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National Retiree Legislative Network - NRLN-Villages Chapter Income and Healthcare Security - The Legislative News Corner
By Bill Kadereit, President, NRLN

Congratulations, the residents of The Villages now have an active NRLN Villages Chapter up and running. Your Board members are Ellaine Dreidame, Cliff Wiener, Bill Yelverton and Debbie Austin. Carolyn Reichel will be the Healthcare Team Leader, Tom Emmerson will be the Legislative Grassroots Leader and Lynda Brown will lead the Membership Committee.

Thanks to the great support and encouragement from your Property Owners Association (POA) officers and board, the NRLN will provide you with direct access to Congress so that you can help break the gridlock and partiality that stymies retiree proposals. You will have direct input into the NRLN’s national legislative agenda and will have easy access to a national system that will get your voices heard by your elected officials.

The NRLN Villages Chapter has its own website (, click “Chapters” tab, select Villages Chapter), email capability, and will communicate with you through local meetings as needed. Thanks to a strategic alliance with Villages POA, an NRLN Villages Income and Healthcare Security News Corner will be a regular in The Bulletin.

The Villages Health denied local service to Villages Medicare A. & B. plan participants effective 1/1/17; this action is just the tip of a bigger iceberg. An even worse Medicare healthcare outcome looms and Income Security from pension plans of all types and Social Security are threatened. Growing healthcare costs and a Congress that is more interested in campaign contributions for their next elections than they are in solving economic problems like the cost of healthcare are ruining our economy.

Whether you bleed Red, Blue or are Independent the NRLN will need your help as part of a nationwide grassroots’ effort in achieving our legislative agenda and in stopping legislation and regulations that threaten retirees Healthcare and Income Security. According to a Bloomberg poll of Americans, 74% want major changes to the way government works and an Economist poll shows 64% believe that the country is on the wrong track.

Our health care budget problem in the U.S. continues to worsen as 10,000 baby boomers join Medicare every day! Here are some points to consider:

  1. Rising healthcare costs per Medicare participant, is leading to more cost shifting to retirees/seniors and U.S. corporations have been reducing benefits, and increasing premiums, deductibles and copays and they now are dropping healthcare plans for those retirees under age 65 and pushing them onto the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. Obama Care;
  2. ACA state exchange carriers like Aetna who were very much in favor of the ACA because it expected added revenue and profit due to an expanding market are walking away from the ACA because they underestimated the cost of insuring people with pre-existing conditions;
  3. Federally subsidized Medicare Advantage plans lure healthy retirees with lower pricing that is creeping upward and less popular HMO type service is growing fast;
  4. On 1/1/17 Medicare will add new Value Added Medicare Advantage plans in ten states to begin “cost-sharing”, a euphemism for cost shifting; three states will be added 1/1/18 (Florida excluded) and
  5. the House Ways and Means and Education and Workforce committees are promoting the “Premium Support Plan” designed to replace Medicare as we know it today.

The NRLN has made proposals to Congress that call for effective reduction of healthcare costs. Moving or shifting costs to the insured avoids Congressional accountability but does not solve the problem. The NRLN Villages Chapter will need your help with its grassroots efforts in achieving our legislative agenda and stopping legislation that harms retirees. If we all work together, our voices will be heard.

On September 27 and 28, NRLN Association and Chapters leaders lobbied Congress as part of the 2016 annual fall fly-in, to stop unapproved mergers of pension plans and to set new statute language that would protect retiree pension plans from companies should restructuring result in a loss of pension plan security.

The NRLN also proposed that Congress pass current bills that would force Medicare to obtain competitive bids from drug makers, and that would eliminate pay-for-delay that allows brand manufactures to pay off generic drug makers for not selling their products into their brand market.

We also lobbied members of the House and Senate to compel importation of safe prescription drugs from Canada that would save 40-60% off U.S. made brand drugs and to send a letter to the Health and Human Services Secretary asking for approval. We submitted a letter draft and asked members of Congress to get others to sign it. On Wednesday, 10/12, a letter to president Obama (directed toward HHS secretary) was signed by 33 members of Congress; it included the NRLN’s proposals for banning Pay-for-Delay and implementing prescription drug importation. We sent an Action Alert, asking you to send our message to the president. There were 15,000 sent to him.

Fall Holiday season activities in The Villages have precluded our being able to schedule a membership meeting until January. We are planning to hold an NRLN Villages Chapter Meeting in early January for all The Villages residents. When you take the survey, you will be asked to tell us which week best fits your schedule.

