"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
Coyle Slams ‘Morning Joe’ for Social Security Falsehoods
August 10, 2012
Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance, issued a response this week to a Monday segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe filled with half-truths and outright lies about Social Security’s future. In the segment, host Joe Scarborough perpetuated the myth that Social Security adds to the deficit, when in reality the Social Security Trust Fund has a $2.7 trillion surplus. Mr. Coyle pointed out that Mr. Scarborough had failed to acknowledge what life was like without Social Security: that the senior poverty rate is half what it used to be, or that before Social Security we were a nation where people worked until the day they died.
The letter also referred to a misleading discussion of the worker-retiree ratio, which has remained the same (3:1) for over 30 years. In his letter, Mr. Coyle urged MSNBC to seek more balanced coverage of Social Security, one of America’s greatest success stories. To read the full letter, go to http://bit.ly/P371uT.
“The political-media myths perpetuated by Mr. Scarborough’s distorted presentation of this issue scare both workers and retirees,” wrote Coyle. “When these issues are discussed on national TV in such a misleading manner, it only exacerbates the cynicism people have about both government and the media.”
Social Security Birthday Events Are Just Around the Corner
The Alliance held over 60 events in July to celebrate and organize around Medicare and Medicaid’s 47th birthday,and will hold 50 more in August with the upcoming 77th Anniversary of Social Security. The summer campaign, themed “Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire,” illustrates that seniors worry about these programs not being there for their children and grandchildren. To celebrate the anniversary, the Alliance will be hosting parties with cakes and delivering the cakes to elected officials; sponsoring educational briefings at senior centers; and organizing protests outside offices of lawmakers who have voted against the needs of local retirees. The overarching goal is to educate seniors on both the issues and on where elected officials and candidates stand, clearing up all the misinformation that is being spread.
“Social Security gives middle class workers hope and faith that someday, when their working days are over, they will be able to relax and enjoy a break after decades of hard work,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance.
“Premium Support Plans” Bring Greater Medicare Costs for Retirees
So-called “premium support plans,” the vouchers supported under House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Republican budget proposal and backed by Mitt Romney, would bring greater out- of-pocket costs to retirees, according to a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. According to the study - cited by the blog thinkprogress.org (http://bit.ly/OU5NCw) - under the Republican proposal, private insurance companies would make offers on insurance, and the voucher would be tied to the premium of the private plan with the second-lowest cost, or the premium for traditional Medicare - whichever is lower. This would end Medicare as we know it and force seniors to pay hundreds more each year to maintain the care they have today. While the GOP argues that this kind of system would increase competition and lower costs, facts show that such a policy actually shifts costs from the government and insurance companies onto the backs of retirees.
“The Romney-Ryan plan is costly for retirees, it’s costly for the middle class, and it’s just bad policy,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “By pushing this plan, Republicans have promised to balance the budget on the backs of seniors and the middle class.”
Nearly Half of Americans Die without Money, Study Finds
A recent study by MIT professors has found that nearly one in two Americans die with $10,000 or less in financial assets. According to the report, these Americans often relied almost entirely on Social Security for their retirement and did not own property. Those who died with no money were often in poor health. The report also revealed that people who died with no financial assets lived shorter lives than those who earn more, partly due to the fact that they could not afford emergency medical care. Ms. Easterling said, “This is why the Alliance is fighting to protect Social Security; 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.” To see the Huffington Post write-up of the study, go to http://huff.to/RdXiTc.
Medicare Drug Costs Will Not Increase in 2013
Those enrolled in Medicare Part D should not see an increase in their premiums in the next year, according to officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). An HHS report estimates that premium costs in 2013 will average about $30 per person, similar to the costs in 2012. Officials attributed the steady drug costs to President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which aggressively combats the rising costs of prescription drugs. The law will also help by closing the Part D “doughnut hole,” or the out-of-pocket expenses that seniors must pay if their drug costs exceed a spending limit.
Mr. Coyle said, “The Affordable Care Act has stopped the rapid increase in prescription costs on retirees, and it helps keep us free of the greed of the big insurance companies.”
Barbara Easterling Goes on the Road
Ms. Easterling will be traveling to Detroit for a meeting of the Democratic Platform Committee that begins today. Following that, she will be traveling to the Montana Alliance Founding Convention in Helena on August 16, and then the Washington State Alliance Convention in Tukwila, Washington on August 22.
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