"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
Democratic Convention Provides Sharp Contrast with Republicans on Senior Issues
The 46th Democratic National Convention took place this week, ending last night with the official nomination of Barack Obama for re-election as U.S. President. “The 2012 platform adopted by the Democratic Party this week in Charlotte shows the stark contrasts between the two parties on key issues of Social Security and Medicare,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance. “The Democratic Party, which signed Medicare and Social Security into law over Republican objections, once again reaffirmed its strong commitment to these two great American success stories.” To read Mr. Coyle’s full statement on the convention, go to http://bit.ly/TXmsUz.
Former President Bill Clinton spoke on Wednesday night about Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan's budget plan, which passed in the House and won Mitt Romney's endorsement. Referring to Romney and Ryan, Clinton said, “They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years. Of course, that’s going to really hurt a lot of poor kids. But that’s not all. A lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid.” For more on his remarks, go to http://bit.ly/OpR6Vm.
The convention included two Senior Caucus events. Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling and Mr. Coyle joined other Alliance representatives as well as U.S House Members Jan Schakowsky (IL) and John Conyers (MI), Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, North Carolina AFL-CIO President James Andrews, and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz at the events.
In his speech accepting the Democratic nomination, President Barack Obama said, “We will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we'll do it by reducing the cost of health care, not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.”
On Wednesday night at the convention, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka proclaimed, “Prosperity requires economic security. We will stand with leaders who protect and strengthen Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—not those who plan cuts to benefits working people have paid for, earned and are counting on.”
Courts Reject Strict Texas and Ohio Voter ID Laws; Penn. Alliance Takes Action
The U.S. District Court for Washington, DC reached a decision last week on Texas v. Holder, the suit brought by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder against Texas’s proposed voter ID laws. The court ruled against the restrictive new legislation, which would have required photo identification in order to vote. In his ruling, US Circuit Judge David Tatel said about the proposed law, “It imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty.”
Texas Alliance President Gene Lantz said in a Labor Day message: “The federal courts have turned down Texas redistricting and the Texas ‘Voter ID’ law, so efforts to keep us from fair voting are turned back for the time being!”
In Columbus, Ohio, U.S. District Judge Peter Economus ruled on August 31, in a lawsuit brought by “Obama for America,” that Ohio can’t give members of the military and citizens living abroad three days more than other voters to cast ballots. He ordered the previous schedule restored, which allowed anyone to vote early until the day before an election.
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans (PARA) hosts a presentation this morning on several topics, including the state’s new voter ID law, for residents of a Washington County Redevelopment Authority seniors’ high-rise in Washington, Pennsylvania. PARA hosted a similar information session on August 2 for other Redevelopment Authority apartment residents. The sessions are part of the effort to get the word out among seniors that all voters need a photo ID to vote in Pennsylvania. For information on acceptable forms of ID, as well as absentee and early voting deadlines for any state, go to http://www.vote411.org.
Texas Alliance President Receives “Hero of Labor” Award
At the end of the Dallas AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast this week, Romeo Muñoz, UAW 848 President, announced that Gene Lantz is the winner of the 2012 “Hero of Labor Award.” Alliance Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks said, “Gene deserves this award for wearing so many hats. In addition to doing such a wonderful job as the Texas Alliance President, he is the Chair of the Local 848 UAW Retirees; Chair of the Dallas-Forth Worth UAW Retiree Council; an organizer for North Texas Jobs with Justice; and writer and editor of the UAW Local’s newspaper. He also serves on the Dallas Central Labor Council Executive Board and as the Texas AFL-CIO Vice President.”
Grandparents Day is Just Around the Corner
Grandparents Day is this Sunday! Please share our message about Grandparents Day, “We’re Fighting for our Grandchildren’s Future: Social Security and Medicare!” with your Facebook friends at http://on.fb.me/TrgAFJ. Comment on your activism here: http://on.fb.me/Tr5e61.
Virginia Alliance Joins Rep. Bobby Scott and Elects a New State President
Rep. Bobby Scott hosted a Town Hall on Medicare and the budget in Newport News, Virginia last week. Alliance Legislative Representative Eva Dominguez spoke about Medicare, and Ron Thompson, the new Virginia Alliance President, attended.
“Virginia is such a key state this election year,” said Ms. Easterling. “We are glad to have Ron Thompson around to help educate Virginia seniors in the run-up to the key 2012 Presidential, Senate, and House Elections in the state.” For photos of Virginia Alliance members on motorcycles and trucks in the Roanoke Labor Day Parade, go to http://bit.ly/OTvy4s.
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