Make Your Voice Heard With Members of Congress

You can contact Congress in many ways-- click here to see how!

Click here to view slide presentations at May 25, 2017 Villages Chapter meeting.

NRLN and ARA Presidents Send Letter to HHS Secretary

NRLN President Bill Kadereit and Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance of Retired Americans (ARA), an organization of retired trade union members affiliated with the AFL-CIO, have jointly signed and sent the letter on May 31 to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. The letter urges Secretary Price to utilize his existing statutory authority to address the soaring cost of pharmaceuticals by authorizing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. The 108th Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 and it became Public Law 108-173 in December 2003.

Secretary Price was told that by exercising the authority granted to him by Congress to sanction the importation of safe, lower priced prescription drugs from Canada, he would help relieve the hardships being caused to millions of Americans by unaffordable prescription drugs, resulting in an increase of disposable income for millions of retirees and families and thus added purchases of U.S. products and services, which ultimately would increase jobs and U.S. tax revenue. Click here to read the letter.


The NRLN Villages Chapter works with the National Retirees Legislative Network to protect pension and health care benefits. The NRLN Villages Chapter Leadership Team thanks those who responded to the survey. The results of the survey can be seen here.

The NRLN and AREF Partnership

The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) created the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) in 2014 to develop whitepapers and advocate policy recommendations for retirement security to federal policymakers, constituency groups, the media, and the general public. The AREF, an IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, researches and produces whitepapers and other materials and can use them to educate NRLN members and other advocates on how to present legislative proposals.

The AREF can advocate proposals to members of Congress and federal agencies but once a proposal is introduced as a bill, only the NRLN, an IRS 501(c)4 non-exempt organization, can lobby for passage of a bill. The AREF can advocate but not lobby. This allows members to make tax-deductible donations that are accounted for separately from NRLN contributions. To learn more about the AREF and NRLN go to and

NRLN and AREF Revenue

Seventy-five percent of NRLN revenue comes from non-deductible individual contributions. The other twenty-five percent of NRLN revenue comes from company retiree association dues paid to the NRLN.  NRLN Chapters are supported by a portion of contributions made by Chapter members. For individual contributions to the NRLN go to Either click on the link to printout the contributions form and mail it with a check or click on the link to make a credit card contribution.

All AREF revenue comes from individual tax-deductible donations. A donation to the AREF may be made by going to the AREF website at and clicking on the “Donations” tab.

The NRLN annual solicitation to NRLN Villages Chapter members will be in late January 2017.  However, anyone can make voluntary non-deductible contributions to the NRLN or tax-deductible donations to the AREF at any time. 


Opinion: The Medicare drug benefit doesn’t need federal fixing
From Mary R. Grealy; The Hill ~ Aug 16, 2017

GOP chairman: Tax reform could increase deficit
By Niv Elis; The Hill ~ Aug 16, 2017

Social Security: It’s All Part of the Plan
By Brenton Smith, FedSmith – Aug 15, 2017

Social Security's 82nd anniversary — why doesn't this agency still have an adequate budget?
From Max Richtman; The Hill ~ Aug 14, 2017

FDA: Potential contamination in multiple drugs, dietary supplements
By Amy Wallace; United Press International ~ Aug 14, 2017

Doctors Coming Around To Single-Payer Healthcare
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Aug 13, 2017

Democrats Push Medicare Expansion Because Obamacare Has Failed
From Merrill Matthews; Forbes ~ Aug 11, 2017

If the GOP whiffed on healthcare, expect the same on tax reform
From Chris Markowski; The Hill ~ Aug 10, 2017

Medicare cannot afford a reckless USPS bailout
From Ross Marchand; The Hill ~ Aug 09, 2017

Obamacare repeal failure gives Republicans a tax headache
By Joseph Lawler; The Washington Examiner ~ Aug 07, 2017

Opinion: Medicare Advantage Spends Less on Care, So Why Is It Costing So Much?
By Austin Frakt; The New York Times ~ Aug 07, 2017

The 2 Scariest Social Security Charts
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Aug 06, 2017

Congress must prove its mettle this fall; it has no choice
By Alan Fram; The Associated Press ~ Aug 05, 2017

Bernie Sanders’ Drug Price Bill Would Save Billions, Congressional Analysts Say
By David Sirota and Alex Kotch, International Business News – Jul 31, 2017

