Republican Budget Would Drastically Alter Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security
Last week, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (Republican-Wisconsin) released a proposal to cut more than $4 trillion in federal spending over the next decade through drastic changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Ryan’s plan privatizes Medicare, turning it over to health insurance companies. Seniors who currently rely on the Federal Government for Medicare benefits would be given coupons for a fixed-dollar amount and then forced to fend for themselves in the private health insurance market. Moreover, the dollar amount of this voucher is unlikely to keep pace with medical costs or one’s changing medical condition. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that Ryan’s plan would have seniors paying $20,000 a year for Medicare in 2030, or 68% of the total cost of their coverage. That amount is currently 25%. Medicaid would be, in Washington terms, "block granted," that is turned over, with few strings attached, to state governors. “After what we have seen this year, why would we want to put affordable access to nursing homes and long-term care into the hands of Scott Walker, John Kasich, Mitch Daniels, or Chris Christie? Seniors better pray for good health,” the Alliance For Retired Americans Executive Director Edward Coyle said. The Ryan Plan would also create new federal budget rules to quietly start a "trigger" that could soon lead to Social Security benefit cuts and a higher retirement age. A legal provision would cut Social Security benefits once spending on the program rises above a certain level, which would be as soon as the Baby Boomers are beginning to retire. For more on how the Ryan plan would harm current and future seniors, go to http://bit.ly/fCklaP. At a Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday, Coyle joined Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and leaders of other Senior Advocacy Organizations in denouncing the Ryan blueprint. On Wednesday, Coyle joined Representatives John Larson of Connecticut, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Mark Critz of Pennsylvania and Ted Deutch of Florida, as well as California Representatives Doris Matsui, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Laura Richardson, and Henry Waxman at a House Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force event highlighting the impact of the Ryan cuts.
Florida Alliance Members Turn out Across the State to Stop Governor Rick Scott
The Florida Alliance, together with the national Alliance and AFSCME (American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees), turned people out for multiple events across Florida last week to protesting Republican Governor Rick Scott’s push to take people off Medicaid and force them into HMOs - while restricting their ability to sue for the lack of care that would likely follow. Events took place in cities including Orlando, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville.
“We Are One” Events: A Reminder That Collective Bargaining Is A Civil Right
Monday, April 4th, marked the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To commemorate the legacy of Dr. King, Alliance members across the country joined their Labor Union Brothers & Sisters at “We Are One” rallies, marches and sit-ins. The events also protested recent attacks on Public Workers’ Collective Bargaining Rights. King had been protesting for Collective Bargaining Rights for Sanitation Workers in Memphis, Tennessee just before he was assassinated. “Martin Luther King’s unrelenting dedication to making sure all Americans receive justice and equality serves as an inspiration to all Americans,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.
Did You Know... According to Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover story: “The More You Make, The Less You Pay - For the 400 U.S. taxpayers with the highest adjusted gross incomes, the effective Federal Income Tax Rate fell from almost 30% in 1995 to just under 17% in 2007, according to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). And for the approximately 1.4 million people who make up the top 1% of taxpayers, the effective Federal Income Tax Rate dropped from 29% to 23% in 2008. Therefore. the top 400 earners end up paying a lower rate than the next 1,399,600 or so! (Politico)