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Showing posts from 2014

Alliance Endorses Joe Bock for Congress

Alliance for Retired Americans members recently endorsed Joe Bock for election to the U.S. Congress from Indiana's 2nd District at an event in South Bend.
Joe Bock is really a champion for seniors. He can be trusted to lead with our interests. His views on keeping health care affordable and retirement secure are among the reasons that we stand behind Joe Bock and his candidacy for U.S. Congress," said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans.
Joe Bock's strong positions on fighting Social Security and Medicare privatization and strengthening Social Security and Medicare confirm his commitment to improving the quality of life for older Americans. He understands that selling off our Medicare to the big insurance companies or turning our Social Security over to Wall Street would benefit few and harm many, including Indiana seniors.
The Alliance for Retired Americans represents more than 4.3 million retirees and community activists, including …

Union Vets Say Hands Off Social Security and Medicare

There are 9.4 million military veterans receiving Social Security benefits, which means that almost one out of every four adult Social Security beneficiaries has served in the United States military. It is for that reason Union Veterans Council Director James Gilbert joined elected officials and allies on Capitol Hill yesterday to say #HandsOff Social Security and Medicare. For more information go to

Another Myth Spread By The Right

If you listen to the noise out of Washington, the right is once again attacking Social Security! The latest target of the conservatives in Congress are disabled Americans receiving Social Security benefits. I am sure you’ve already heard the messaging: Social Security disability fraud is rampant because it’s so easy to receive benefits and people would rather collect a hefty check from the government than work. It’s the 2014 incarnation of “our nation is full of ‘welfare queens’ and ‘greedy geezers.’” It also suffers from the same basic’s simply not true. 
The timing of this attack on Social Security’s disability program is not an accident. It’s the cornerstone of Congressional Republicans’ campaign to oppose both President Obama’s nomination of a new Social Security Administration Commissioner and the routine reallocation of the Trust Fund to prevent a 20% disability cut in 2016. Rather than address the disability shortfall head-on, as Congress has done many time before, …

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 8-29-14

This Labor Day, Let's Raise America's Pay – It Will Help with Retirement Savings
No Surprise: Between 2000 and 2011, the Wealth Gap Widened
“Star” Rating System Fails to Protect Many Seniors in Nursing Homes
AP: GOP Sees Health Care Law’s Advantages More and More
Paul Ryan Hears More from Seniors about his Medicare Cuts during Book Tour
Fiesta Addresses Machinist Retirees, Celebrates Social Security in Rhode Island

This Labor Day, Let's Raise America's Pay – It Will Help with Retirement Saving
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) addresses extremely slow wage growth just in time for Labor Day. Available at, EPI’s paper shows that wages for most Americans were flat or fell in the first half of 2014, compared to this time last year. The study’s author, Elise Gould, says that wages even fell for top wage earners and those with a college degree. The bottom 10 percent’s wages increased by 2 cents an hour, thanks to state-level minimum wage…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 8-22-14

Alliance Members Continue Social Security Birthday Celebrations
Alliance Protest Targets Paul Ryan’s Book Tour
Sen. Schumer Introduces Bill to Stop Social Security Office Closures
Stand Up Against Social Security Service Cuts
Sunday Marks 50th Anniversary of Seniors’ Rally for Creation of Medicare Program
Unexpectedly High Medical Bills Often the Result of a Few Common Issues
Fiesta Attends DNC Seniors Council Meeting in Georgia

Alliance Members Continue Social Security Birthday Celebrations
With Social Security celebrating its 79th birthday last week, Alliance members have been holding events across the country honoring the landmark retirement security program. This week’s events included celebrations with cake and balloons in states such as Iowa, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. To view the latest photos from Social Security birthday celebrations, go to

The North Carolina Alliance hosted a birthday celebration in Charlotte, where members released a repo…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 8-15-14

