actions this summer here:  With the anniversaries of Medicare and Medicaid (July 30) and Social Security (August 14), Alliance members across the country will hold rallies and grassroots events to meet with their elected officials to discuss the needs of current and future retirees.  Stay tuned to the website and Facebook for more information on events near you.  Get ready by watching this video and share it with others.

New Alliance Fact Sheet: Looming Threats to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Unless Congress acts before the end of the year, automatic cuts in federal spending are scheduled to occur in January 2013 via a process known as “sequestration.”  Both Social Security and Medicaid are protected from these automatic cuts, while Medicare fees to providers can be cut by two percent.  Medicare recipients’ benefits would not be cut by sequestration.  Some in Congress are working to stop the cuts by passing an alternative deficit reduction plan.  While it is currently unclear what this plan will look like, lawmakers have begun to suggest proposals that would cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest.  A new Alliance fact sheet provides an overview of possible congressional actions.  Please read this fact sheet and share it with others.

Ron Paul Says Social Security Unconstitutional, But Collects it Each Month
2012 presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has long been an outspoken critic of Social Security, saying it is “on its last legs” and unconstitutional.  But according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times, the 76 year-old Paul collects Social Security each month.  When asked on MSNBC if this ran counter to his views, Paul disagreed, saying that one can simultaneously use a system they want to eliminate.  Paul is estimated to control approximately 200 delegates at his party’s convention next month in Tampa.

New Report Notes Romney’s Foreign Tax Havens
A new report in Vanity Fair magazine notes that presidential candidate Mitt Romney has financial interests in at least 12 investment funds – worth as much $30 million – that are based in the Cayman Islands to skirt U.S. tax laws.  Earlier media reports noted that a $3 million Swiss bank account was closed shortly before Romney launched his presidential campaign. Contrasting this with Romney's plans to cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age, Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling said, “Social Security is how retirees get by if they don't have Cayman or Swiss bank accounts.”  An Alliance calculation earlier this year of Romney’s reported income this year found that in 2010 Romney made more by 6:00 a.m. on January 1 than many retirees did the entire year.

NC Alliance Raises Money to Help Local Seniors
The North Carolina Alliance recently held its first annual golf tournament to raise money for a local YMCA as well as the state chapter’s programs that help area seniors.  The event, held in Clemmons NC, was sponsored by AFSCME, the State Employees Association of North Carolina, the AFL-CIO and many generous individuals.  Photos here:  Congratulations to all for a successful event!

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