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New York Alliance for Retired Americans WNY Chapter of NYSARA
Stephen Muscarella, President
NYS PEF Retirees


With More Than 500,000 Retired Union Members Living Across New York State Today, Including More Than 100,000 Right Here in Western New York, is Proud to be Working With the Representatives of the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans (NYSARA) in Order to Provide Union Retirees With a Variety of Labor News and Information They Need and Just Won’t Find Anywhere Else.

The Western New York Chapter of the New York Alliance For Retired Americans Serves as the Base for Providing Union Retirees a Voice that Can Be Heard.

Stephen Muscarella is NYSARA’s President Here in Western New York and Also Serves as President of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF).

For More Information on the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans and How You Can Get Involved, Contact Stephen Muscarella Directly Via E-Mail at

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Union Retiree News From The Alliance For Retired Americans: Masses Protest Obama Budget Release Including Cuts To Social Security & Medicare

Union Retiree News From The Alliance For Retired Americans: Masses Protest Obama Budget Release Including Cuts To Social Security & Medicare

Published Tuesday, April 16, 2013 1:00 pm
by Alliance For Retired Americans

Masses Protest Obama Budget Release Including Cuts To Social Security & Medicare

The Alliance For Retired Americans joined the broad Strengthen Social Security Coalition last week at the White House to deliver 2.3 million Petitions against the Proposal to change the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to the Chained CPI Formula, which would Cut Benefits for Current and Future Beneficiaries.  President Obama’s recently-released Budget outlines more than $4 trillion in Deficit Reduction, but headlines centered on his First-Ever Proposal to Cut Social Security.  Last week’s action was widely covered in the Media.  Tens of millions of Workers, Seniors and Disabled Veterans were represented.  Their message: “We must not Balance the Budget on the Backs of the Elderly, Disabled Vets, the Sick, the Women or the Children.”  U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont), who headlined the event, said: “When One out of Four Major Profitable Corporations ‘pays nothing’ in Federal Income Taxes, we know how we can deal with Deficit Reduction in a way that is Fair.”  Videos from the Press Conference and Rally can be viewed here   Also last week, House Democratic leaders dismissed President Obama’s inclusion of Social Security Cuts in his 2014 Budget.  Top-ranking Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi (California), Steny Hoyer (Maryland), James Clyburn (South Carolina) and Xavier Becerra (California), questioned the validity of changing Social Security as part of a Deficit Reduction Package.  Becerra pointed out: “Social Security has ‘never added’ a penny to the Deficit or the National Debt.  Why you would take ($230 billion) through the Chained CPI by Cutting Benefits for Seniors, Veterans and the Disabled?,” Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Edward Coyle said. “Federal Budgets are about more than ‘just’ numbers, they clearly reflect of our National Priorities.  It’s time to ask Corporations to Pay their Fair Share and Stop Proposing Balancing the Budget on the Backs of Seniors, Retired Veterans and People with Disabilities.”  Click here to see a new Federal Budget Update Fact Sheet comparing the President’s Proposal with the House and Senate’s,  The Alliance supports the use of the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) which calculates the Social Security COLA in order to assure that the Purchasing Power of the Benefit is maintained as Beneficiaries’ Age and More Accurately Reflects Retirees’ Expenses.


Social Security Uniquely Important To Women, Cuts Would Have Major Impact

Last Tuesday marked Equal Pay Day - the date that symbolizes the day in the New Year that Women have to Work to Match the Income their Male Counterparts made in the Previous Year. Women account for two-thirds of Minimum Wage Workers in this Country, and more than half of Women are the Sole or an Essential Supporter of their Families.  “Women are disproportionately dependent on Social Security – ‘We’ Work Longer Hours at Less Pay, ‘We’ have Less Savings at the end of their Working Lives, ‘We’ are ‘more likely’ to Work in Jobs that Don’t Offer Pensions or Health Care or even 401ks, so ‘We’ rely on Social Security,” National Organization for Women (NOW) President Terry O’Neill said.  Alliance Members like Barbara Stone in Nevada can tell you what it means to earn less, sometimes Half the Wage that her male Colleagues Earned, and to Live Solely on Income from Social Security.  Stone raised five Children on her own and contributed to Social Security throughout a long life of work which began at 13 years old.  In light of recent proposals to Cut Social Security or switch to the Chained CPI COLA Formula, Stone said: “We cannot let it happen.”  Click here to see how the Chained CPI Translates to Weeks of Food Lost to Single Elderly Women:  Leah Witherspoon, who serves as Chair of the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Alliance, was recently Profiled in a National Article about the Chained CPI. Read it here at:


As Americans Pay On Tax Day, Big Pharma Pockets Billions In Profits From Taxpayers And Seniors

The 11 Largest Drug Companies took $711.4 billion in Profits over the past 10 years, according to an Analysis of Corporate Filings by Health Care for America Now (HCAN).  The Global Pharmaceutical Industry derived much of that Profit from the Significant Charges to the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program for Seniors and People with Disabilities.  Thanks in part to Inflated Costs paid by the Part D Program, the 11 Drug Companies booked $76.3 billion in Profits in 2006 - an extraordinary 34% increase from the previous year, when Part D was not yet in place.  Medicare - the Largest Purchaser in the World’s Largest Drug Market - is Prohibited, by Law, from Negotiating Better Drug Prices.  Americans Pay the Highest Drug Prices in the World. “The Drug Industry’s Profits are Excessive as a Result of Over-Charging American Consumers and Taxpayers,” HCAN’s Executive Director Ethan Rome said. “During this period, as millions of Americans struggled to Afford their Medicines, Republicans in Congress have threatened to Cut Seniors’ Benefits while Refusing to Consider ‘Common Sense’ Measures to get a Better Deal from Drug Companies.”  More here at:  The Congressional Budget Office indicates that allowing Medicare to Negotiate the Same Bulk Purchasing Discounts on Prescription Drugs as Medicaid or the VA would save the Federal Government $137 billion (  According to Americans for Tax Fairness, Pfizer paid no U.S. Income Taxes from 2010 to 2012, while Earning $43 billion Worldwide.  It did this partly by Performing Accounting Acrobatics to Shift its U.S. Profits Off-Shore.  Instead, it received $2.2 billion in Federal Tax Refunds.  The Off-Shore Profits amounted to $73 at the end of 2012, on which Pfizer paid no U.S. Income Taxes.  “If only Pfizer were the ‘exception’ and not the ‘rule,’” Alliance for Retired Americans Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks said.


Eye Drops Could Cure Macular Degeneration, A Leading Cause Of Blindness

According to a New Study from the Washington University School of Medicine, Eye Drops intended to Lower Cholesterol could have an Additional Effect - Curing Macular Degeneration, which is the Leading Cause of Blindness in Americans over the age of 60.  The Study found that the Eye Drops Successfully Cure Macular Degeneration in Mice.  This Research still needs to be tested in Humans, but it could potentially have an impact on how Macular Degeneration is treated.  To read CBS News’ write up of the Study, go to   Although Research is still in the early stages, it is encouraging.  Finding a Successful Cure for Macular Degeneration would Improve the Quality of Life for millions of Seniors.


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