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Showing posts from August, 2013

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 8-30-13

Headlines:
Executive Director Ed Coyle Announces His Intention to Retire
Retirees Celebrate Labor Day
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: Congress Must Raise Debt Ceiling by Mid-October
U.S. Justice Department Sues Texas over Voter ID Law
Appeals Court Rules in Favor of UMWA Retirees
Nevada Alliance Holds its Convention

Executive Director Ed Coyle Announces His Intention to Retire
Edward F. Coyle, who has been the Executive Director of the Alliance since its launch in 2001, announced this week that he plans to retire soon. During his dozen-year stewardship of the Alliance, Mr. Coyle steadfastly supported seniors on Capitol Hill through numerous battles over Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; led the way for retirees to victories in key federal and state elections; and chartered 34 state Alliance affiliates with hundreds of local chapters. He said that he will stay until a successor is named.

In reaction to the announcement, Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance, said, “With Ed at my…

SOAR Retirees Reunion Flyer

Clicking on each section will enlarge it, then it can be downloaded.

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 8-23-13

Headlines:
Retirees Observe 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington
This Week Designated as Time to Focus on Health Care Reform Benefits for Seniors
New Report Exposes Fatal Flaws in Proposals to Cut Benefits for Older Americans
Seniors’ Hospital Discharge Instructions Are Often Inadequate
Washington State Alliance Holds its Convention
Coyle Speaks at DNC’s Senior Coordinating Council Meeting


Retirees Observe 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington
August 28th, 2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic march on Washington. In commemoration of the anniversary, Washington, DC will host a week of events dedicated to Rev. King’s vision of equality, freedom, and justice. Alliance members from around the country will be participating in the march, and many of them will be traveling great distances to do so. Tony Fransetta, President of the Florida Alliance, will travel 1,000 miles and 36 hours round-trip to attend. Sp…

A Great Year for Peaches

This isn't even half of the peach crop this year. Two trees are two years old, two trees are four years old.
No spray used. Very few imperfections.
What a great year for peaches in Northern Indiana.

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert, 8-16-13

Headlines:
Social Security’s 78th Birthday Receives Generous Attention
North Carolina Governor Signs Law that Threatens the Voting Rights of Seniors
AFL-CIO to Target Six Republican Governors in 2014
Contact Your Members of Congress During Summer Recess


Social Security’s 78th Birthday Receives Generous Attention
Social Security’s birthday on Wednesday received considerable attention on the state and national level. The Alliance for Retired Americans marked the anniversary with over 40 events in 22 states and by releasing special state-by-state reports with ally Social Security Works.

The Florida Alliance for Retired Americans made news in Panama City on Wednesday when they brought a cake, signs and numerous speakers to demonstrate their strong opposition to any cuts to Social Security, especially in the form of the chained CPI, in front of Rep. Steve Southerland’s (R-FL) office. AFSCME Retirees, the National Organization for Women (NOW), NAACP, Social Security Works, and numerous other part…

Social Security in Good Shape

Since its inception, Social Security has been the foundation on which America's retirement security rests. It has demonstrated its strength by paying benefits without interruption in good times and bad, during periods of recession and disaster, and during recovery and healing. The program's strength is demonstrated yet again in this year's Trustees Report, which reflects the resilience of the Trust Funds. Their report is good news for working Americans and for seniors.

Social Security remains strong, and will be able to pay full benefits for decades to come -- until 2033, as was true last year. Thereafter, there will still be enough revenue coming into the program to pay 77 percent of all benefits owed.

Social Security remains well-funded. With the economy showing signs of recovery, the Trustees estimate that, in 2013, Social Security's total income will exceed its expenses by over $28 billion. In fact, the Trustees estimate that total annual income is expected to exce…

Alliance for Retired Americans, Friday Alert 8-9-13

Headlines:
Happy 78th Birthday, Social Security!
Voting Rights under Attack in Florida
More Polling Shows Republican Party Increasingly Unpopular With Seniors
Study Finds Dementia Dropping Sharply, as Forecast
Alliance President Barbara Easterling Speaks At Virginia AFL-CIO Convention

Happy 78th Birthday, Social Security!
On Wednesday, August 14th, Social Security will celebrate 78 years of providing retirement security to older Americans. In this time of financial uncertainty, when other sources of retirement income such as pensions and savings are increasingly out of reach for many Americans, Social Security is more important than ever.  If you have not already signed the Alliance petition, which says to “Keep Social Security Strong – Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire,” you can add your support at http://bit.ly/16ESw9e. The Alliance has also marked the birthday milestone by partnering with the group Social Security Works to release special state-by-state reports on what Social Sec…

Currency Manipulation Just Isn't Fair

Hello SOAR members. We are still working on the issue of currency manipulation and I wanted to share with you an update. Congressman Levin from Michigan introduced The Currency
Reform for Fair Trade Act (HR 1276) in March and we’ve been building support for it ever since. Now 116 Members of Congress are cosponsors of this bill, and last month the Senate stepped into action with its version: The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act (S 1114), now with 12 cosponsors.

Why is this important to us? When another country manipulates its currency, it acts as a subsidy for goods entering our market and as a tax on our goods in markets overseas. China is the leading currency manipulation culprit, so the value of goods coming in from China seems cheap to our consumers. At the same time our goods going to China seem expensive to their consumers. If China’s currency were not undervalued, trade with China would not be so one-sided. Now China sells us billions of dollars more in goods ($315 bil…

Obamacare Found to Lower Premiums - Nearly 20% Lower

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a news report that finds premiums in the health insurance marketplace will be nearly 20 percent lower in 2014 than previously expected.

The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers in every state to publicly justify any premium rate increases of 10 percent or more. Health insurance companies now generally have to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on health care or improvements to care, or provide a rebate to their policy holders. In addition, when the Health Insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment on October 1, 2013, consumers will be able to make apples to apples comparisons of quality health insurance plans.

Action needed

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) have introduced the Medicare Drug Savings Act, S.740 in the U.S. Senate and H.R.1588 in the U.S. House of Representatives, that would eliminate this special deal for brand-name drug manufacturers. This legislation would prevent the big drug companies from charging the federal government higher drug prices for low-income Medicare beneficiaries than they charge for Medicaid. The Medicare Drug Savings Act would save the federal government more than $141.2 billion over 10 years, money that helps all Medicare beneficiaries. Please call your Congress Person and Senators.

Bill Pienta Appointed SOAR President

In July 2013, Bill Pienta was appointed SOAR President by USW International President Leo W. Gerard to serve the remaining term of
President C.L. “Connie” Entrekin who retired.

Prior to his retirement from active employment in 2012, Bill served on the USW’s International Executive Board as Director of District 4.

Pienta began his career with the United Steelworker union in 1966, when he began working at the former Allegheny Ludlum steel mill in Dunkirk as an electrician. He became a union activist and was elected to the grievance committee in 1970. He went on to serve in a variety of local union positions, eventually being elected
president of Local 2693. Pienta was appointed to the USW International staff as an organizer in 1990. He was promoted to the position of Buffalo Sub-district Director and served as the organizing and first contract coordinator for the district. In 2002, Pienta was named Assistant Director of District 4 and served in that capacity until his appointment as Di…

SOAR Director Expresses Gratitude

It is with mixed emotions that I write this column. I have spent a great deal of time these past six years; working shoulder to shoulder with President Entrekin through some very difficult times. I have the utmost respect for Connie and his ability to rally our members on the issues that most affect our members. His dedication to working families and retirees is second to none.

Not only have I had the opportunity to know Connie on a professional level, my wife Carol and I have gotten to know both him and his wife Barbara on a personal level, and have thoroughly enjoyed their company. As we have travelled across this great union of ours, we have bonded in a way that makes it very difficult for me to see him move on.

I want to thank Connie for all he has done for our organization and the positive influence he has had on me. He has strengthened my resolve and commitment to the work that we do on behalf of our retirees and working America.

On behalf of all of us, I say thank you Connie f…

Connie Entrekin Retires as SOAR President

After spending 55 years of my life in the trenches, I have decided to slow down and spend more time with my wife Barbara and family. I have always advocated that we need to look around for new leaders and know when it is time to step aside. For me, that time has come.

I informed USW International President Leo W. Gerard of my decision and have recommended to him that recently retired District 4 Director Bill Pienta follow me in office. Leo supports this recommendation and has asked both Bill and myself to attend the USW Executive Board meeting scheduled for the end of July. I served with Bill on the International Executive Board for a number of years and saw firsthand the outstanding work he did as Director of District 4. I believe he is the right person to lead SOAR, as we face the challenges that lie ahead. I urge you all to give him your full support.

But before I leave, I want to take a moment to honor USW/SOAR President Emeritus Lynn Williams. His strength of character and leaders…

Friday Alert, Alliance for Retired Americans, 8-2-13

Headlines:
On Medicare and Medicaid’s 48th Birthday, Mobilization for More Affordable Drugs;
National Journal: Senior Vote Will Play a Critical Role in the 2014 Midterm Elections;
Update on President Obama’s “Grand Bargain” Deal with Republicans;
PBS’ Frontline: A Cautionary Tale on Assisted Living;
Plan to Defund Obamacare Causing Strife among Republicans

On Medicare and Medicaid’s 48th Birthday, Mobilization for More Affordable Drugs
Celebrating Medicare and Medicaid’s 48th birthday, Alliance members across the country ate cake and blew out candles on Tuesday while talking about the importance of protecting and preserving the program for current and future seniors. Coverage from the Pennsylvania Medicare birthday party is at http://tinyurl.com/nfz59jf  and http://tinyurl.com/pog7l47.

“Thank you to everyone who celebrated Medicare’s birthday and reminded the public how important it is not to shift more costs onto seniors,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance. “We can hav…