• Advertisement

Clinton-Kaine is an Excellent Fit for Retirees

Ticket is Ultimate Antidote to Worries that Trump-Pence would cut Social Security, Medicare

Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance for Retired Americans, released the following statement regarding Hillary Clinton’s selection of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her Vice Presidential nominee:
Alliance For Retired Americans

“Senator Tim Kaine is a superb choice to be Vice President. The Alliance for Retired Americans was already energized about a Hillary Clinton presidency, and Senator Kaine is the icing on the cake. His 93% lifetime score from the Alliance for his pro-retiree votes is proof that he is the right person for the job.

“Secretary Clinton has been a champion for retirees throughout her distinguished career, and Senator Kaine has been throughout his. As a Governor and as a Senator, he has always had retirees’ best interests in mind. He has stated plainly that ‘we shouldn’t embrace radical reforms like the Ryan Plan or the privatization of Social Security,’ and that is music to our ears. Senator Kaine clearly opposes efforts to cut, privatize or shift Medicare costs to retirees.

“If you go down the list of what retirees want the most, Tim Kaine checks all the boxes. He has pledged to protect Social Security. Like Secretary Clinton, he would rein in prescription drug costs by allowing the Medicare program to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for better prices, just as the Department of Veterans Affairs does.

“His life’s work exemplifies the Alliance’s mission to enhance the quality of life for all Americans. He will protect our traditional pension plans from attack.

“On the other hand, Donald Trump’s choice of Governor Mike Pence as his running mate locked in place a team that endangers the things that retirees care about the most: the protection and expansion of their earned Social Security and Medicare benefits. The contrast could not be starker. We are confident that the Clinton-Kaine team will give us the retirement security we need.

“The Alliance’s 4.4 million members and 1600 chapters will do all they can before Election Day to educate seniors on the differences between the Trump-Pence plans for seniors and the Clinton-Kaine plans. We look forward to working with a Clinton-Kaine Administration to expand our earned Social Security benefits.”

Kelly Ayotte’s Misleading New Seniors Ad Features State Legislators Who Voted to Privatize Social Security, Cut Medicare Protections and Alzheimer’s Program Funding

Ayotte releases new ad to buffer her credentials on Social Security, Medicare, and Alzheimer’s research support, but instead features two NH State Representatives who supported privatizing Social Security, dismantling Medicare, and cutting funding for an Alzheimer’s caregiver respite program

photo of Sen. Kelly Ayotte by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons

Concord, NH – Sensitive to a recent TV ad critical of her votes to dismantle key programs for seniors, Kelly Ayotte has released a misleading response ad intended to buffer her credentials on Social Security, Medicare, and Alzheimer’s research support. The ad, however, features two New Hampshire State Representatives who are in lockstep with efforts to dismantle key programs.

NH State Representatives Mary Griffin (R) and Walter Kolodziej (R) – along with Kolodziej’s wife and one other individual – claim that Ayotte has protected seniors despite an ample vote record that shows Ayotte voted to turn Medicare into a voucher program and raise the eligibility age. The ad and copy also attempt to bolster Ayotte’s record in other areas, such as Alzheimer’s research funding. However, the voting records of Ayotte and those she trusts on senior issues would harm seniors on issues regarding Medicare, Social Security, and Alzheimer’s support:

  • Ayotte effectively voted for FY 2012 Ryan Budget, which replaced Medicare with a premium support plan. The plan would more than double out-of-pocket costs for the average Medicare enrollee. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/7/11; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11)
  • Ayotte effectively voted for the FY2013 Ryan Budget, which replaced Medicare with a voucher program, increased the eligibility age, reopened the donut hole, and repealed the Affordable Care Act. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/28/12; AARP, Letter to Congress, 3/21/12)
  • Ayotte voted for FY 2014 Ryan Budget plan which would “replace Medicare’s guarantee of health coverage with a premium-support voucher.” (Senate Vote 46, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/15/13)
  • Ayotte voted for FY 2011 budget with deep cuts to agencies responsible for Alzheimer’s research. In congressional testimony on March 11, 2011, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the proposed cuts would mean that “about half of the hundred largest clinical studies including those on cancer and Alzheimer’s would probably be canceled.” (Vote 36, 3/9/11; Politifact, 4/15/11)
  • Ayotte surrogates Kolodziej and Griffin voted for urging Congress to privatize all aspects of Social Security. Privatizing social security puts at risk benefits for New Hampshire’s current and future retirees. (HCR39, Roll Call #190, 3/21/2012)
  • Ayotte surrogates Kolodziej and Griffin voted for an Interstate Health Care Compact that sought to allow New Hampshire to opt-out of Medicare and other programs, and eliminate all federal minimum benefit guarantees and protections for New Hampshire seniors and others. (HB1560, Roll Call #87, 2/15/2012)
  • Ayotte surrogates Kolodziej and Griffin voted for suspending funding for the Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) program. The program provides temporary respite services to family members, partners and other informal caregivers who are caring for an individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementia. (HB2, Roll Call #143, 3/30/2011; DHHS, Accessed 21.16)

