Drug Industry Protections Causing Complications Among Trade Negotiators
International trade ministers met this week in Atlanta and the Wall Street Journal reported that they continue to be divided over provisions related to prescription drugs and how long companies will be able to keep lower-cost generics off the market. Americans already pay the highest prices in the industrialized world for prescription drugs and if the TPP is passed the Alliance and other senior and consumer groups are deeply concerned that the situation will be worse.
“The Alliance team is closely monitoring this issue, and will take appropriate action to ensure that Alliance members’ voices are heard, as should anyone who relies on Medicare or prescription drugs,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “We know that free trade deals, especially when they’ve been negotiated in secret, often end up being a bad deal for older Americans and working people.”
Latinos for a Secure Retirement Hosts Summit on Capitol Hill
Alliance Legislative Representative Eva Dominguez gave a presentation on the importance of Social Security benefits at a Retirement Empowerment Summit on hosted by Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR) on Thursday.
The event was attended by dozens of staff members and several members of Congress including Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA) and Raul Grijalva (AZ). LSR released a plan for long term Social Security solvency, raised awareness and spoke to Latino caucus members about ways to increase retirement security for Latinos and other Americans.
You can learn more about Latino’s for a Secure Retirement and its mission at http://latinosforasecureretirement.org
Arizona Alliance Hosts Successful State Convention
Members of the Arizona Alliance gathered in Phoenix this week for their biennial convention. Among the speakers were State Representative Ken Clark who discussed “dark money” in local politics Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego who talked about her work to improve conditions for working families and leading the equal pay for women campaign and State Senator Martin Quezada. Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta provided an overview of the 2016 political climate for senior issues.
The members also re-elected Doug Hart, President; John Campbell, 1st Vice President; Bill Engler, 2nd Vice President and Dan Pollard, Treasurer. Russ Crossan was elected Recording Secretary.
Help Tell Congress to Rein in Skyrocketing Prescription Drug Prices
Last year, 35 million Americans – nearly 1 in 5 people – did not fill a prescription because they couldn’t afford it. Making matters worse, Medicare isn’t allowed to negotiate prescription drug prices and when retirees are already, on average, spending 37% of their Social Security checks on out-of-pocket health care costs.
“Congress needs to protect seniors who can afford high drug prices the least,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “We are calling on all members of Congress to sign onto a new bill to protect seniors and all Americans from the financial abuses of the pharmaceutical industry.
The bill (SB 2023 and HR 3513) was recently introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD), demands transparency from drug companies and holds the pharmaceutical industry accountable for fraud and price manipulation.