Alliance Members Honor 79th Birthday of Social Security
Reports Detail Critical Importance of Social Security
Great Recession May Have Forced Americans into Retirement
Medicare Advantage Insurers Systematically Overbilling Government
States Refusing Medicaid Expansion Losing Billions in Funding
President Obama Signs VA Reform Bill into Law

Alliance Members Honor 79th Birthday of Social Security
Our nation’s Social Security system celebrated its 79th anniversary on Thursday, and Alliance members commemorated the important event by throwing more than 30 birthday parties across the country with cake and balloons. Celebrations focused on the long term success of the Social Security system and the need to expand the program in order to meet the needs of current and future retirees. The landmark program was signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14th, 1935. “Social Security is one of the most successful programs in America’s history,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director…

Interesting Stuff About Social Media

Interesting Fact About Social Media

Whatever you might think of “Social Media”, believe me, it’s here to stay. My Grandma didn’t like to use the telephone. It was like she was afraid of that newest technology and would much rather just yell across the corn field to her neighbors. Please don’t be like Grandma. Don’t be afraid of new technology. Try it, you might like it.

Social Media is not about technology. Social Media is about People.Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old. To them, Dracula is a cereal character and Vampires live in high schools.In 10 years over 40% of the Fortune 500 will no longer be here.Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the Web.Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S. It even impacts our offline behavior.1 in 5 couples meet online3 in 5 gay couples meet online.1 in 5 divorces are blamed on FacebookWhat happens in Vegas stays on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and FlickrAn education study revealed that online studen…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 8-1-14

Alliance Kicks Off Medicare Turns 50 Campaign With Events Across the Country
Trustees Report Shows Improved Outlook for Medicare Finances
Social Security Nominee Carolyn Colvin Begins Confirmation Process
Lawmakers Announce VA Deal, Confirm New Secretary
American Companies Dodging Taxes by Moving Addresses Overseas

Alliance Kicks Off Medicare Turns 50 Campaign With Events Across the Country
On Wednesday, Alliance members held more than 50 events in cities across the country in honor of Medicare’s 49th anniversary. The celebrations kicked off the Medicare Turns 50 Campaign leading up to next year’s 50th anniversary. The landmark health care program was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30th, 1965. An Alliance-sponsored event on Capitol Hill saw speeches by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) along with Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Marcy Katpur (D-OH), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), and Mike Michaud (D-ME). Diane Fleming, a member of the Maryland/DC Al…

Veterans' Health Care Bill 'Critical First Step'

Veterans' Health Care Bill 'Critical First Step' in Addressing VA Failures

Mike Hall AFL-CIO
Spurred by the recent revelations about long waiting lists, denied critical health care for military veterans, management cover-ups and other serious problems at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and health care facilities, Senate and House leaders have agreed on veterans' health care funding and reform package.

AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. calls the legislation by the leaders of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees:

"A critical step toward getting the VA back on track so veterans do not have to wait for care….As [Senate Veterans' Affairs] Chairman [Sen.] Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reminded us, this legislation is the beginning, not the end, of a long overdue effort to make the VA strong again and address the true cost of war."

The $17 billion supplemental funding measure must be approved by both houses, which leave for a five-week summer …

Statement on Social Security

Statement by Retiree Leader Richard Fiesta on the 2014 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to Trustees reports issued today on the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds:

Washington, DC - “The most important lesson from the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report is that Social Security has a large and growing surplus. Today's report projects Social Security’s cumulative surplus to be roughly $2.8 trillion in 2014, growing to about $2.9 trillion around 2020. The report reaffirms that, without any changes, Social Security can pay full benefits until 2033 and three-quarters of benefits after that, unchanged from last year’s report.

“The Medicare Trustees report reminds us once again that the Affordable Care Act is controlling health care costs. It is great news that the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by another four years to 2030. Atte…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 7-18-14

Capitol Hill Event Puts Focus on Older Unemployed Workers
Alliance Joins Boycott of Staples over Efforts to Privatize Postal Operations
Social Security Administration Will Still Issue Verification Letters at Field Offices
Alliance Urges Members to Make Voices Heard on Field Office Closings
Affordable Care Act Success Fails to Bring Political Reward
Fiesta Meets With AFSCME Retiree Council

Capitol Hill Event Puts Focus on Older Unemployed Workers
On Wednesday, Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance, teamed up with several Members of Congress, the Center for Effective Government, and other advocacy organizations to draw attention to older unemployed jobseekers. The Capitol Hill event highlighted the disproportionate impact of long-term unemployment on both near-retirees and younger workers (20’s). In the past month, the coalition has also highlighted the effect of long-term unemployment on children, women, and veterans. The events were inspired by a story bank, which…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 7-11-14

Social Security Disability Insurance Event Shines a Light on Program’s Importance
Alliance Cosponsors Tele-town Hall on Caregivers’ Credit with Rep. Nita Lowey
Growth in Medicare Spending Slows Dramatically
Hawaii Alliance Holds Annual Legislative Review, Honors Former President Hamai
Graying Prison Population Means New Health Care Costs for States
Fiesta Addresses AFT Retirees

Social Security Disability Insurance Event Shines a Light on Program’s Importance
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) coverage, which workers earn through Social Security payroll tax contributions, provides benefits to 8.9 million disabled American workers and 1.9 million dependent children of disabled workers. On Tuesday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Alliance Legislative Representative Eva Dominguez were featured speakers at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress focusing on the importance of SSDI. Sen. Brown spoke about the need to expand Social Security and the Republican strategy to…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 7-4-14

Supreme Court Sides with One Percent in Home Health Care Case
Americans are United on Support for Social Security
New Census Report Gives Detailed Look at the 65-and-Over Crowd
Companies that Pay Above Minimum Wage Come Out Ahead
Centenarians Less Likely to Succumb to Chronic Illness

Supreme Court Sides with One Percent in Home Health Care Case
On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision that makes it harder for home care workers to deliver quality care for their clients. The case, Harris v. Quinn, involves home health care workers in Illinois who are paid through Medicaid but primarily supervised by home care recipients. In a majority ruling authored by Justice Samuel Alito, the court held that although these workers are paid by the state, they fall into a category of workers termed “partial government employees” and are not subject to the same labor rules as other public workers including firefighters, school teachers, and police officers. The court ruled that these home …

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 6-27-14

Obama Picks Carolyn W. Colvin to Lead Social Security Administration
SAME Act Would Bring Equal Social Security Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses
Sign the Petition Calling for an End to the Abuse of “Observation Status”
Virginia Gov. McAuliffe Vetoes Parts of State Budget in Medicaid Expansion Fight
Maryland/DC Alliance Holds First Annual Awards Luncheon
If Social Security Disability Insurance Made a Difference in Your Life, Tell us how!
Retiree Activists Gather at Indiana Alliance Convention
Maryland/DC Alliance Member James (“Jimmy”) Allen Passes Away

Obama Picks Carolyn W. Colvin to Lead Social Security Administration
Late last week, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Carolyn W. Colvin to lead the Social Security Administration (SSA). A longtime government administrator, Ms. Colvin has been the agency’s acting commissioner since February 2013. There will be a confirmation hearing in the Senate Finance Committee and, if confirmed, she would serve a six-year term. The ap…

Congressperson, Jackie Walorski Votes Against Retirees.....Again.

Health Care Repeal II
The House passed a bill, introduced by Rep. Price, R-GA, that would prohibit the Treasury Department from implementing the Affordable Care Act. The 2010 law included several pro-retiree provisions including the elimination of co-pays and deductibles for preventive care screenings and an annual wellness checkup beginning in 2011. The law also included the closing of the Part D doughnut hole coverage gap and the phasing out of overpayments to Medicare Advantage insurance companies. The bill passed 232-185. A NO vote is a pro-retiree vote but Indiana Representative,  Jackie Walorski once again voted against retirees. H.R. 2009, Roll Call No. 447, August 2, 2013.

UNION VETERANS - The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale to Staples

For more than 235 years, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been one of the nation’s largest employers of Veterans, second only to the Department of Defense.

Currently the USPS has nearly 120-thousand employees — 21 percent of the workforce — who have worn their military and postal uniforms with pride.

Staples attacks good jobs and public post offices.

Staples and the U.S. Postal Service have cut a deal that jeopardizes your mail service and your local post office. In fact, post offices across the country are at risk – along with thousands of good jobs.
The Staples deal will replace full-service U.S. Post Offices with knock-off post offices in Staples stores that are not staffed with U.S. Postal Service employees.

A bad deal for workers and consumers.

You have a right to post offices staffed by workers who are accountable to you and the American people. You have a right to postal services provided by highly trained, uniformed Postal Service employees, who are sworn to safeguard y…

Union Veterans

IAM Retiree and activist Joe Reilly, a 101st Airborne paratrooper on D-Day, will be featured on NBC Nightly News’ D-Day 70th Anniversary coverage on Friday, June 6 at 8 p.m. EDT. Reilly, 94, is a 58-year IAM member in his 28th year of retirement. He remains active in the IAM and in politics in his home state of California. Click here to read more about Reilly.

The IAM scored a second important organizing victory, this time for 475 office and clerical personnel employed by L3 at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Corpus Christi, TX. This follows an April organizing win for 450 helicopter mechanics and technicians at the same facility.

It’s Time to Staff the VA

 LIUNA: Fix Our Bridges, Roads; Fund the Highway Bill

With the H…

Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski Votes Against Retirees

Health Care Repeal 1
The House passed health care reform repeal legislation, introduced by Rep. Bachmann, R-MN. The 2010 Affordable Care Act included several pro-retiree provisions including the elimination of co-pays and deductibles for preventive care screenings and an annual wellness checkup beginning in 2011. The law also included the closing for the Part D doughnut hole coverage gap and the phasing out of overpayments to Medicare Advantage insurance companies. The bill passed 229-195. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote. Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski voted against retirees. H.R. 45, Roll Call No. 154, May 16, 2013.

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 6-13-14

Leaders in Washington Pushing to Strengthen and Expand Social Security;
Wild Week in Virginia Shifts Political Landscape;
Activists Plan Events in Response to ALEC’s Annual Meeting in Dallas;
Millennials May Be Headed For Retirement Hardship;
North Carolina Alliance Holds Golf Tournament, Sees Great Results

Leaders in Washington Pushing to Strengthen and Expand Social Security
In a sign that the push to expand Social Security is continuing to build support, on Wednesday Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Retirement and Income Security Enhancements (RAISE) Act. The RAISE Act would enhance Social Security benefits for widows, widowers, and divorced spouses while extending benefit eligibility for children of retired, disabled, and deceased workers.
The RAISE Act is not the only proposal to expand Social Security. Last year, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Strengthening Social Security Act (S. 567) in the Senate, with Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) intr…

Indiana AFL-CIO Endorsements


For Immediate Release: Monday, June 9, 2014
Media Contact: Jeff Harris, Indiana State AFL-CIO, 317.632.9147

Federation of labor unions endorses candidates that support working families

INDIANAPOLIS — Today the Indiana State AFL-CIO, a statewide federation of labor unions representing more than 300,000 active workers, announced endorsements of candidates for the 2014 General Election.

The endorsements are based on voting records, in-person interviews and responses to a questionnaire issued to all candidates. Affiliates of the Indiana State AFL-CIO met on Friday in Indianapolis to review the information and vote on endorsements.

The following candidates were endorsed for the 2014 General Election:

Statewide Offices:
Secretary of State: Beth White (D)
State Auditor: Mike Claytor (D)
State Treasurer: Mike Boland (D)

U.S. House of Representatives:
District 1: Pete Visclosky (D) (I)
District 2: Joe Bock (D)
District 3: Ju…