“Kelly Ayotte’s votes hurt Granite State seniors,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Kelly Ayotte’s decision to feature individuals who support privatizing all aspects of Social Security and undermining protections for New Hampshire seniors and their caregivers sends a strong message regarding where her priorities sit.”

###

 Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.

Full Fact Check Citations

Ayotte effectively voted for FY 2012 Ryan Budget, which replaced Medicare with a premium support plan. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “CBO also finds that this beneficiary’s [a typical 65-year-old] annual out-of-pocket costs would more than double — from $6,150 to $12,500. In later years, as the value of the voucher eroded, the increase in out-of-pocket costs would be even greater.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/7/11] The Wall Street Journal wrote that “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

Ayotte effectively voted for the FY2013 Ryan Budget, which replaced Medicare with a voucher program, increased the eligibility age, reopened the donut hole, and repealed the Affordable Care Act. “The budget resolution developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would make significant changes to Medicare. It would replace Medicare’s current guarantee of coverage with a premium-support voucher, raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, and reopen the “doughnut hole” in Medicare’s coverage of prescription drugs. Together, these changes would shift substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries and (with the simultaneous repeal of health reform) leave many 65- and 66-year olds without any health coverage at all.” (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/28/12) AARP CEO Barry Rand said: “ … the proposal is likely to simply increase costs for beneficiaries while removing Medicare’s promise of secure health coverage — a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work.” (AARP, Letter to Congress, 3/21/12)

Ayotte voted for FY 2014 Ryan Budget plan which would “replace Medicare’s guarantee of health coverage with a premium-support voucher.” According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “The Medicare proposals in the 2014 budget resolution developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) are essentially the same as those in last year’s Ryan budget.  Once again, Chairman Ryan proposes to replace Medicare’s guarantee of health coverage with a premium-support voucher and raise the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 67.” The vote was largely along party lines; Ayotte voted with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. (Senate Vote 46, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/15/13)

Ayotte voted for FY 2011 budget with deep cuts to agencies responsible for Alzheimer’s research. In congressional testimony on March 11, 2011, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the proposed cuts would mean that “about half of the hundred largest clinical studies including those on cancer and Alzheimer’s would probably be canceled.” (Vote 36, 3/9/11; Politifact, 4/15/11)

Ayotte surrogates Kolodziej and Griffin voted for urging Congress to privatize all aspects of Social Security. Privatizing social security puts at risk benefits for New Hampshire’s current and future retirees. (HCR39, Roll Call #190, 3/21/2012)

Ayotte surrogates Kolodziej and Griffin voted for an Interstate Health Care Compact that – with permission from Congress – would give participating states the authority to opt out of all federal health care protections and programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. This would have taken away not just all federal oversight, but all federal minimum benefit guarantees and protections for New Hampshire’s most vulnerable populations: states could drop seniors from Medicare coverage, eliminate our Medicaid and CHIP protections for vulnerable children, end Medicaid-sponsored long-term care services for elders and people with disabilities, terminate protections for children with pre-existing conditions, and stop the enforcement of laws protecting medical privacy. A compact state would be free to replace any and all of these previous federal programs and protections with risky and/or inadequate state-based schemes or, if a state so chose, not replace them at all. (HB1560, Roll Call #87, 2/15/2012)

Ayotte surrogates Kolodziej and Griffin voted for suspending funding for the Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) program. The program provides temporary respite services to family members, partners and other informal caregivers who are caring for an individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementia. (HB2, Roll Call #143, 3/30/2011; DHHS, Accessed 7.21.16)

Jeb Bush Enrages Granite Staters With Talk Of “Phasing Out” Medicare

Granite Staters Respond to Jeb Bush’s New Plan to “Phase Out” Medicare 

Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event yesterday, Jeb Bush enraged people when he said “we need to figure out a way to phase out” Medicare for future enrollees.