Senate approves 'right-to-try' drug bill
By Sarah Karlin-Smith; Politico ~ Aug 03, 2017

Federal Judge OKs A Class Action Lawsuit Over Medicare Observation Appeals
From Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Aug 02, 2017

McConnell leaves door open for second try on healthcare
By Jordain Carney; The Hill ~ Aug 01, 2017

Mitch McConnell: Republicans will go it alone on tax reform
By Susan Ferrechio; The Washington Examiner ~ Aug 01, 2017

Exclusive: Senate Too Divided to Keep Up Healthcare Push-Senator Hatch
By REUTERS ; The New York Times ~ Jul 31, 2017

White House aide hopes to see tax reform done by November
By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ Jul 31, 2017

Trump tells Republicans to get back on healthcare bill
By Susan Cornwell; Reuters ~ Jul 30, 2017

OPINION | What FDR could have told Trump about ObamaCare
From H.W. Brands; The Hill ~ Jul 30, 2017

Obama's health care law still needs some patchwork
By Tom Murphy; The Associated Press ~ Jul 29, 2017

The House is on summer break. But the debt ceiling looms
By Jeanne Sahadi; CNNMoney ~ Jul 28, 2017

Higher prices, fewer options lurk after health bill collapse
By Tom Murphy; The Associated Press ~ Jul 28, 2017

White House Pushes ‘Implode’ Plan Amid Talk of Bipartisan Health Bill
By John T. Bennett & Niels Lesniewski; Roll Call ~ Jul 28, 2017

Bipartisan health group efforts suddenly springing up
By Jordain Carney; The Hill ~ Jul 28, 2017

McCain urges 'a fresh start' on healthcare reform
By Jordain Carney; The Hill ~ Jul 28, 2017

Trump and Congress Reach Deal on Principles of Tax Overhaul
By Alan Rappeport; The New York Times ~ Jul 27, 2017

New FDA commissioner wants to lower drug prices by increasing competition
By Dr. Marc Siegel & Tamara Gitt; Fox News ~ Jul 26, 2017

GOP senators blink on a big chance to repeal 'Obamacare'
By Erica Werner & Alan Fram; The Associated Press ~ Jul 26, 2017

Column: Yes, we can lower sky-high drug prices — other countries have done it
From David Lazarus; Los Angeles Times ~ Jul 25, 2017

Senate narrowly votes to proceed on healthcare, with boost from McCain
By Susan Cornwell & Yasmeen Abutaleb; Reuters ~ Jul 25, 2017

Who Knew Senate Health Bill Debate Could Be So Complicated?
By Julie Rovner; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 25, 2017

Follow The Money: Drugmakers Deploy Political Cash As Prices And Anger Mount
By Jay Hancock, Elizabeth Lucas & Sydney Lupkin; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 24, 2017

Senate GOP gets new pressure from Trump on health care
By Alan Fram; The Associated Press ~ Jul 24, 2017

How tax reform could change your 401(k) tax break
By Jeanne Sahadi ; CNNMoney ~ Jul 24, 2017

S&P 500’s Biggest Pension Plans Face $382 Billion Funding Gap
By Brandon Kochkodin and Laurie Meisler, Bloomberg - Jul 20, 2017

McConnell's last-ditch Obamacare strategy
By Jennifer Haberkorn & Seung Min Kim; Politico ~ Jul 22, 2017

Mixed signals from Trump White House on health care strategy
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar & Ken Thomas; The Associated Press ~ Jul 22, 2017

Senate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jul 21, 2017

GOP Congressman: Make Members of Congress Live Under Obamacare
By Susan Jones; Cybercast News Service ~ Jul 21, 2017

Doctors' group tells Senate to fix, not repeal 'Obamacare'
By Carla K. Johnson; The Associated Press ~ Jul 21, 2017

Opinion: How to Fix Social Security
By Suzanne Woolley; Bloomberg ~ Jul 20, 2017

American retirees unhappy as U.S. takes another dip in retirement security
By Jade Scipioni; Fox Business ~ Jul 20, 2017

Commentary: Social Security: Worry more about size of bomb than length of fuse
By Brenton Smith, Orlando Sentinel – Jul 20, 2017

The US falls in a global retirement security ranking
By Suzanne Woolley, Bloomberg – Jul 19, 2017

