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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 (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

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.

Representing NRLN Villages Chapter in Washington, DC

I will be representing the NRLN Villages Chapter at the National Retiree Legislative Network’s Annual Fall Fly-In to Washington, DC next week. I will begin the week by attending the NRLN’s session on Monday afternoon where the attendees from 8 chapters, 5 associations, 2 NRLN congressional district leaders from California and Maine plus 4 NRLN staff members will discuss the issues we will be advocating in our Capitol Hill meetings with Representatives, Senators and their staff members:

I have scheduled meetings on Capitol Hill with staff members for Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Daniel Webster on Tuesday to lobby for these issues. Also, as a Chrysler retiree I will join members of the National Chrysler Retirement Organization in meetings with members of the Michigan and Ohio congressional delegations.

After the Fly-In, I’ll send you a report about my time in Washington, DC.

Ray Pasternak, President, NRLN Villages Chapter


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


The case for moving to a retirement community
By Saul Levmore; MarketWatch ~ Dec 10, 2017

Very, very scary’: 8.8 million Americans face big tax hike if Republicans scrap the medical deduction
By Heather Long; The Washington Post ~ Dec 10, 2017

The other big drug problem: Older people taking too many pills
By Sandra G. Boodman; The Washington Post ~ Dec 09, 2017

Prescription Drugs May Cost More With Insurance Than Without It
By Charles Ornstein & Katie Thomas; The New York Times ~ Dec 09, 2017

Paul Ryan makes it official: Republicans are coming after Medicare next
By Michael Hiltzik; Los Angeles Times ~ Dec 08, 2017

Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Dec 06, 2017

Opinion: How to Reduce Medical Drug Prices At A Stroke
From Scott Knoer; Newsweek ~ Dec 06, 2017

Opinion: The next Republican targets: Social Security and Medicare
By Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Dec 05, 2017

Congress should stop lining the pockets of drug corporations and their CEOs
From LeeAnn Hall; The Hill ~ Dec 04, 2017

Opinion: Let's not 'restructure' Social Security and Medicare to pay for tax cuts
From Max Richtman; The Hill ~ Dec 04, 2017

Heading Toward Tax Victory, Republicans Eye Next Step: Cut Spending
By Kate Zernike and Alan Rappeport, New York Times – Dec 2, 2017

Will GOP Cut Social Security And Medicare Before Or After The 2018 Election?
From Stan Collender; Forbes ~ Dec 03, 2017

Next week in Congress: Tax negotiations and funding the government
By Susan Ferrechio; The Washington Examiner ~ Dec 02, 2017

How GOP Tax Bill Will Blow Up Medicare
From John Wasik; Forbes ~ Dec 01, 2017

McConnell says Senate has the votes to pass GOP tax bill
By Erica Werner and Damian Paletta, Washington Post – Dec 1, 2017

U.S. Government Should Negotiate Drug Prices,, Adviser Group Says
By Anna Edney; Bloomberg ~ Nov 30, 2017

Opinion: Solve US drug shortages with imported medicine that measures up to FDA standards
From John J. Cohrssen & Henry I. Miller, ; The Hill ~ Nov 30, 2017

Rubio: Offset Tax Cuts By Reducing Social Security, Medicare Benefits
By Tracey Longo, Financial Advisor – Nov 29, 2017

Budget Committee Approves Tax Overhaul
By Lindsey McPherson; Roll Call ~ Nov 28, 2017

What Will Congress Do If It Can't Give Away New Itemized Tax Deductions?
From Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Nov 28, 2017

Is Amazon getting into the pharmacy business? This is what you need to know
By Emma Court; MarketWatch ~ Nov 27, 2017

Trump, Senate GOP scramble to change tax plan to gain votes
By Stephen Ohlemacher & Marcy Gordon; The Associated Press ~ Nov 27, 2017

5 ways the GOP tax plans could affect your wallet
By Bristow Marchant & Emma Dumain; The State ~ Nov 26, 2017

Safe as houses? Both GOP tax bills undermine the mortgage interest deduction
By Joseph Lawler; The Washington Examiner ~ Nov 26, 2017

The Trump administration is taking on drug prices — but not drug companies
By Carolyn Y. Johnson; The Washington Post ~ Nov 24, 2017