If you did not see the video, here it is.

Jeb Bush has been outspoken trying to woo his party base with talks of “phasing out” Medicare and raising the retirement age on Social Security.  He also told the Union Leader that people should work more hours.  In Jeb’s world we are all going to work 70 hours a week until we die because seniors will not have access to Medicare and will be force to survive on the bread crumbs that Social Security will provide after Jeb forces through his cuts.

Granite Staters spoke out against Jeb Bush’s comments today saying he is “declaring war on seniors.”

Ray Buckley, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair had this to say about Jeb Bush’s plan to phase out Medicare: 

“In fact the numbers prove that the Affordable Care Act has strengthened medicare’s outlook for decades for come. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, out of pocket costs for preventative services have been eliminated for 183,000 granite state medicare beneficiaries and nearly 19,000 Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries have been phased out of the donut hole coverage gap.  

“This is just the latest chapter in a long book of Republicans trying to destroy Medicare or turn it over to corporations. Nearly the entire Republican field supported Paul Ryan’s efforts to end Medicare as we know it. And Jeb Bush just made it crystal clear. 

“For half a century, Medicare has remained a critical part of the safety net for our Senior citizens as a sacred promise that we must uphold for future generations. As of 2012, there were 231,000 granite staters that would rely on medicare for health coverage. New Hampshire can’t afford Jeb Bush’s ideas to phase out Medicare and neither can the rest of the country.

“Bush also said last night that he thinks phasing out Medicare will be a quote-unquote “winning argument.” I’m happy to take that bet. Not here in the Granite State.”

A true Granite Stater, Lenore Patton of Hampton, New Hampshire is clearly unhappy with Jeb Bush’s plan:

“I am frustrated that Jeb wants to phase out Medicare. I thought this fight was over when President Obama was elected and our country rejected the Romney-Ryan plan to privatize Medicare. 

Seniors like me have worked hard their whole lives, supported their families, given back to their communities. It’s clear Jeb Bush doesn’t get it. Calling for phasing out Medicare and repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has saved seniors money, is not what we need… 

“Throughout his career Jeb has only fought for the wealthiest – giving them tax breaks that shifted the burden to the middle class. This is no different. 

“Jeb Bush’s plan to phase out Medicare isn’t going to help the middle class, it’ll just put them farther and farther behind. Bush, once again, is looking out for himself and others like him – a way to put more in their pockets – instead of working to help people from falling into poverty. That is something we just can’t stand for.”

The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans have been an outspoken advocate for protecting the social net for seniors and preserving Medicare and Social Security for future generations.

Jane Lange, Vice President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans released the following statement:  

“Jeb Bush has declared war on seniors.”

“By going after their earned Medicare benefits, he is putting our health and economic well-being at risk.”

“Medicare was created 50 years ago this month to ensure that older Americans, who are most in need of health care services, would not have to choose between a hospital stay and keeping a roof over their head.”

“Since then, all Americans have contributed to Medicare with the assumption that it would be there for them when they reached retirement age.”

“We will fight against any attempt to take away our earned health care benefits and make sure that older Americans know who is on our side, and who is not.”

Considering that seniors are the highest demographic of active voters, I think it was unwise to tell them you would like to steal their Medicare.

Leo W Gerard: The GOP Has Money To Kill

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell (FLIKR CC Peter Stevens)

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell (FLIKR CC Peter Stevens)

By Leo W Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers

Shock and awe describes the budgets issued last week by Republicans in the House and Senate. The shock is that the GOP never stops trying to destroy beloved programs like Medicare. Awe inspiring is their audacity in describing their killing plans as moral.

When the House released its budget last Tuesday, Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall said, “A budget is a moral document; it talks about where your values are.” His chamber’s spending plan shows that Republicans highly value war and place no value on health care for America’s elderly, working poor and young adults.

