New York State Alliance Holds Its Convention
New York’s Annual State Alliance For Retired Americans Convention took place in Albany late last week, drawing more than 60 Delegates. Featured Speakers included: Dani Pere, who serves as Director of Field Mobilization for the National Alliance; and Eric Kingson, Co-Director of Social Security Works; as well as several others, including Representatives from the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union and the AFL-CIO. Discussions focused on a number of Topics, including: Chained CPI; Planning for the July 2nd National Day of Action; and a Report on State Pensions. Elected to Office were: Dennis Tracey, State President; Doris Welch, Secretary; Dorothy Breen, Treasurer; Western New York United Auto Workers (UAW) Representative Paul Schuh, Labor Vice President (VP); and Molly Krakowski, Community VP.
Add Your Ideas For The National AFL-CIO Convention!: The AFL-CIO will hold its Quadrennial Convention September 8th through the 11th in Los Angeles this year. Help Shape the Agenda! Propose a Session or Host a Discussion at http://tinyurl.com/nbhnxbb.
Voting Record Rates The Most Unproductive Congress In Nation’s Modern History
Last week, the Alliance released its Annual Report detailing the Voting Record of every U.S. Senator and Representative on Key Issues affecting Current and Future Retirees. The Document, which is available at http://www.retiredamericans.org/issues/congressional-voting-record, examined 10 Key Senate Votes and 10 Key House Votes in 2012. It contains the Roll Calls on Issues such as: Whether to Privatize Medicare and Create a Voucher-Like System in its place; Whether to turn Medicaid into a Block Grant System; and Whether to Undo Key Affordable Care Act Provisions that Benefit Seniors. For the first time, the Report is available in Spanish (at the same link). “This past year we saw the most ‘Unproductive’ Congress in Modern American History finally come to an end, passing fewer than (250) Bills in two years,” Alliance President Barbara Easterling said. “The House even Refused to Vote on Needed Relief to Victims of Hurricane Sandy. Yet, it Voted Repeatedly to Repeal the Affordable Care Act, even after the U.S. Supreme Court Ruled on its Constitutionality. In contrast, while Attacks on Core Retiree Programs continued, many in Congress Voted to Preserve a Tax System that Favors the Wealthiest Americans. For more than a decade, the Wealthiest Americans have received trillions in Tax Breaks, while Older Americans have seen Rising Drug, Health Care, Food and Energy Costs.” To see the full Press Release about the Report, go to http://tinyurl.com/plx7kov.
U.S. Senator Harkin Explains Plan To Give Seniors An Extra $800 Per Year
A Bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tom Harkin (Democrat-Indiana) - who serves as the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee - called The Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 (S.567), which would put as much as an extra $800 in Your Pocket Every Year! Senator Harkin addressed more than 4,000 Alliance Members and Activists in a Telephone Town Hall early last week, when they heard him explain his Bill. The Bill also increases: The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to Better Reflect the Cost of Goods and Services typically used by Older Americans; Strengthens the Social Security Trust Fund; and Ensures the Program is Solvent for Decades to come. If you have not already done so, sign the Alliance’s Strengthening Social Security Act Petition at http://tinyurl.com/ohhdzy6.
Join Us In Creating Human Chains Against Chained CPI On July 2nd
On Tuesday, July 2nd, the Alliance will sponsor a National Day of Action in which we focus specifically on Elevating Grassroots Voices in the Battle to Protect and Enhance Retirement Security. We will Work Together to Create a Human Chain in front of Congressional Offices, key Federal Buildings and other Strategic Locations in States around the Country. It will be a Human Chain against the Chained CPI! The National Alliance will host a Media Event in DC with a Smaller Chain to Create Powerful Symbolism of what the States are doing, spotlighting the National Day Of Action. For more information about the day is available at http://tinyurl.com/pd8pbsz. “On the National Day of Action, Alliance Members around the Country will send Congress a ‘Full-Throated’ Message,” the Alliance’s Executive Director Edward Coyle said. “We refuse to be ‘Chained’ by the Chained CPI.
Projected Spending Numbers For Medicare &Medicaid Reduced By $900 Billion
According to New Figures released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO’s), Projections of Cumulative Medicare and Medicaid Spending over the decade from 2010-2020 have been Sharply Reduced. Since late 2010, the CBO’s estimation of Medicare Costs has fallen by $590 billion and its estimation of Medicaid Cuts by $311 billion. This is not a Result of any Cuts to the Programs, but is instead Part of a Larger Trend of Reduced Health Care Costs over the last few years. To read a report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities explaining more, go to http://tinyurl.com/ojym5eb. “The Decrease in Projected Spending shows that these Programs are Strong and Healthy and will Remain so for the Foreseeable Future as long as they are Protected from the Misguided ‘Reforms’ like Raising the Eligibility Age for Medicare and Shifting more Costs to Beneficiaries,” Alliance Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks said. “This is Clear Evidence that any Cuts or Major Changes to Medicare or Medicaid in the Guise of ‘Protecting’ the Programs are entirely ‘Unnecessary.’”
Alliance President Easterling Is Among Those Arrested At United Mine Workers Protest
Thousands of United Mine Workers rallied outside Peabody Energy in St. Louis early last week, furious the Coal Company loaded much of its Union Contract Obligations onto a Spin-Off Company - Patriot Coal - that was Designed to Fail. Patriot's Plan will Cut Health Care and Retirement Benefits, and about a Dozen Protesters were Peacefully Arrested for sitting in the street. Among them: Alliance President Easterling. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court is scheduled to Issue a Ruling on the Patriot Coal Case sometime before May 29th, unless all Parties agree to seek an Extension. “What Peabody Coal is doing is absolutely Criminal,” Easterling said. “They are using our Nation’s Bankruptcy Laws as a ‘License to Steal.’ They are ‘Stealing’ from the Sick and the Elderly. They are ‘Stealing’ from Widows.”