OPINION A bipartisan deal on Obamacare is a pipe dream
By W. James Antle III; The Washington Examiner ~ Jul 19, 2017

Analysis: GOP Failure To Replace The Health Law Was Years In The Making
By Julie Rovner; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 18, 2017

House GOP unveils budget plan that attaches major spending cuts to coming tax overhaul bill
By Mike DeBonis, Washington Post – Jul 18, 2017

Trump Vows Revenge After Push to Repeal Affordable Care Act Fails
By Thomas Kaplan, New York Times – Jul 18, 2017

Regulators aim to close loopholes that lead to higher drug prices
By Alex Kacik; Modern Healthcare ~ Jul 18, 2017

Retirement Dread Is Replacing the American Dream
By Suzanne Woolley; Bloomberg ~ Jul 18, 2017

Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund Depleted by 2029
By Thomas Beaton; Health Payer Intelligence ~ Jul 17, 2017

Big Pharma Spends on Share Buybacks, but R&D? Not So Much
By Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times – Jul 14, 2017

Senate delays healthcare vote as McCain recovers from surgery
By David Morgan; Reuters ~ Jul 16, 2017

Social Security’s Deficits Still Rising According to 2017 Trustees Report
By Brenton Smith, FedSmith – Jul 14, 2017

What's inside the Senate Republican health care bill
By Tami Luhby; CNNMoney ~ Jul 14, 2017

What the Senate's 3.8% surtax means for American taxpayers
By Laura Saunders, DJN; Fox Business ~ Jul 14, 2017

Another Year, Another Decline in Social Security's Financial Health
From Andrew Biggs; Forbes ~ Jul 14, 2017

Column: How Republican reform would weaken Medicare
From Mark Miller; Reuters ~ Jul 13, 2017

New Senate GOP health care bill teeters on the brink
By Erica Werner & Alan Fram; The Associated Press ~ Jul 13, 2017

Medicare’s Financial Outlook Slightly Improved, Trustees Say
By Phil Galewitz; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 13, 2017

Trustees project biggest Social Security increase in years
By Stephen Ohlemacher, AP; The Washington Post ~ Jul 13, 2017

Trump’s proposals could hike taxes for nearly a quarter of the middle class
By Max Ehrenfreund; The Washington Post ~ Jul 12, 2017

Social Security reform grinds to a halt on Capitol Hill after Trump’s pledge not to touch it
By S.A. Miller; The Washington Times ~ Jul 11, 2017

Drugmakers’ Money-Back Guarantees: an Answer to Rising Prices or a ‘Carnival Game’
By Charles Ornstein, PP & Katie Thomas, NYT; Pro Publica ~ Jul 10, 2017

GOP Senate leader says he'll unveil new health bill Thursday
By Alan Fram & Erica Werner; The Associated Press ~ Jul 11, 2017

GOP Drops Tax Cuts for Big Earners in Revised Health Bill, Sources Say
By Laura Litvan & Steven T. Dennis; Bloomberg ~ Jul 11, 2017

Analysis: GOP confronts no-win situation on health care
By Erica Werner; The Associated Press ~ Jul 11, 2017

Trump prods Congress to pass stalled healthcare overhaul
By Susan Cornwell & Ian Simpson; Reuters ~ Jul 10, 2017

Opinion: A quandary Congress and Social Security must tackle
From Jim Allsup; The Hill ~ Jul 10, 2017

Time away from Washington deepens GOP misgivings about health plan
By Jennifer Haberkorn; Politico ~ Jul 07, 2017

Plurality of Voters Want Congress to Prioritize Medicare Reform
By Jon Reid; Morning Consult ~ Jul 06, 2017

Opinion - Wanted: Bipartisan Tax Reform
From David Williams; Morning Consult ~ Jul 06, 2017

As Seniors Get Sicker, They're More Likely To Drop Medicare Advantage Plans
By Fred Schulte; NPR ~ Jul 05, 2017

Opinion: Social Security is the biggest challenge facing us
By Jeff Reeves; MarketWatch ~ Jul 05, 2017

Social Security Has $2.85 Trillion in Asset Reserves, but It'll Be Gone in 17 Years
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Jul 02, 2017

Health Care in Jeopardy, Georgia Senator Tells Colleagues to Skip Recess
By Brendan Kirby; LifeZette ~ Jun 30, 2017

Popular Cancer Pill Goes Generic, Yet Patients’ Costs Stay High
By Robert Longreth, Bloomberg – Jun 30, 2017