The opposite of win-win, the GOP budgets are kill-kill. Despite the GOP’s successful demand in 2011 for spending caps, Republicans now want more money for the military. War kills, as too many families of troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan know. By contrast, Republicans gouge domestic spending, condemning Americans to die unnecessarily from untreated disease. The GOP intends to revoke the health insurance of tens of millions by repealing the Affordable Care Act, voucherizing Medicare and slashing Medicaid. The Republican plans mandate overtime for the Grim Reaper.

2015-03-22-1427043255-1264135-TheGOPHasMoneytoBurngraphic.jpg

Shock and awe was the euphemism the military used as it launched war in Iraq. The focus on fireworks obscured death and dismemberment on the ground. Republicans try the same gimmick with their 10-year budgets. They employ perky language to conceal the casualties they would cause.

The House GOP called its document “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America.” Republicans see strength only in a fat military, not in healthy Americans. The House and Senate Republicans evade the sequester spending caps by giving an additional$38 billion to the military through a war account not subject to limits.

The euphemism House Republicans use to distract attention from the $150 billion they cut from Medicare is “premium care.” It’s a scheme to give less to seniors newly qualifying for Medicare. They’d voucherize Medicare for new qualifiers and call it “premium,” even though Americans have loudly protested and Congress has soundly rejected the scam every time Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin proposed it in the past.

What “premium care” really means is underfunded vouchers. Republicans cut money from Medicare then give seniors “vouchers” to buy their own health insurance on the open market. Americans know those cheap vouchers won’t cover the full cost, forcing seniors to pay thousands they don’t have each year for their doctors’ visits, arthritis medications and flu shots.  It’s really “premium uncare,” and Senate Republicans know that, so they didn’t propose it. They simply cut $430 billion from Medicare.

Enacted into law, the “premium uncare” scam would cost lives. As seniors delayed seeing doctors and scrimped on their diabetes and high blood pressure medication to save money, some would die. Sending grandma to an early grave is a price House Republicans are willing to pay.

Both the House and Senate Republican budgets would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That would cancel the health insurance of millions who got coverage through the ACA Medicaid expansion adopted by 29 states and the District of Columbia. It would cancel the health insurance of more than 16.4 million Americans who got covered through the exchanges and other ACA measures.  Altogether, the Obama administration estimates that the ACA repeal and broader Medicaid cuts proposed in the Republican budgets will deny health insurance to 37 million.

The ACA decreased the percentage of Americans without health insurance to 13.2.  Republicans, who offer no plan at all to replace the insurance they intend to seize, would increase the percentage of Americans without coverage back up to 20, where it was before the ACA.

Everyone would be affected. Without the ACA, insurers would once again be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions like asthma and diabetes. They’d once again be able to cap benefits so that sickly newborns and victims of recurring cancers would lose coverage. Insurers would dump the young adults that the ACA now covers under their parents’ plans to age 26.

More than 9,800 Americans would die unnecessarily each year if they could not get insurance through the Affordable Care Act. That’s the estimate that multiple public health scholars and the American Public Health Association provided to the U.S. Supreme Court as it considers overturning part of the law.  Other estimates of needless deaths are much higher.

The House and Senate GOP budgets also brutalize Medicaid funding, then turn the program over to the states to administer. After slashing $913 billion, the House GOP describes dumping the program on the states like this: “Our budget realigns the relationship the federal government has with states and local communities by respecting and restoring the principle of federalism.”

House Republicans “respect” the right of impoverished old and disabled people to try to survive without Medicaid insurance by eliminating funding for it. The Senate GOP was less “respectful,” slashing funding for Medicaid by only $400 billion and retaining coverage for low-income elderly and disabled people.

While asserting their budgeting morality, Republicans fail to mention that their “balanced” spending plans are propped up by $2 trillion in revenue from ACA taxesthat the GOP intends to repeal along with the ACA.  The GOP would use the money that it will magically receive from repealed health care taxes to pay for an additional $38 billion in military weapons in their magically balanced budgets.

The Republican budgets embody their values: they want tax dollars to kill, not heal.

Senators Shaheen, Mikulski Meet with New Hampshire Seniors In Rochester, Somersworth

Senators Highlight Work To Protect Social Security and Medicare, Brown Record Siding With Corporate Interests At Seniors’ Expense 

Scott Brown Supported Special Tax Breaks for Wall Street, Big Oil And Voted For Partisan Budget That Cut Social Security and Medicare

Manchester – Today, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski visited Rochester and Somersworth to meet with seniors and discuss their work to protect Social Security and Medicare. Shaheen and Mikulski also highlighted the differences between Shaheen and Scott Brown’s records when it comes to fighting for New Hampshire seniors.

