Friday, August 03, 2012

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 8-3-12


Medicare and Medicaid Birthday Events Cover 23 States!
The Alliance celebrated the 47th Birthday of Medicare and Medicaid on July 30, and 50 “Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire” summer campaign events have now taken place since July 22. Alliance chapters in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland/DC, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin have held Medicare and Medicaid birthday events recently.

Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance, celebrated Medicare and Medicaid’s Anniversary with a column in Huffington Post, calling attention to Republican threats to the programs’ continued success. “Medicare – along with Medicaid and Social Security -- has made life better for generations of retirees, but if the wrong candidates win this November, this could all become a thing of the past,” cautioned Ms. Easterling. “Before Medicare, many older Americans had to live in terrible health because they were unable to afford the care they need,” she wrote. Read the entire column at http://huff.to/M6pOWg.

Some highlights from the state events: Pictures from the Colorado Alliance’s “Keep Your Mitt(s) off My Medicare” Romney protest at http://bit.ly/ONGUrw; parades in downtown Seattle and Barre, Vermont; and events with Reps. Shelley Berkley in Nevada and Mike Doyle in Pittsburgh. In Illinois, activists held a press conference outside the Moline office of Rep. Bobby Schilling.

Alliance activists have held events at Senior Centers and nursing homes in cities including Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona; Albuquerque; Cedar Rapids; Las Vegas; Goshen, New York; Columbus, Toledo, and Dayton, Ohio; and Madison, Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cupcakes were delivered to the Los Angeles office of Rep. Xavier Becerra on Sunset Boulevard. In Dover, New Hampshire, former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter attended an Alliance event, but Rep. Frank Guinta declined. Events at labor headquarters buildings were held in Denver; Raleigh; Indianapolis; and Austin and Houston, Texas. In addition, three events were held across Florida; Missouri held a celebration at the Ethical Society of St. Louis; and Maine hosted one at the Federal Building in Lewiston. Some states also held additional events. For a summary of the activities, a complete list of events that have taken place this summer, and future events, go to http://www.bit.ly/OIXw0C.

New Reports: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Work for All 50 States!
Several Alliance State Presidents made tele-conference calls this week with reporters, elected officials, and policy experts, together with allies telling personal stories, to announce the release of a set of reports from the group Social Security Works. The reports specifically highlight the impact of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security on a given state’s residents, economy, Congressional Districts, counties, seniors, women, children, Latinos, working families and more. Those reports can be viewed by state here: http://www.strengthensocialsecurity.org/statereports2012. Social Security Works is a coalition united around the proposition, “Strengthen Social Security... Don't Cut It.” The coalition is made up of over 300 national and state organizations, including the Alliance, and represents over 50 million Americans.

Speaking on various calls Monday for the states of Maryland, Michigan, Washington, California and Illinois were U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (MD); Reps. John Conyers (MI), Jan Schakowsky (IL), and Doris Matsui (CA); Maryland/DC Alliance President Frank Stella and Michigan Alliance President Dick Long; Social Security Works Co-Director Nancy Altman; activists David Waugh and Steve Kofahl; and Washington Alliance Organizer Jo Jacobson. “Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are inter-generational treasures,” said Rep. Schakowsky on her call.

On Tuesday, Social Security Works Co-Director Eric Kingson joined Rhode Island Alliance President John Pernorio and New England Alliance Organizer Terry Lochhead on a similar call for Rhode Island.

Romney’s Advisors: Olympic-Caliber Social Security Privatizers
Mitt Romney’s economic policy team is filled with former George W. Bush administration officials, many of whom still actively work towards the privatization of our Social Security system, according to the blog thinkprogress.org (http://www.bit.ly/ReJI3p).  Glen Hubbard, one of the major designers of Romney’s tax plan, argues in favor of the private account retirement system that would have bankrupted millions in the recent financial crisis.  Gregory Mankiw believes that poor people simply do not want to make money, and that requiring the wealthiest to pay their fair share will make people work less.  Other advisors have co-sponsored legislation to privatize Social Security and have argued that the big banks had nothing to do with the financial crisis.

“Mitt Romney’s economic team is rife with the people who got us into this economic mess,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance.  “We cannot allow them to re-gain control of the White House. They have pledged to roll back the clock on everything from 77 years of a social safety net to recent financial reforms that can help to prevent another economic collapse.”

Congressional Budget Office Finds Affordable Care Act Reduces Deficit
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would actually increase the deficit by over $100 billion over the next decade.  Repealing the reform would also leave 30 million Americans uninsured and decrease revenues by $111 billion.  In the wake of the recent Supreme Court health care ruling, the CBO updated its estimates to reflect the optional Medicaid expansion, and found that the ACA will save an additional $84 billion.

“Standing with big insurance companies to increase the deficit at the expense of working families is not wise or fair,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “The Affordable Care Act expands coverage and decreases costs, and it’s time for health reform opponents to accept that.” 


For a printable version of this document, go to http://bit.ly/Oxn9F8.

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