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Senior Citizens Politics 2005-2003

Political News and Information for Senior Citizens & Baby Boomers

 

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Senior Politics
2009-08

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2007-06

Senior Politics
2005-00

Senior Programs Take Almost Half Federal Budget in 2004

Census report shows federal spending by state, county

Dec. 27, 2005 – The programs aimed primarily at helping senior citizens – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – cost the federal government $1 trillion in 2004 – almost half of the total $2.2 trillion spent. Five states received one-third of this money, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau that shows federal spending by state and county. Read more...

Gov Programs for Seniors Strongly Supported but Not Highly Regarded

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid among worst rated government services

Dec. 24, 2005 – The three major government programs for senior citizens – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - get very strong support from American adults but also very high negative ratings on their performance. Read more...

Battle Not Over on Bill to Cut Medicare, Medicaid as Advocates Attack

Democratic leader will demand record vote with support from AARP, Catholic Charities

Dec. 22, 2005 – The battle over the Budget Reconciliation Act is not over. The Senate passed a modified version of the House bill with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Cheney. Due to the differences in the Senate bill, however, it must go back to the House for a vote, where House Speaker Dennis Hastert has asked Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi to agree to quick passage by "unanimous consent." Pelosi says she does not agree and wants a record vote. Meanwhile, advocacy groups like AARP and Catholic Charities want the House to restore cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Read more...

Senate Joins House to Pass Deficit Bill Cutting Medicare, Medicaid

AARP and others join in criticism of cuts in senior programs

Dec. 21, 2005 – Vice President Dick Cheney stepped in today to break a 50-50 vote in the Senate for the passage of the deficit reduction act that was passed by the House on Monday. It is aimed at reducing the deficit by $39.7 billion – much of this coming from cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and the student loan program. The action drew immediate criticism from AARP and others. Read more...

New Report Details Discrimination of Older Adults in United States

International Longevity Center Publishes Report Cards on Ageism

Dec. 19, 2005 - Ageism, or discriminating against people purely on the basis of their chronological age, is deeply embedded and widespread in American society says the International Longevity Center-USA (ILC-USA). In a new "ground-breaking report," Ageism in America, the ILC-USA documents the innate prejudices held against older Americans. Read more...

Medicare, Medicaid Take Hits from House as Budget Bill Goes to Senate Today

Surprise cut in home health care spending by Medicare

Dec. 19, 2005 – The Senate is expected to vote today on the Budget Reconciliation Act passed by the House in the early morning hours that is estimated to reduce the Federal Budget by just under $40 billion. Significant cuts will be made in Medicaid and Medicare under the bill. Read more...

Social Security Not in Top 10 Resolutions by White House Aging Conference

Conference ends for another ten years, will send these recommendations to President, Congress

Dec. 15, 2005 - The 2005 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) officially closed yesterday, with delegates calling for renewal of the Older Americans Act within six months and putting a priority for the President and Congress on a strategy for long-term care; enhanced public transportation; and, stronger and improved Medicaid and Medicare programs. Interestingly, there was nothing about Social Security in their top ten resolutions. Read more...

Delegates Gather Today for White Conference on Aging

Selected portions will be webcast by Kaisernetwork.org

Dec. 10, 2005 – Delegates to the White House Conference on Aging – an event that happens only every ten years – are gathering in Washington D.C. today to prepare for a volunteer public service project tomorrow and the beginning of official business on Monday. It has also been announced that Kaisernetwork.org, a free health policy news and webcasting service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, will webcast portions of the conference. Read more...

Public Transportation Group Taking Issue to White House Aging Conference

Survey says if public transit more available, 3 in 5 seniors would use it more often

Dec. 7, 2005 - More than four in five (82 percent) American senior citizens age 65 or older worry that they will be stranded and unable to get around when they can no longer drive, according to a survey released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), which is taking the issue to the White House Conference on Aging, which begins this weekend. Read more...

Greenspan Again Warns Baby Boomers of Retirement Threats

Calls for action now by Washington to reduce deficit

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Dec. 2, 2005 – Once again baby boomers are being warned that unless something is done about the soaring federal deficit their retirement years may fall far short of expectations. It has become a consistent theme of Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan, who spoke again today expressing his fear "that we may have already committed more physical resources to the baby-boom generation in its retirement years than our economy has the capacity to deliver." Read more...

Opinions

House Budget Bill Unfairly Punishes Elderly, ElderLawAnswers Warns

Leading elder law Website warns that House bill cutting Medicaid would drastically change asset transfer rules, punishing older Americans

Nov. 29, 2005 - House and Senate conferees will soon sit down to reconcile two very different budget bills that cut billions from the Medicaid program. The House bill, H.R. 4241, contains provisions that will punish unwitting elders who have given their families modest gifts, and will force some middle-income elderly to sell their homes and spend down the proceeds, warns ElderLawAnswers (www.elderlawanswers.com), the nation's leading elder law Web site. Read more...

White House Conference on Aging to Begin With Service Project

Policy committee approves 73 resolutions to present to delegates

Nov. 28, 2005 – With the White House Conference on Aging only days away, the delegates are being invited to help renovate a building used by Latino senior citizens in Washington D.C. and the policy committee has finalized 73 resolutions to be presented to the delegates. The theme for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging is "The Booming Dynamics of Aging: From Awareness to Action." Read more...

States Adjust Disaster Plans for Elders

Most Katrina fatalities were people over age 50

By Christine Vestal, Stateline.org Staff Writer

Nov. 23, 2005 - In the hurricane zone and beyond, state aging departments and emergency responders are drawing a lesson from storm death tolls and are updating their disaster plans to make special arrangements for the elderly. Read more...

Conference on Aging

White House Seeks State Aging Solutions

By Christine Vestal, Stateline.org Staff Writer

Nov. 18, 2005 - On the brink of the first baby boomers turning 60, the White House is about to assemble 1,200 state delegates to focus on ways state aging departments, the private sector and federal officials can gird for the nation’s much-heralded retirement stampede. Read more...

House Joins Senate in Passing Budget Cuts Including Medicaid

Nov. 18, 2005 – After embarrassing failures by the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives to pass a bill to cut the federal budget, they finally passed the finish line early this morning with a 217 to 215 vote victory. The House bill has major differences from the bill passed by the Senate yesterday 64-33, including cuts in Medicaid, which will impact millions of senior citizens. President Bush has said he will veto the Senate bill, should its provision for additional taxes on oil companies be part of the compromise. Read more...

Most Boomers, Senior Citizens Think Government Should Help with LTC

Poll Shows Baby Boomers, Seniors Concerned About Paying for Care

Nov. 14, 2005 – A poll released today says seven in ten baby boomers and senior citizens believe the government should do more to help people meet the cost of long-term care. Along with the poll, a panel of experts from the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) issued a call for fundamental reforms in financing long-term care, including a substantial commitment of federal resources. Also in motion is a strong recommendation from the White House Conference on Aging's Long-Term Care Mini-Conference, which has recommended action to the conference delegates that meet in December. Read more...

Finance Committee Passes $10 Billion in Cuts for Medicare, Medicaid

Most savings will come from making pharmaceutical industry pay more, doctors get big pay boost

Oct. 26, 2005 – Senior citizens and their advocates most likely breathed a sigh of relief with the passage of a spending cut package by the Senate Finance Committee last night. It cuts $10 billion over five years from Medicare and Medicaid, but the cuts are primarily aimed at reducing subsidies for the pharmaceutical industry. The downside for some seniors was some tightening of rules for transferring personal assets to others when trying to qualify for Medicaid. Read more...

Katrina Aftermath

Is U.S. Divided Economically? Boomers say 'Yes,' Seniors 'No'

Pew Center examines public attitudes on Katrina relief and how to pay

Oct. 19, 2005 – The public overwhelmingly supports the Hurricane Katrina aid approved by Congress – a not too surprising conclusion of a study released yesterday. One of the most interesting opinions, among many explored by the research, however, is the question of the U.S. being divided into “haves” and “have-nots.” Baby Boomers gave that question a resounding “yes”, but senior citizens were much less likely to think so. Read more...

Seniors Show Most Loyalty to Bush in Polls Except for War on Iraq

But there is confusion as they express more dissatisfaction with the state of the nation.

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Oct. 14, 2005 – In looking closely at the survey released yesterday by the Pew Research Center to better understand the opinions of senior citizens about President Bush and the state of the nation, it appears that those 65 and older are the most likely to approve of the President’s performance. Among all voters his approval rating has dropped to 38 percent, but among senior citizens it is 45 percent – the highest of any age group in the survey. Read more...see poll charts...

Seniors Join Swing to View Bush as Unsuccessful President

But men and women over 50 still most likely to see him as successful

Oct. 13, 2005 - President George W. Bush's poll numbers are going from bad to worse. His job approval rating has fallen to another new low, as has public satisfaction with national conditions, which now stands at just 29%. And for the first time since taking office in 2001, a plurality of Americans, including seniors, believe that George W. Bush will be viewed as an unsuccessful president. Senior citizens were the least likely in the January survey to see Bush being successful and they did not change much in October. But they were passed by the falling opinions of the younger voters, except for the boomers. Read more, see charts of senior opinions...

   
  Milvertha Hendricks, 84,  waits in the rain with other flood victims outside New Orleans convention center.  

