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Showing posts from June, 2013

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert, 6-28-13

July 2 Human Chain Events now Just Around the Corner
Supreme Court’s “Defense of Marriage Act” Decision to Affect Gay Seniors Greatly
Voting Rights Decision a Major Blow to Civil Rights of Minorities
Alliance Members Join Leader Pelosi, Secretary Sebelius at Capitol Hill Press Event
Chained CPI or another Topic on Your Mind? Write a Letter to the Editor, Win a Pen!

July 2 Human Chain Events now Just Around the Corner
The Alliance will be hosting more than 45 “Human Chain against the Chained CPI” events on July 2. For a list of events, including a map that allows you to find an event near you by typing in your zip code, go to Highlights for a few of the events: The “Human Chain” in Providence, Rhode Island will feature Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, and the chain in Indianapolis will feature Rep. AndrĂ© Carson. The event in Albuquerque, New Mexico will feature Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The chained CPI is a cold, ca…

Disappointed in Rep. Walorski and Sen. Donnelly

103 Members of the U.S House have co-sponsored H. Con. Res. 34, the House Resolution rejecting the Chained CPI that was introduced by Rep. Cicilline (D-RI). To see who those co-sponsors are (as of June 17), go to In addition, twenty U.S. Senators have now co-sponsored S. Con. Res. 15, a Senate Resolution introduced by Senators Harkin (D-IA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Whitehouse (D-RI), rejecting the Chained CPI. To see that list of co-sponsors as of June 17, go to The Resolutions express the sense of Congress that the Chained Consumer Price Index should not be used to calculate cost of living adjustments for Social Security.

Look, I'm very disappointed in both Representative Jackie Walorski and Senator Joe Donnelly for not appearing on the list of co-sponsors as of today and I hope they will get on the list as soon as they can.

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 6-21-13

Initial List of Members of Congress Joining July 2 Human Chain Events is Revealed
103 House Members, 20 Senators Co-Sponsor Resolutions Rejecting Chained CPI
Help Sen. Bernie Sanders Address Poverty among Seniors
Generic Drugs, Consumers Win in Supreme Court Ruling
ACLU of Indiana Files Suit to Keep Seniors and the Disabled in Their Homes

Initial List of Members of Congress Joining July 2 Human Chain Events is Revealed
Politicians continue to press for the Chained CPI cut to Social Security benefits as a way to reduce the deficit. However, an average earner retiring at age 65 would lose over $6,000 over 15 years if the chained CPI were adopted. On Tuesday July 2nd, the Alliance is mobilizing people in more than 40 cities across the country to form a Human Chain against the Chained CPI. This National Day of Action will showcase the broad base of Americans who support protecting and enhancing retirement security, not dismantling Social Security inch by inch.

Members of the U.S. Senat…

Differences Between Union and Non-union Compensation

In 2011 union members were making an average wage difference of $3.51 per hour. That’s a total over $7,300 per year on a straight time basis or over $140.00 per week more for union members.

The benefit costs are even greater. Union members enjoy a $7.11 per hour more ($14.67 vs. $7.56 per hr.) That’s over $14,788 more per year for union members vs. nonunion or over $284.00 more per week in benefits for the union member.

Union members have better retirement plans, insurance plans, holidays, vacations, etc.

The total union member advantage per year on a straight time basis is over $22,000 more per year or $424.00 more per week.

It should not be forgotten that union contracts provide numerous other rights that no cost can cover, like fair treatment, just cause standards protecting employees from unfair, unjust discipline and seniority rights covering promotional opportunities, etc.

Basically, a right at the table and democracy on the job.

Is it any wonder why so many in corporate America and t…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 6-14-13

Momentum Continues to Build Ahead of July 2nd Human Chain Day of Action
Did Your U.S. Rep. Vote for the Extremist Republican Study Committee Budget?
New York Times Editorial Board Comes Out Against Social Security Cuts
Mississippi Republicans Risk Entire Medicaid Program to Avoid Vote on Expansion
Medicare Must Retain Crucial Protections against “Balance Billing”
Average Household Income of American Seniors is Precariously Low
Momentum Continues to Build Ahead of July 2nd Human Chain Day of Action
The Alliance and our allies continue to plan events around the country for the July 2nd “Human Chain against the Chained CPI” National Day of Action. The day is devoted to stopping the chained CPI benefit cut to Social Security. More than forty actions are already scheduled to take place in front of key Congressional offices and Federal Buildings across the country. A comprehensive map of events is now available, along with an event listing, on our website at …

Immigration Reform Vote

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate took their first vote on Immigration Reform. Some Republicans were insisting that before allowing those immigrants here in the United States illegally to pursue a pathway to citizenship, the borders must be made “fully secure”. There is no such thing.

There is no way on earth that the border between two countries can become “fully secure”.

