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Retirees and workers need to remain vigilant

Dear Alliance Member,

Late last night Congress passed a last-minute deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”  Because of Alliance activists and others who made their voices heard at the grassroots level, there were no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  Thanks for everything you did to make this possible.

While we can celebrate, our work is not done.  Over the next two months, we can expect more misguided attempts by some in Congress to balance our budget on the backs of the programs we depend on.   However, with the strong voice of seniors like you, we can protect retirement security for all Americans and make sure we are not part of the last generation to retire.  Thanks for all you do.

For our take about what’s in the deal, check out this statement from Executive Director Ed Coyle.

“While the deal ending this latest round of high-stakes fiscal drama made some progress toward tax fairness, retirees and workers need to remain vigilant against long-standing threats to seniors’ health care and economic security.

“Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – landmark national efforts to help retirees pay their bills and stay healthy – continue to be unfairly targeted as a way of keeping the wealthiest Americans and big corporations from paying their fair share of taxes.

“Despite what was heard daily in Washington and in the media, Social Security has not added one penny to the deficit.  We remain deeply troubled by a recurring policy proposal, coldly named the ‘chained-CPI,’ which would base future Social Security Cost-of-Living-Adjustments off a lower, badly-flawed measure of inflation, one that significantly under-estimates seniors’ day-to-day financial needs.

“As long as too many in Washington want those with the least to sacrifice the most, we must continue to educate and mobilize retirees and Americans of all ages.  In the 2012 elections, in public opinion surveys, and in recent grassroots actions, it has been crystal clear that Americans are opposed to cuts in these vital lifelines for millions of seniors. When will Washington truly listen?

“We are pleased that the New Year’s legislation spared seniors from worrying that their physicians would no longer treat Medicare patients because of cuts in reimbursement rates.  No older American should have to worry that their health care is being held hostage to Washington gamesmanship.

”This week’s agreement is a brief pause in the long-running threats to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, programs that help millions of Americans every day.  But until there is a long-term and equitable resolution to these fiscal debates, retirees and workers everywhere will need to remain educated and mobilized."

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