Medicare premiums and Social Security COLAs: Here's why retirees will pay up in 2018
By Mary Beth Franklin; InvestmentNews ~ Nov 21, 2017

The Health 202: Republicans are right. The individual mandate is a tax on the poor.
By Paige Winfield Cunningham; The Washington Post ~ Nov 20, 2017

Medicare announced its premiums for 2018. Here’s what you need to know.
By Philip Moeller; PBS News Hour ~ Nov 20, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives approves tax overhaul, fight shifts to Senate
By David Morgan & Amanda Becker; Reuters ~ Nov 16, 2017

Opinion: Time for America to wake up and take care our retirement system
From Robert Stammers; The Hill ~ Nov 16, 2017

Opinion: Why lawmakers keep trying to whack retirees
By Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Nov 15, 2017

How the GOP Tax Bill Could Trigger $25 Billion in Medicare Cuts in 2018
By Yuval Rosenberg; The Fiscal Times ~ Nov 14, 2017

Week ahead: House sets vote on tax overhaul
By Sylvan Lane; The Hill ~ Nov 13, 2017

Medicare billing: Hospital "observation" can cost you
By Walecia Konrad, MoneyWatch ; CBS News ~ Nov 13, 2017

McConnell: I ‘Misspoke’ On No Tax Increase For Middle Class Families
By Allegra Kirkland; Talking Points Memo ~ Nov 11, 2017

House Republicans Raise Red Flags Over Senate Tax Bill
By Lindsey McPherson; Roll Call ~ Nov 10, 2017

What's Different (And What's The Same) In The Senate And House Tax Reform Proposals
By Kelly Phillips Erb; Forbes ~ Nov 10, 2017

House and Senate Have Big Differences to Bridge on Tax Plans
By Alan Rappeport, New York Times – Nov 9, 2017

For U.S. Republicans, tax reform math hinges on cutting Medicare
By Mark Miller; Reuters ~ Nov 09, 2017

Senators push to ditch social security numbers in light of Equifax hack
By Taylor Hatmaker; TechCrunch ~ Nov 08, 2017

There's No Such Thing As 'Old Age' Anymore
From Joseph F. Coughlin; TIME ~ Nov 08, 2017

Possible Repeal Of Medical Tax Break Benefitting Middle Class Prompts Outcry
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP; Talking Points Memo ~ Nov 07, 2017

Vision for retirement clouded by tax proposal
The Associated Press ~ Nov 06, 2017

House Tax Bill Addresses 401(k)s, IRAs But Drops Rothification
By Ashlea Ebeling; Forbes ~ Nov 03, 2017

Winners and losers in the Republican tax bill
By Cristina Marcos, Naomi Jagoda, Niv Elis & Vicki Needham ; The Hill ~ Nov 02, 2017

The Numbers Are In, And Pretty Much Everyone Thinks Congress Is Useless
By Michael Bastasch; The Daily Caller ~ Nov 02, 2017

House Tax Bill Would Scrap Deduction For Medical Expenses
By Julie Rovner; Kaiser Health News ~ Nov 02, 2017

Republicans in U.S. Congress scramble after tax bill debut delay
By David Morgan; Reuters ~ Nov 01, 2017

Here's How The Gender Gap Applies To Retirement
By Kara Stiles; Forbes ~ Nov 01, 2017

U.S. states allege broad generic drug price-fixing collusion
By Karen Freifeld; Reuters ~ Oct 31, 2017

Property tax deal near, Republicans sprint for bill
By David Morgan & Amanda Becker; Reuters ~ Oct 31, 2017

Opinion: How a Republican Idea for Reducing Medicare Costs Could Affect You
From Austin Frakt; The New York Times ~ Oct 30, 2017

Will the 'tax torpedo' blow up your retirement?
By Ilana Polyak; CNBC ~ Oct 30, 2017

House Tax Writer Gives Ground on a State and Local Tax Break
By Ben Brody; Bloomberg ~ Oct 28, 2017

Trump tax overhaul under intensifying fire as Congress readies bill
By David Morgan; Reuters ~ Oct 29, 2017

White House Tax Adviser: State Deduction May Only Disappear For Top 1%
By Tim Pearce; The Daily Caller ~ Oct 28, 2017

Key House lawmaker sees progress allaying tax deduction concerns: Fox
By Tim Ahmann; Reuters ~ Oct 27, 2017

U.S. lawmakers will not tackle healthcare this year, Ryan says: Reuters interview
By Richard Cowan, Doina Chiacu; Reuters ~ Oct 25, 2017

Trump, House GOP at odds over changes to 401(k) plans
By Marcy Gordon; The Associated Press ~ Oct 25, 2017

Large providers, including Kaiser Permanente and Bon Secours, push the boundaries of telemedicine
By Annette Boyle; FierceHealthcare ~ Oct 26, 2017

Ask a Fool: Should I buy an annuity for retirement income?
From Matthew Frankel, TMF; USA TODAY ~ Oct 26, 2017

Pick the wrong Medicare drug plan and the cost will shock you
By Sarah O'Brien; CNBC ~ Oct 24, 2017

Tax Reform Is On The Front Burner Again. Here's Why You Should Care
From Sean Silverthorne; Forbes ~ Oct 24, 2017

Trump says popular retirement program will be unscathed in tax plan
By Susan Heavey; Reuters ~ Oct 23, 2017

3 reasons Express Scripts could be headed for trouble
By Emma Court; MarketWatch ~ Oct 21, 2017

Trump 'not going to do' entitlement reform, but 'happy to have the conversation,' Mick Mulvaney says
By Steven Nelson; The Washington Examiner ~ Oct 22, 2017

Senate Adopts Budget With House-Backed Changes
Late amendment expected to help speed up consideration of a tax overhaul

By Paul M. Krawzak; Roll Call ~ Oct 19, 2017

White House says Trump opposes Senate's bipartisan Obamacare deal
By Yasmeen Abutaleb & Amanda Becker; Reuters ~ Oct 18, 2017

Donald Trump talks taxes with senators as votes appear set for passage of budget resolution
By Herb Jackson; USA TODAY ~ Oct 18, 2017

GAO report says American retirement system not providing adequate security
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Oct 18, 2017

Trump: Another Obamacare Repeal Attempt After Tax Cuts
By David Catanese; US News & World Report ~ Oct 17, 2017

Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray announce deal to extend health insurance subsidies
By Deborah Barfield Berry; USA TODAY ~ Oct 17, 2017

A Few Pointers To Help Save Money And Avoid The Strain Of Medicare Enrollment
By Susan Jaffe; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 17, 2017

6 Tips For Enrolling In Medicare
From Keith Armbrecht, NA ; Forbes ~ Oct 16, 2017

Trump renews attacks on high drug prices
By Sarah Karlin-Smith; Politico ~ Oct 16, 2017

GOP rep: It's 'existential' that Republicans get tax reform done
By Alexandra Oliveira; The Hill ~ Oct 16, 2017

Trump, GOP Still Don’t Get Why Their Plan Raises Taxes on Some in the Middle Class
From Josh Barro; The Fiscal Times ~ Oct 13, 2017

Gotcha! Social Security Benefits Rising 2% In 2018, But Most Retirees Won't See Extra Cash
By Janet Novack; Forbes ~ Oct 13, 2017

Foiled in Congress, Trump Signs Order to Undermine Obamacare
By Robert Pear & Reed Abelson; The New York Times ~ Oct 12, 2017

Three Must Ask Questions Before Moving In Retirement
From Joseph Coughlin; Forbes ~ Oct 11, 2017

An old-school pharmacy hand-delivers drugs to Congress, a little-known perk for the powerful
By Erin Mershon, StatNews – Oct 11, 2017

As Social Security gets boost, Medicare Part B costs to rise. Here's what to know.
From Judith Graham, KHN; Chicago Tribune ~ Oct 11, 2017

Here’s how much Social Security checks could increase in 2018
By Jeffry Bartash; MarketWatch ~ Oct 10, 2017

If you miss this Medicare deadline, it could hurt your health
By Sarah O'Brien; CNBC ~ Oct 10, 2017

Your Pension Is a Lie: There's $210 Trillion Of Liabilities Our Government Can't Fulfill
From John Mauldin; Forbes ~ Oct 10, 2017

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