Republicans face a moment of truth on taxes
By Elizabeth Winkler; The Washington Post ~ Jun 30, 2017

U.S. Senate Republicans struggle to salvage healthcare effort
By Susan Cornwell & Yasmeen Abutaleb; Reuters ~ Jun 29, 2017

GOP touts lower premiums, but other insurance costs to rise
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Jun 28, 2017

Why State Governors Are Freaking Out About the GOP Health Plan
By Eric Pianin & Rob Garver; The Fiscal Times ~ Jun 28, 2017

Republicans scramble to revise health bill in 48 hours
By Jennifer Haberkorn, Paul Demko & Brent Griffiths; Politico ~ Jun 28, 2017

McConnell: ObamaCare repeal isn't dead
By Jordain Carney ; The Hill ~ Jun 27, 2017

Senate Obamacare Repeal and Replace Bill Cuts Taxes By $700 Billion
From Ryan Ellis; Forbes ~ Jun 26, 2017

CBO: Senate Health Care Bill Will Reduce Deficit By $321 Billion
Budget office projects legislation would lower premiums 30 percent by 2020

By Ali Meyer; The Washington Free Beacon ~ Jun 26, 2017

Senate Republicans revise health bill, add penalty on coverage lapse
By Yasmeen Abutaleb & Richard Cowan; Reuters ~ Jun 26, 2017

Why Republicans are struggling mightily to overhaul tax code
By Stephen Ohlemacher; The Associated Press ~ Jun 25, 2017

Senate health care bill: Here's how it would affect you
By Maureen Groppe; USA TODAY ~ Jun 22, 2017

Thune Says Senate Will Tweak Healthcare Bill To Get Hesitant GOP Lawmakers On Board
By Juliegrace Brufke; The Daily Caller ~ Jun 22, 2017

Senate Republicans release Obamacare replacement bill, fate uncertain
By Richard Cowan & Susan Cornwell; Reuters ~ Jun 22, 2017

Drug shows promise against vision-robbing disease in senior
By Lauran Neergaard; The Associated Press ~ Jun 22, 2017

Trump administration's proposal to lower prices might just raise them, critics say
By Eric Sagonowsky; FiercePharma ~ Jun 21, 2017

Why did these generic drugs’ prices jump as much as 85%?
By Emma Court; MarketWatch ~ Jun 21, 2017

Opinion: Let’s put patients first by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable
From David Merritt; The Hill ~ Jun 20, 2017

Big Pharma’s Big Lobby Money Is Preventing Real Reform on Drug Prices
By Eric Pianin; The Fiscal Times ~ Jun 20, 2017

Trump plan on drug prices likely to be friendly to drug industry: report
By Brandon Carter; The Hill ~ Jun 17, 2017

Leading U.S. doctors' group takes aim at rising drug prices
From HealthDay News; WXOW ~ Jun 17, 2017

Senate Dems mull slowdown to protest GOP health plan: report
By Max Greenwood; The Hill ~ Jun 17, 2017

Trump White House at work on executive order tackling drug prices: report
By Eric Sagonowsky; FiercePharma ~ Jun 14, 2017

New Fiduciary Rule For Financial Advisors Moves The Needle, But In Which Direction?
From Jamie Hopkins; Forbes ~ Jun 14, 2017

Remember Trump’s Promise Not to Touch Social Security? It’s Gone Now
By Johnathan Chait, New York Magazine – Jun 13, 2017

Senate drug pricing hearing co-opted by Democratic protest over GOP health plan
By Meg Tirrell, CNBC – Jun 13, 2017

Report: Senate Won’t Release O’Care Repeal Draft Before CBO Review
By Tierney Sneed; Talking Points Memo ~ Jun 12, 2017

By Bronwyn Mixter; Bloomberg BNA ~ Jun 08, 2017

Bill advances to speed up drug and device approval
By Kimberly Leonard; The Washington Examiner ~ Jun 07, 2017

Opinion: Medicare: Fix Payment Methodologies That Put Senior Care at Risk
From Dan Starck; Morning Consult ~ Jun 06, 2017

The momentum for socialized medicine is growing. Where is the GOP’s strategy?
From Ed Rogers; The Washington Post ~ Jun 05, 2017

Obamacare Repeal Complicates Effort to Undo Medicare Cost Panel
By Alex Ruoff; Bloomberg BNA ~ Jun 02, 2017

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