“I’ll never stop fighting to protect Social Security for New Hampshire seniors, and I’ve always stood up against partisan attempts to cut benefits,” said Shaheen. “Scott Brown’s record is very different: when he was in the Senate, he voted for a budget that would have forced cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but he supported special breaks for Wall Street and Big Oil.”

“Scott Brown’s priorities are wrong for New Hampshire. We shouldn’t balance our budgets on the backs of seniors or middle class families here in New Hampshire,” Shaheen added.

“Time and time again I’ve worked alongside Senator Shaheen to make a difference for seniors across America,” said Mikulski. “Unlike Scott Brown, she understands that it’s wrong to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, and she’s opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare at every turn. It’s outrageous that Scott Brown would ever support billions of dollars in tax breaks to Wall Street and Big Oil but vote to cut Social Security and Medicare, which help ensure a secure retirement for our seniors.”

Jeanne Shaheen knows that New Hampshire’s seniors deserve to retire with dignity and with the confidence that Social Security and Medicare will be preserved. In the Senate, Shaheen opposed a proposal that would cut to Social Security benefits for seniors, and she is also an original cosponsor of the Medicare Protection Act, which would stop Republicans in Washington from turning the program into a voucher system or raising the eligibility age for benefits.

When Scott Brown was in the U.S. Senate, he supported a Republican budget that would have forced deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Brown has also said he is open to raising the retirement age and partially privatizing Social Security. And unlike Jeanne Shaheen, Brown supports a proposal that would result in Social Security benefit cuts for New Hampshire seniors.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown supported nearly $19 billion in special tax breaks for Wall Street and over $20 billion in tax breaks for the world’s largest oil companies, which made over $90 billion in profits last year.

Kuster Hosts Seniors Forum on Protecting Medicare and Social Security

 Local seniors joined Kuster to celebrate Social Security’s 79th birthday, and to share their thoughts on how Congress can support Granite State seniors

Image from the NH Citizens Alliance

Image from the NH Citizens Alliance

Peterborough, NH – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) invited local seniors to join her at the Peterborough Library to celebrate Social Security’s 79th birthday, and to discuss how Congress can best protect Social Security and Medicare. Advocates and experts on senior issues also joined the seniors forum, and took questions from event participants about resources available to them through these federal programs.

“Since first taking office, I have pledged to always protect Social Security and Medicare for our Granite State seniors. I hosted this open forum to hear directly from local seniors about what more Congress can do to support these crucial programs that so many of them rely on,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I was also proud to bring together local experts on senior services who were able to take questions from participants about other ways Medicare and Social Security programs could help benefit Granite State seniors.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster is a strong supporter of Social Security and Medicare, and she has stood up to members of both parties to fight to protect these programs. Today’s forum gave Monadnock seniors a chance to catch up with Congresswoman Kuster, share their concerns about the programs, and hear about federal services available to seniors in the area. During the roundtable, Kuster also discussed a new bill she helped introduce to provide more support for caregivers who are helping take care of their elderly relatives or other individuals who need care.

“I was also pleased to share information with event participants about a new bill I helped introduce, the Social Security Caregiver Credit Act, which will help increase Social Security benefits for individuals who serve in a full-time caretaking role for their elderly relatives or other Granite Staters who need care,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I served as a caregiver for my mother when she suffered from Alzheimer’s. I was lucky to have the support of my family, but I know firsthand the emotional, physical, and financial toll caretaking duties can have on those providing the care. I was proud to help introduce this bill, which will help ease the burden on the dedicated individuals who provide caretaking services to their loved ones.”

Jeanne Shaheen Makes A Difference For NH Seniors

“We need to protect and strengthen vital programs like Social Security and Medicare so Granite Staters who have worked hard their whole lives can retire with dignity. I’m proud to have stood against radical attempts to force cuts to Social Security and end Medicare as we know it, and I am working to cut prescription drug prices by allowing people to safely buy cheaper medication from Canada.  I’ll never stop fighting to make a difference for New Hampshire’s seniors.” – Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen priority-women copy

When it comes to protecting Social Security and Medicare, Jeanne Shaheen gets the job done. As Governor, Jeanne Shaheen created a program to help seniors save on prescription drugs. In the Senate, Shaheen fought radical Republican proposals to force cuts in Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher program. In communities across the state, she has hosted free consumer protection information sessions to give seniors tools to protect themselves from identity theft, credit fraud and other scams.

