PRESIDENT'S FORUM

by Bill Kadereit, President, NRLN

We are committed to keeping you informed about your retiree benefits, pension funds, medical and drug costs and the truth about Medical Advantage Plans. This column features a current topic on these issues.

Thanksgiving A Time to Enjoy What The Day Has Become

With help from History.com I’m fascinated by what a special holiday Thanksgiving has become. This Thanksgiving is the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth Colony settlers and members of the Wampanoag tribe having an autumn feast in 1621. Most historians consider this the first Thanksgiving when the colonists and the native Americans came together to “rejoice” for their harvest.

Rejoicing and giving thanks for what we have should still be the focal point of Thanksgiving even though other events have come along to add to the tradition of this uniquely American holiday.

The first official proclamation of a national Thanksgiving holiday came in 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln called for an annual Thanksgiving celebration on the final Thursday in November. President Franklin Roosevelt decreed in 1939 that Thanksgiving would be celebrated a week earlier to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. There was an outcry from millions of Americans, with only 23 of the then 48 states adopting the third Thursday. In 1941, the holiday was returned to the fourth Thursday and has remained that way.

One of my favorite traditions for Thanksgiving Day is football, especially when the Dallas Cowboys are playing as they will be this year against the Las Vegas Raiders. The first Thanksgiving football game was a college match between Yale and Princeton in 1876. By the 1890s, professional, college and high school football rivalries were being played on Thanksgiving. 

When my daughter and son were kids they watched Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City on TV. That tradition has passed to my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. The first year of the parade was in 1924 as Macy’s Big Christmas Parade two weeks before Thanksgiving. A year later the parade became Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thanksgiving Day. The huge balloons debuted in the parade in 1927.

We will see in TV news reports whether President Joe Biden will pardon a turkey this year. Beginning in the 1940s, farmers would give the president turkeys to roast during the holidays. When John F. Kennedy was president, he was the first to spare the turkey’s life in 1963, saying, “We’ll just let this one grow. It’s our Thanksgiving present to him.” The annual White House tradition of “pardoning” a turkey officially started with George H.W. Bush in 1989.

Whether any of these traditions will be part of your Thanksgiving, I hope you agree that we can be thankful for the lives saved from the COVID-19 virus and the efforts of our first responders and the U.S. Military to protect us. We realize there is much more to do to reduce the violence in our neighborhoods and address the issues that divide our nation. We need our President and members of Congress to do a better job of working together for what is in the best interest of all Americans.

Remember, Seniors Are Special!

Have a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving.

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network

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Early detection of cancer through screening saves lives.

Early detection of cancer through screening saves lives. Click the link below to urge your Representative and Senators to enact the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act of 2021. This bill would create a covered benefit for multi-cancer early detection screening tests to ensure Medicare beneficiaries have access to these tests without unnecessary delay once approved under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDA).

Updated NRLN White Paper on Subsidies to Insurance Industry for Medicare Advantage

The NRLN supports competition from private healthcare plans and understands the financial challenges ahead for Medicare and the federal budget. However, we do not support bonus and rebate subsidies, or anti-competitive restrictions placed on the original Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) just to preserve the notion that private insurance plans may be more cost effective or provide better care than FFS, when the record shows they are not.

Congress gave $41.8 billion in illegitimate taxpayer rebates to private insurance companies in 2021 ($450 billion in 24 years) to provide special benefits such as dental, vision and hearing, over the counter drugs and carpet cleaning to 24.9 million MA enrollees that 40 million original Medicare participants are not eligible to receive.

READ MORE…

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network

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PHARMA CONTRIBUTIONS TO CONGRESS

How much did your U.S. Representatives and Senators take as campaign contributions from the Pharmaceutical and Health Products Industry for their recent election campaigns and the current 2019-20 one? Could this be a reason why bills to reduce the price of prescription drugs are not being passed?

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In the News

The articles and opinion pieces below are for information and are not necessarily a reflection of the NRLN’s position on issues.

The NRLN is nonpartisan and its positions on retirement issues are presented in its Legislative Agenda and white papers that can be accessed from the Legislative Agenda tab HERE.

