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.”
09/04/2015 - Happy Labor Day to all Alliance members! The Social Security Administration's (SSA’s) new Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) issue paper and state fact sheets show how this vital safety net is protecting workers and their families in every community across America.
Released to coincide with Labor Day, the documents focus attention on disability protections that workers earn through payroll taxes. The average person receiving SSDI payments today paid into the system for 22 years before becoming disabled.
While still talking about the need to “save” Social Security by cutting benefits to retirees, this cycle’s crop of GOP Presidential candidates have been silent on whether they’d support a plan to privatize Social Security. In 2005, Democrats defeated a proposal by President Bush to allow individuals to invest in private accounts in lieu of Social Security – an idea which would have exposed decades of earned benefits to the volatility of the stock market while depleting the trust fund at a faster rate.
08/21/2015 - This week, Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin GovernorScott Walker released a plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), who is also running for president, spoke about his own plans for the ACA. While light on specifics, Walker’s plan promises to turn Medicaid into a block grant program run by the states, potentially cutting health care for millions of seniors. Furthermore, many of the essential guarantees under the ACA, such as mandated coverage of preventive care and protections for those with pre-existing conditions who don’t have continuous health care coverage, would disappear.
08/17/2015 - For Employees Covered by the National Agreement
In June 2015 the CPI-W unadjusted Index (1967=100) rose to 696.431 after falling for five of the last nine months. No additional COLAs are due under the 2010 National Agreement. Future COLAs will depend upon the terms of a successor collective bargaining agreement.
08/14/2015 - Members of the Alliance are hosting more than 40 events today, August 14th, to celebrate and educate the public about the importance of protecting and expanding Social Security on its 80th birthday.
Together with Medicare’s 50th birthday events held in July, as well as Social Security anniversary celebrations held recently or on the horizon, the Alliance is holding more than 150 events in July and August to mark the two anniversaries. The Alliance is working with Social Security Works, a partner organization, to release new reports showing how important Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are to seniors in all 50 states: http://www.socialsecurityworks.org/resources/state-reports
08/10/2015 - Last night, the Republican Party held its first primetime primary debate in Cleveland, Ohio. Participants in the evening event included current and former Governors Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, and Scott Walker; Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio; pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson;and business mogul Donald Trump. An event earlier in the day featured candidates who did not make the top ten in national polls.
08/03/2015 - Retirees who are unsure about whether they were affected by the OPM data breach involving names, birth dates, addresses, and Social Security numbers can call 844-777-2743 to find out, reports APWU Retirees Department Director Judy Beard. An advisor will assist with inquiries and can help those who were affected enroll in the identity theft monitoring program offered by OPM.
07/31/2015 - Retirees and allies around the country participated in more than 100 Medicare events celebrating 50 years of guaranteed health coverage for seniors this week. In Washington, DC, the Alliance for Retired Americans participated in a celebratory press conference with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Reps. Doris Matsui (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Xavier Becerra (CA), and Joe Crowley (NY) to honor the program’s accomplishments and reiterate support for preserving it for the future. Alliance executive director Richard Fiesta and Alliance member Susan Thomas of Maryland spoke at the event. You can watch the video on YouTube. Minutes later, U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) led a Senate celebration.