STRENGTHENING MEDICARE AND CLOSING THE DONUT HOLE

Senator Shaheen is helping close the Medicare Part D donut hole, reducing prescription costs for New Hampshire seniors.  Last year alone, more than 15,000 New Hampshire seniors each saved more than $840 on average.  Since 2010, Medicare beneficiaries in New Hampshire have saved $40,381,080 on prescription drug costs.

More than 180,000 Granite State seniors on Medicare have benefited from no cost preventive health services provided by the Affordable Care Act, and since the law was passed, Medicare’s solvency has been extended by 13 years, so that Medicare can continue to provide seniors with the benefits they depend on.

REDUCING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS

As New Hampshire’s Governor and U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen has consistently worked to reduce prescription costs for New Hampshire’s seniors.  Nationally, Americans spend an average of almost $1,000 per person every year on pharmaceuticals.  That is about 40 percent more than the next highest country.

As Governor, Shaheen implemented a prescription drug program that provided relief for seniors struggling with the high cost of prescription drugs and saved New Hampshire senior citizens millions. Now, she is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation with Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar to further lower prescription drug costs for our seniors. With this legislation, individuals would be able to import prescription drugs, similar to those available on the U.S. market, but from an approved Canadian pharmacy and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Drugs imported under this bill would be the same dosage, form, and potency as drugs in the U.S., but at a significant discount to consumers.

FIGHTING FOR CONSUMER PROTECTIONS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

Jeanne Shaheen is fighting for consumer protections to help seniors live independently and stay in their homes.  In the Senate, Jeanne Shaheen introduced legislation to help educate seniors on fraud prevention to protect them from predatory scams. She hosted a series of consumer protection forums in communities across the state to give seniors the tools they need to recognize fraud before it happens and protect themselves.

She also joined bipartisan efforts to maintain funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), providing critical support to New Hampshire families and seniors struggling to pay their home heating bills.

PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE

Jeanne Shaheen knows that seniors deserve to retire with dignity and with confidence that Social Security and Medicare will be there for them.   When Republicans put forth spending plans that would turn Medicare into a voucher program, and tried to force deep cuts in Social Security with a bill that was opposed by the AARP, Jeanne Shaheen led the fight against their dangerous schemes.  In New Hampshire, more than 230,000 senior citizens benefit from Medicare, and more than 170,000 are on Social Security.

In 2012 during the fiscal cliff negotiations, Shaheen drew a line in the sand and made sure cuts to Social Security were off the table. She even took on her own party to oppose the President’s chained CPI proposal for Social Security, which would have resulted in a loss of benefits for seniors.

Jeanne Shaheen has been a tireless advocate for seniors, strengthening Medicare, protecting Social Security, and working to lower the cost prescription drugs both as Governor and with commonsense bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Seniors in New Hampshire have saved $40,381,080 on prescription drugs since 2010

obamacare ApprovedFindings come on eve of Medicare’s 49th anniversary 

On the eve of the 49th anniversary of the signing of Medicare and Medicaid into law, new information released today by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that people with Medicare in New Hampshire have saved $40,381,080 on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  Nationally, more than 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare continue to enjoy prescription drug savings as a result of the Affordable Care Act, saving $11.5 billion since 2010.

This news comes on the heels of continued historic low levels of growth in Medicare spending.  According to the recent Medicare Trustees report, the life of the Trust Fund has been extended to 2030, up from its projection of 2017 in 2009, and Part B premiums are expected to stay the same rather than increase for the second year in a row.  Additionally, a new HHS report found that per capita Medicare spending growth has averaged 2 percent over 2009 – 2012, and nearly 0 percent in 2013, one-third of the growth rate over the 2000-2008 period.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seniors and people with disabilities are saving on needed medications,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.  “By making prescription drugs more affordable, we are improving and promoting the best care for people with Medicare.”

The Affordable Care Act makes Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable by gradually closing the gap in coverage where beneficiaries had to pay the full cost of their prescriptions out of pocket, before catastrophic coverage took effect.  This gap is known as the donut hole.

Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, out-of-pocket savings on medications for people with Medicare prescription drug coverage continues to grow.  In New Hampshire, people with Medicare have saved $40,381,080 on prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D donut hole since the law was enacted.  Nationally, more than 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare have saved over $11.5 billion since 2010 on prescription drugs as a result of discounts in the donut hole and rebates in 2010, for an average of $1,407.  These figures are higher than last year at this time when over 6.6 million seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare had saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs averaging $1,061 per beneficiary in donut hole discounts.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, in 2010, anyone with a Medicare prescription drug plan who reached the prescription drug donut hole received a $250 rebate.  Beginning in 2011, beneficiaries in the donut hole began receiving discounts on covered brand-name drugs and savings on generic drugs.  These savings and Medicare coverage will gradually increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed.  In 2014, people with a Medicare prescription drug plan who fall into the donut hole will save from discounts and increased coverage in the gap about 53 percent on the cost of brand name drugs and save from increased coverage in the gap about 28 percent on the cost of generic drugs.

For state-by-state information on discounts on the donut hole, please visit: http://downloads.cms.gov/files/Medicare-Part-D-Donut-Hole-Savings-Summary-2010-June-2014.pdf.

For more information about Medicare prescription drug benefits, please visit: http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/.

The NH Alliance For Retired Americans Score NH Senators On Issues Effecting Seniors

Please take a look at how your Representatives and Senators in the United States Congress voted on issues of concern to senior citizens and their families.

The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans has sent this letter to the editor to papers around the state:

When it comes to support for the senior safety net, New Hampshire’s two Senators could not be more different.  The Alliance for Retired Americans produces a voting record to show how committed our elected representatives are to retirees and older Americans. Votes chosen for 2013 were*:

Seniors Program Cuts
Health Care Repeal
Estate Tax Repeal
Anti-Retiree Budget
Mandatory Benefit Cuts
Limit Victims’ Rights
Limit Voters’ Rights
Cut Emergency Phone Service
Pro-Retiree Budget
Cut Nutrition Programs

Senator Shaheen received a score of 100%, which did not surprise the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans, since we have had opportunities to speak with her in person both in her office and at events around the state, and to hear her pledge her support for the programs that not only benefit us, but our children and grandchildren now and in the future.

Senator Ayotte received a score of 10%, which, sorry to say, did not surprise us. She has, her staff tells us, been much too busy to meet with us at her office, despite repeated requests. Individual members have attended events she held, despite the short notices, but have not gotten any questions answered.

We at the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans believe that all New Hampshire retirees and all New Hampshire citizens who care about our retirees or hope to be retired some day should have this information.  Please visit our website for more information and how to contact us.

*http://retiredamericans.org/issues/congressional-voting-record

Lucy Edwards, President, for the Board of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans.

Shea-Porter Listens to Seniors, Discusses Affordable Care Act and Importance of Social Security & Medicare in Manchester

image001MANCHESTER, NH – Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) joined 35 seniors in Manchester to discuss the Affordable Care Act and answer questions about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. During the open forum with residents of Birch Hill Terrace, Congresswoman Shea-Porter answered questions about New Hampshire’s ACA Marketplace, how the Affordable Care Act is strengthening Medicare, and how Congress can work to improve the long-term outlook of Social Security.

“Granite State seniors have earned their Medicare and Social Security benefits through a lifetime of hard work,” Shea-Porter said. “These programs are vital to the retirement security of millions of Americans, and we must protect them for future generations.”

In Congress, Shea-Porter has led the fight against reckless schemes to balance the budget on the backs of New Hampshire seniors. Last February, she wrote to President Obama urging him to reject any proposals to cut benefits to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. She has cosponsored the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013, which would improve benefits for current and future Social Security recipients, extend the life of the Social Security trust fund, and ensure greater economic security for America’s seniors. And she has spoken out against chained CPI and other cuts to benefits that seniors have earned through a lifetime of hard work.

As of December 2012, the average monthly benefit for those receiving Social Security was $1,215. Over the course of a year, this averages out to $14,580. As Shea-Porter reiterated, the idea that we should balance the budget on the backs of seniors relying on less than $15,000 is simply wrong.

Shea-Porter was joined at the forum by Helen Mulligan from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Karol Dermon, from the Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services.

 

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 12,541 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement