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Protecting the Future for Retired Americans

WHEREAS certain fiscally conservative politicians have deliberately and cynically conflated the issues of:

  • the ongoing economic recovery,
  • the national debt and deficit, much of which was created by unfunded programs and wars,
  • the spiraling costs of health care and prevention, and
  • the increase in “baby boomer generation” recipients of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaidas a device to argue for major legislative proposals that call for excessive retrenchments in certain government social programs, and

WHEREAS the most current legislative manifestation of this conflation, known as the Ryan/Wyden bill and recently adopted by the US House of Representatives, seeks:

  • to privatize Medicare through a plan of subsidized vouchers for those who choose to purchase private insurance, thereby shifting cost burdens disproportionately onto beneficiaries,
  • to reduce the rate of Medicaid spending, thereby threatening the quality of care to seniors without insurance protection,
  • to privatize Social Security for current workers, thereby weakening the system and threatening the financial security of both current retirees and future workers,
  • to delay full Social Security benefits by increasing the age of retirement to age 67,
  • to reduce the COLA for Social Security recipients,
  • to “means-test” Social Security benefits, thereby undermining broad-based political support,
  • to dismantle the Affordable Health Care Act, which, for example, had eliminated the unexpected costs of prescription drugs in the Medicare program,
  • to eliminate potential defense cuts as legislated by Congress last Winter, and
  • to preserve the Bush tax cuts, due to expire at year’s end, especially for the wealthiest Americans, and

WHEREAS, even if the current legislation fails as is expected, there undoubtedly will be introduced other legislation that will attempt similarproposals that target Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits to retired and senior Americans, THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED that the members of the Retiree Chapter of the United Federation of Teachers embark on a “each one reach one teach one” program by contacting at least two fellow retirees and/or seniors among family, friends or neighbors to inform them of the deleterious effects of legislation such as Ryan/Wyden and persuade them of the necessity to vigorously oppose any and all such legislation which may be proposed, and be it further

RESOLVED that members provide to the Retiree Chapter of the United Federation of Teachers the names, telephone numbers and e-mails of their contacts so that we can grow a list of opponents who can be called upon in the future for ANY action initiatives against any other such legislation.