"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
New York Times Spotlights Perils for Older Workers if Retirement Age Increased
September 17, 2010
This week the New York Times ran a powerful portrait of life on the job for many older Americans, showing just how devastating a retirement age increase would be for millions of workers. Against a backdrop of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) pledging that a Republican-led Congress would increase the age to 70, the Times told the stories of several workers – an airline baggage handler, a nursing assistant, and a tire maker – including one who noted that at work, “dessert with lunch is ibuprofen.” A recent study by the Center for Economic Policy Research found that one in three workers over age 58 works a physically demanding job.
Alliance members have a chance to prevent this nightmare for older workers. Please click here to urge your elected officials to support two efforts in Congress to save Social Security for current and future retirees. The first is a resolution by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) to oppose an increase in the retirement age, and the second is a letter from Representative Grijalva to President Obama opposing any cuts in benefits or any form of privatization that would turn Social Security over to Wall Street.
Health Law Has New Benefits for Seniors, Young Adults
Recognizing the difficulty many young workers are having in affording their own insurance, the new health reform law will now allow those up to age 26 to stay on their parent’s health insurance programs. More information here.
“Please encourage your family and neighbors to learn more about these exciting new benefits,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling, who added that “for retirees the new law will help them better afford to fill a prescription, see a doctor, and obtain free life-saving tests and screenings for many diseases.” Over one million seniors in the Medicare Part D “donut hole” coverage gap have already received $250 checks to offset this hardship. For more information on benefits for retirees, see Alliance fact sheets on the web.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) told the Cincinnati Enquirer this week that one of his goals if he were to become Speaker would be to deny the Obama administration the funding to implement the new health law’s benefits. “They’ll get not one dime from us. Not a dime.” Boehner told the paper.
ONE NATION – Join the March on October 2nd
On Saturday, October 2 join the ONE NATION Working Together March in Washington D.C. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the entire country will march as a united front. Retirees and working people alike will board buses with their unions or progressive organizations to march at this critical time in history. They will march for jobs, justice, and education. They will march for an economy that works for all. They will march for a nation in which each person who wants to work can find a job that pays enough to support a family. They will march to create a million new jobs right away, and to encourage decisive action that will get us out of the Great Recession. For more information, click here.
Alliance This Week: Ohio, California, New Hampshire, Washington DC
Ohio Alliance members held their annual convention this week, discussing Social Security and health reform and re-electing officers David Freisner, Sam Burnett, and Sally Steagall. Alliance president Barbara Easterling spoke to a leadership conference of the California School Employee Association, saying that the November 2 elections are a true crossroads for the future of retirement in America.
New Hampshire Alliance members today join Governor John Lynch as he signs a bill into law that will help Granite State residents better afford hearing aids. Also this week, Alliance Executive Director Edward F. Coyle spoke at a Capitol Hill protest against a group of self-described “Young Guns” in Congress who want to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Remembering Emil Shaw…
Emil Shaw, the former president of the New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans and lifelong activist, passed away last Sunday, September 12th at the age of 81. His wife, Rose, family and many friends were at his side.
Emil was a Holocaust survivor who escaped Nazi Austria at age nine with his parents, one of whom was an American citizen. He and Rose taught in New York City public schools for 30 years before relocating to New Mexico for retirement. This month, Rose and Emil celebrated 60 years of marriage. Emil was a leader in Albuquerque's peace and justice community, as well as labor and leftist movements. More here.
A memorial service & celebration of Emil Shaw's life was held yesterday at Congregation Nahalat Shalom in Albuquerque. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to your favorite charity, social justice organization or to Peoplesworld.org.
Did You Know…
Of the CEOs of the 50 U.S. firms that slashed the most jobs between November 2008 and April 2010, Fred Hassan of the drug company Schering-Plough made the most money in 2009: $49.7 million. The figures used in the calculation include the 16,000 layoffs resulting from the merger between Schering-Plough and Merck (Huffington Post).