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WELCOME TO NRLN'S VILLAGES CHAPTER

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 (www.nrln.org, 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

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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.


349 RESIDENTS RESPOND TO FUTURE DIRECTIONS SURVEY SPONSORED BY NRLN VILLAGES CHAPTER

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 www.seniorsaref.org and www.nrln.org.

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 http://www.nrln.org/JoinUs.htm. 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 www.seniorsaref.org 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. 


NEWS FOR THE VILLAGES MEMBERS


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

LAWMAKERS WANT ACTION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS
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

Fahrlander: Why raising the age for Social Security is a bad idea
From Rebecca S. Fahrlander ; USA TODAY ~ May 31, 2017

The Trump budget cuts Social Security, plain and simple
From Max Richtman; The Hill ~ May 30, 2017

A Look at Major Drug-Pricing Proposals
By Katie Thomas; The New York Times ~ May 29, 2017

Trump: Senate should use nuke option to pass health care and tax cuts
By Louis Nelson; Politico ~ May 30, 2017

Trump Could Undermine Health Programs Outside Budget Cuts, Democrats Warn
By Alex Ruoff; Bloomberg BNA ~ May 24, 2017

McConnell: 'I don't know' how we get to 50 votes on health care bill
By Louis Nelson; Politico ~ May 24, 2017

Estimated 23 million would lose health insurance under Republican bill: CBO
By Yasmeen Abutaleb; Reuters ~ May 24, 2017

U.S. senators raise alarms about shelving retirement advice rule
By Lisa Lambert; Reuters ~ May 19, 2017

Trump Budget May Break Promise to Protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
By Paul N. Van de Water, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – May 18, 2017

House speaker promises tax overhaul this year despite chaos
By Stephen Ohlemacher & Kevin Freking; The Associated Press ~ May 18, 2017

Preventative care: The sorely missing link in the healthcare debate
From Dr. Daniel Blumenthal; The Hill ~ May 16, 2017

Paul Ryan Still Talking Up The Idea Of Privatizing Medicare
By Tierney Sneed, TalkingPointsMemo – May 12, 2017

Paul Ryan Still Wants to Re-do Medicare
By Rema Rahman, CQRollCall – May 12, 2017

Blame the drug companies for your overpriced prescription medicine
From John Jones; The Hill ~ May 11, 2017

Memo To Congress: U.S. Health Care Costs Already A Bigger Burden For Women Than Men, Says New Report
From Elizabeth Harris; Forbes ~ May 11, 2017

Senate Panel Rejects Bid to Ease Drug Imports From Canada
By Jon Reid; Morning Consult ~ May 11, 2017

If you’re 50 or older, your health insurance may get more expensive.
By Michelle Singletary; The Washington Post ~ May 08, 2017

As some Republicans rush to defend House health bill, Senate GOP warily pauses
By Robert Costa & John Wagner; The Washington Post ~ May 07, 2017

Congress, please keep your Medicare promises to our seniors
From Rebecca Shanahan; The Hill ~ May 04, 2017

What is in the Republican health-care bill?
By Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, Washington Post – May 4, 2017

Fixing the Broken Drug Pricing System
By Shannon Firth; MedPage Today ~ May 03, 2017

Democrats say they must show how tax cuts may put Social Security, Medicare at risk
By Heidi M Przybyla ; USA TODAY ~ May 03, 2017

PBM stranglehold on prescription drug market demands reform
From Matthew Kandrach; The Hill ~ May 02, 2017    

80 years into Social Security, Trump faces overburdened system
By Doug G. Ware   

Drugmakers Dramatically Boosted Lobbying Spending In Trump’s First Quarter
By Sydney Lupkin; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 21, 2017

Opinion: Stifling Competition Reduces Access to Affordable Prescriptions
By Jonathan Bydlak; Roll Call ~  Apr 18, 2017  

Analysis: How to fix America’s broken retirement system
By Michael Molinski; USA TODAY ~ Apr 19, 2017  

Leading healthcare groups urge Trump to fund ObamaCare payments
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Apr 12, 2017

Are you paying for medical treatment you don’t need?
By Lois Rudick Hall; MarketWatch ~ Apr 12, 2017

Accelerating drug approvals in the Trump era
By POLITICO Staff; Politico ~ Apr 03, 2017

Despite Medicare, Seniors Will Pay More For Medical Care In Coming Years
By Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Mar 30, 2017

Here's Why Social Security Is Going Broke
By Matthew Frankel; The Motley Fool ~ Mar 26, 2017

Your pension could be at the center of America's next financial crisis
From Jeff Reeves; The Hill ~ Mar 24, 2017

Trump’s Promise To Rein In Drug Prices Could Open Floodgate To Importation Laws
By Rachel Bluth; Kaiser Health News ~ Mar 22, 2017

This New Tweak to the GOP Health Care Bill Will Make Medicare Less Stable
By Elizabeth O’Brian, Money – March 21, 2017

Poll: Older Americans Want Elected Leaders to Lower Rx Prices
By Mary Hickey, AARP – March 21, 2017

Trump says he wants to tackle drug pricing in the GOP's Obamacare replacement plan
Lydia Ramsey, Business Insider – March 21, 2017

Feds probe Aetna, Humana, Health Net, Cigna division over Medicare Advantage risk scores
By Leslie Small; FierceHealthcare ~ Mar 20, 2017

Tax reform could be 'way worse' for retirement industry than Department of Labor's fiduciary rule: Graff
By Greg Iacurci; InvestmentNews ~ Mar 20, 2017


From Eugeny Prudchyenko, ES; Forbes ~ Mar 20, 2017

PBGC girds for pending union plan catastrophe
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Mar 20, 2017

Experts worry ObamaCare repeal plan puts Medicare trust fund at risk
By Christine Ayala; The Hill ~ Mar 15, 2017

High U.S. drug prices cannot be explained by R&D spending alone
By Rachel Arndt ; Modern Healthcare ~ Mar 07, 2017

How Washington Is Eroding Retirement Security
From Chris Farrell; Forbes ~ Mar 03, 2017

Top GOP senator: Senate will take up House ObamaCare repeal bill
By Jordain Carney; The Hill ~ Mar 02, 2017

Pharma Exec and Policy Scholar Spar Over High-Cost Drugs. Experts debate transparency laws, direct-to-consumer advertising
By Shannon Firth; Medpage Today ~ Mar 02, 2017

No cuts to U.S. entitlement programs in Trump budget: Mnuchin
By David Lawder; Reuters ~ Feb 26, 2017

Big Pharma quietly enlists leading professors to justify $1,000-a-day drugs
From Annie Waldman; United Press International ~ Feb 23, 2017

You're Overpaying for Drugs and Your Pharmacist Can't Tell You
By Jared S Hopkins; Bloomberg ~ Feb 24, 2017

US report: Trend of rising health care spending back to stay
The Associated Press ~ Feb 15, 2017

Reduce drug prices by eliminating PBM rebates
From Robert Goldberg; The Hill ~ Feb 14, 2017

GOP Doctors Caucus gains clout with Republican rise
By Joanne Finnegan; FierceHealthcare ~ Feb 13, 2017

Will Trump shift on entitlements?
By Sylvan Lane, The Hill - Feb 9, 2017

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