Senate Passes Budget that Cuts $5.3 Trillion

May 8, 2015

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The Senate voted 51 to 48 on Tuesday to pass the first joint congressional budget plan in six years, ratifying a 10-year blueprint that would cut spending by $5.3 trillion, overhaul Medicaid by turning it into block grants, and repeal President Obama’s health care law. The budget would cut off health insurance to as many as 27 million people covered by either Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act. It would include $431 billion in unspecified cuts to Medicare over that decade.

For the plan to take effect, Republican committee chairmen would have to draft legislation imposing the cuts. But they have made little effort to do so, and The New York Times reports that committee leaders in both parties have begun calling for new negotiations on a more bipartisan approach.

The Senate voted nearly along party lines, with only two Republicans voting no: Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas. Both are candidates for the Republican presidential nomination who say the budget plan does not go far enough to shrink the government and cut spending. Sen David Vitter (R-LA) did not vote, and all Democrats voted in opposition.

“Once again, we have a plan to balance the budget largely on the backs of seniors,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “Only this time, even many of the Senators who voted for it don’t want it signed into law.”

American Postal Workers Union’s National Day of Action is Thursday
Members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) are holding a National Day of Action on Thursday, May 14th - six days before their Collective Bargaining Agreement expires. Allies from the Grand Alliance to Save our Public Postal Service, which includes the Alliance for Retired Americans, are being asked to help by attending an event from the Day of Action web listing and signing a postcard to Postmaster General Megan Brennan saying: “I Stand With Postal Workers.”

The “Grand Alliance” campaign is fighting for expanded and enhanced services from the U.S. Postal Service. Many of these expanded services, including postal banking, would benefit seniors and individuals with lower incomes. Reductions in postal service standards have delayed mail delivery and will close or consolidate over 80 different mail processing centers across America.

Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance, said, “I ask Alliance members to help our friends, the postal workers, on Thursday. Please fill out a postcard and go to their website to find an event near you and show your support.”

National Women’s Health Week Targets Coronary Artery Disease
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health has declared next week, May 10-16, 2015, National Women’s Health Week. In conjunction with this occasion, the Alliance is joining the Coalition of Labor Union Women and other partners in shining a light on preventing coronary artery disease (CAD).

Heart Disease is the #1 cause of death of women in the United States, and CAD kills more Americans than all cancers combined. The Alliance wants retirees to know that women experience less obvious symptoms of CAD than men. They may experience tightness or pressure in the back, a burning sensation like heartburn, dizziness, back pain or sudden weakness. Getting older increases your risk of damaged arteries, and women should work with their doctors to find the right testing option. The only way to know if symptoms point to coronary artery disease is to get tested.

Help spread the word about coronary artery disease and be sure that people of all ages stay healthy.

Medicare Turns 50: The Promise of Modern Medicine

“No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years.” – President Lyndon Johnson

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