CBO: Funding for Biden’s social welfare bill comes up more than $367 billion short By Haris Alic; The Washington Times ~ Nov 18, 2021

Futzing Continues On Drug Pricing Efforts Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~  Nov 18, 2021

CVS closing 900 stores over next three years By Simon Druker; United Press International ~ Nov 18, 2021

Opinion: Two cheers for Democrats’ proposed drug payment reforms  From Chris Pope; The Hill ~ Nov 18, 2021

The second-biggest program in the Democrats’ spending plan gives billions to the rich By Alyssa Fowers & Simon Ducroquet; Washington Post ~ Nov 16, 2021

Analysis: Prices On 7 Common Drugs Raised With No Proof Of New Benefits Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~  Nov 17, 2021

Congress could face mid-December debt disaster, Yellen warns By Jennifer Scholtes and Caitlin Emma, Politico – Nov 16, 2021

Congress is waiting on the CBO for its Build Back Better report By Philip Rocco, Yahoo! News – Nov 6, 2021

Biden signs $1T infrastructure bill with bipartisan audience By Josh Boak; The Associated Press ~ Nov 15, 2021

Health Measures In Spending Bill Wouldn’t Kick In Until After Midterms Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~  Nov 15, 2021

Top Obama Economist Larry Summers Comes Out Swinging Against Biden Admin Over Inflation Surge From Harry Wilmerding; Daily Caller ~ Nov 15, 2021

Inflation Is Back. Here’s What It Could Mean For Retirees From Joel Johnson; Forbes  ~ Nov 15, 2021

Opinion: It’s time for Congress to get Medicare drug pricing reform right From Michael Ward; The Hill ~ Nov 15, 2021

Inflation poses new challenges for progressives  By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ Nov 13, 2021

AMA Delegates Spar Over Medicare Drug Price Negotiation — Some worry this could lead to price controls for physician services | By Joyce Frieden; MedPage Today ~ Nov 14, 2021

Medicare premiums to jump in part due to pricey Alzheimer’s drug  By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Nov 12, 2021

Dems’ plan to limit drug price inflation faces test in Senate By Alice Miranda Ollstein & Megan Wilson; Politico ~ Nov 13, 2021

Progressives want a wealth tax for the super rich. Here’s why it’s hard to pull off By David Gura; NPR ~ Nov 13, 2021

Nursing homes can now lift most COVID restrictions on visits By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Nov 12, 2021

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THANKSGIVING – A TIME TO ENJOY WHAT THE DAY HAS BECOME With help from History.com I’m fascinated by what a special holiday Thanksgiving has become. This Thanksgiving is the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth Colony settlers and members of the Wampanoag tribe having an autumn feast in 1621. Most historians consider this the first Thanksgiving when the colonists and the native Americans came together to “rejoice” for their harvest. Rejoicing and giving thanks for what we have should still be the focal point of Thanksgiving even though other events have come along to add to the tradition of this uniquely American holiday. The first official proclamation of a national Thanksgiving holiday came in 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln called for an annual Thanksgiving celebration on the final Thursday in November. President Franklin Roosevelt decreed in 1939 that Thanksgiving would be celebrated a week earlier to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. There was an outcry from millions of Americans, with only 23 of the then 48 states adopting the third Thursday. In 1941, the holiday was returned to the fourth Thursday and has remained that way. One of my favorite traditions for Thanksgiving Day is football, especially when the Dallas Cowboys are playing as they will be this year against the Las Vegas Raiders. The first Thanksgiving football game was a college match between Yale and Princeton in 1876. By the 1890s, professional, college and high school football rivalries were being played on Thanksgiving. When my daughter and son were kids they watched Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City on TV. That tradition has passed to my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. The first year of the parade was in 1924 as Macy’s Big Christmas Parade two weeks before Thanksgiving. A year later the parade became Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thanksgiving Day. The huge balloons debuted in the parade in 1927. We will see in TV news reports whether President Joe Biden will pardon a turkey this year. Beginning in the 1940s, farmers would give the president turkeys to roast during the holidays. When John F. Kennedy was president, he was the first to spare the turkey’s life in 1963, saying, “We’ll just let this one grow. It’s our Thanksgiving present to him.” The annual White House tradition of “pardoning” a turkey officially started with George H.W. Bush in 1989. Whether any of these traditions will be part of your Thanksgiving, I hope you agree that we can be thankful for the lives saved from the COVID-19 virus and the efforts of our first responders and the U.S. Military to protect us. We realize there is much more to do to reduce the violence in our neighborhoods and address the issues that divide our nation. We need our President and members of Congress to do a better job of working together for what is in the best interest of all Americans. Have a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving.Bill Kadereit, PresidentNational Retiree Legislative Network ... See MoreSee Less
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