If a person needs food for their family, a better life, life saving medicine etc; and that person is in reasonably good health and young enough, there is no way to prevent him from trying and trying and trying to cross a border that has a strong, high, fence; drones, land mines, military personnel every ten feet or whatever, until he finally succeeds.

Fortunately, wiser Senators turned  back that attempt.

Obamacares for Indiana

How the Health Care Law is Making a Difference for the People of Indiana For too long, too many hardworking Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies and put barriers between patients and their doctors. The Affordable Care Act gives hardworking families in Indiana the security they deserve. The new health care law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition.
All Americans will have the security of knowing that they don’t have to worry about losing coverage if they’re laid off or change jobs.  And insurance companies now have to cover your preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings.  The new law also makes a significant investment in State and community-based efforts that promote public health, prevent disease and…

Thank you, America, For The New Health Care Law

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 6-7-13

States That Reject Medicaid Expansion Will Spend Billions More To Cover Fewer
Human Chain Events against the Chained CPI Take Shape for July 2
Alliance Takes over LCAO Stewardship
North Carolina, Florida, and Indiana Alliance Chapters Hold Their Conventions
Alliance Remembers Senator Frank Lautenberg

States That Reject Medicaid Expansion Will Spend Billions More To Cover Fewer
According to a new study in the journal Health Affairs, states would save money by accepting the Medicaid expansion in President Obama's health care law. The study finds that fourteen of the states that have rejected the expansion will spend a combined $1 billion more on uncompensated care, and give up $8.4 billion in payments from the federal government. In addition, 3.6 million Americans who would have received coverage in the expansion will remain uninsured. Opposition to accepting the funds comes from ultra-conservative governors and state legislators. More in The Hill at…

Retirees Helped with Rx Costs through Obamcares

In 2013, the Medicare Part D drug benefit doughnut hole is from $2970 to $7720. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, when beneficiaries fell into the doughnut thole, they had to pay 100% of the costs of their prescription medications. The new health care law provides drug discounts and subsidies to help fill in the doughnut hole. In 2013, Medicare beneficiaries who fall in the Part D drug benefit doughnut hole will receive a 50% discount on the price of their brand name drugs. Beneficiaries who fall in the doughnut hole will also receive a 21% government subsidy toward the cost of generic drugs and 2.5% government subsidy toward the cost of brand name drugs. Thus, the total out-of-pocket costs (this includes what beneficiaries pay -- deductible and co-payments -- plus drug discounts) is $4750. The doughnut hole will be closed by 2020.

Jan Laue Speaks for Iowa

Remarks on IRS Hearing

Congresswoman Walorski, What is Your Healthcare Plan?

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Act provides numerous benefits for seniors under Medicare and Medicaid. Here’s just one of them: Prior to passage of the ACA, Medicare allowed for a one-time free check up when seniors joined the Medicare program. In 2011, seniors began receiving a free check up; this benefit is now available on a yearly basis. My Congresswoman, Jackie Walorski voted to repeal the ACA. Does anyone know what the Republicans Health Care Plan is?

Madame Butterfly

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 5-31-13

Trustees Reports: Social Security Steady, Medicare Financial Outlook Improved;
Immigrants are Helping Medicare’s Solvency;
UMWA Speaks Out Against Bankruptcy Ruling That Cuts Off Retiree Health Care;Report Ranks States Based on Measures of Senior Health;Alliance Observes Memorial Day;
Obituary: NARA Member Janice Ayres
Here is your May 31st edition:

Trustees Reports: Social Security Steady, Medicare Financial Outlook Improved

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees issued their annual reports on the state of the two programs’ finances today. Social Security, according to its Trustees, has a $2.7 trillion surplus, enough to fully meet the demands of a growing retiree cohort through 2033 – the same as last year. With no action from Congress, it would cover most benefits through 2087. The Trustees report for Medicare noted that its Trust Fund, which covers hospital care, can fully pay benefits through 2026 – two years later than forecast last year. The Medicare trustees report sh…

Social Security System Continues to Work

For Immediate Release
Contacts: Josh Goldstein – 202/637-5219 or
                  David Blank – 202/637-5275 or

Joint Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and
Retiree Leader Edward Coyle
on the 2013 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports
May 31, 2013

The most important message from the 2013 Social Security Trustees Report is that our Social Security system continues to work for the American people.  After years of economic crisis for working families, Social Security is in better shape and more dependable than 401(k)s, private pensions, or any other public or private program.  We must call out those who will try to misuse today’s  report as political cover for unwarranted and ill-advised benefit cuts, like switching to the “chained CPI” to calculate Social Security’s annual cost of living increase (COLA).

The truth is that at a time when America’s retirement income deficit is estimated to be an astounding $6.6 trillion because…