Voice of America

Senate Seeks Plan to Evacuate Elderly in Disaster

Hearing by Senate Special Committee on Aging

By Susan Logue, Voice of America, Washington

Oct. 12, 2005 - More than a dozen nursing homes in Louisiana are being investigated for their treatment of patients during Hurricane Katrina. Dozens died, abandoned in the storm. Calling the abandonment of the elderly "the most disgraceful" tragedy to occur as a result of Katrina, Republican Senator Gordon Smith called a hearing of the Special Committee on Aging to prevent it from happening again. Read more...

Pensions Pose Time Bombs for State Budgets

By Kathleen Hunter, Stateline.org Staff Writer

Sept. 23, 2005 - The aging of baby boomers in the state government work force is prompting fears that pension payouts will bust state budgets and is spurring efforts from Alaska to Massachusetts to reform public employee retirement systems. Read more...

Republican Conservatives Want Senior Citizens to Pay Most for Katrina

Republican Study Committee targets senior programs for budget cuts

Sept. 22, 2005 – In a stunning announcement yesterday, the Republican Study Committee recommended shifting a big portion of the cost of Hurricane Katrina to the backs of America’s senior citizens. Recommended program cuts impacting seniors include delaying the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, increase Medicare Part B Premium from 25% to 30%, impose a home health co-payment of 10%, reduce Medicaid administrative spending, increase allowable co-pays in Medicaid, block grant Medicaid acute services, base new Federal Retiree Health on length of service, restructure Medicare's cost-sharing requirement and update the formula used for Federal Pension. Read more...

Katrina Affecting Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security Legislation

By ElderLawAnswers.com

Sept. 16, 2005 - Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), says that $10 billion in cuts to Medicaid requested by the Bush administration will have to be weighed against the need to provide health care to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of people have lost health insurance through their employer, so the demand on Medicaid may grow, according to an article in the Palm Beach Post. Read more...

List of Delegates Released for White House Conference on Aging

Input for conference has been provided by 350 events

Sept. 7, 2005 - The 2005 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) has announced the names of At-Large delegates who will participate in the WHCoA from December 11 to 14, 2005 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. Read more...

Agenda Taking Shape for White House Conference on Aging

Aug. 23, 2005 – A draft agenda for the White House Conference on Aging has been released. It focuses on six areas: retirement planning, working in later life, livable communities for older Americans, health and long-term care, social involvement and the change in the marketplace for seniors. Read more...

Distinguished Senior Citizen

Sandra Day O'Connor, First Female on Supreme Court and Moderate Swing Vote, to Retire

News releases on advice for replacement hit the wires

July 1, 2005 - In a move that will begin a major political fight, Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 75, a critical moderate-to-conservative swing vote in many of the court's decisions, announced today she is retiring after more than 24 years of service. Read more... bio, comments on role of women, news releases suggesting replacement.

Check Your State Laws Here

Senior Citizen Drivers: Are They Menace? Should Licensing Laws Be Tougher?

Safety advocates want tougher licensing for seniors and special vehicles

June 16, 2005 - Senior citizens not only drive more these days, but have sped past teenagers as the age group with the highest number of traffic accidents per mile. Laws on obtaining driver licenses vary widely by state and at least one out-spoken-author wants them made tougher for older American drivers, the fastest growing group of drivers. Read more...

Senior Citizen Support for School Spending Shows Big Jump

June 16, 2005 – So many surveys over the years have shown senior citizen voters do not take kindly to taxes to support education that it has become a popular cultural assumption. Not so, says a new survey that shows support for school funding by older Americans has taken a big step forward. Read more...

Majority of Delegates Named to White House Conference on Aging

Deadline tomorrow to apply as at-large delegate for December conference

June 2, 2005 – The names of the majority of the delegates to the White House Conference on Aging were released today and the opportunity to apply to become an at-large delegate has been extended until tomorrow. The conference, originally scheduled for October, will now convene Dec. 11 – 14. Read more...

Positive Aging Act Reintroduced for 2005 by Same Four Legislators

May 31, 2005 – Last Wednesday, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) announced the introduction of the Positive Aging Act of 2005 to improve access to mental health services for America’s senior citizens. Read more...

Applicants Sought to be Delegates to White House Conference on Aging

May 5, 2005 – Would you like to be an “At-Large-Delegate” to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging this fall. The policy committee of the WHCoA will choose an undetermined number of delegates based on applications they receive by June 1. Read more...

Meeting Ends with Recommendations on Long-Term Care for White House Aging Conference

April 20, 2005 – The two-day “Long Term Care Min-Conference” ended today with official policy recommendations for the long-term care discussions of the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, which is scheduled to open in October. Held once every ten years, the conference is designed as a catalyst for the development and enhancement of national, state and local aging policies. Read more...

House to Issue Subpoena Stopping Removal of Feeding Tubes from Terri Schiavo

March 18, 2005 – House Speaker Dennis Hastert issued a statement this morning announcing an inquiry into the long-term care of incapacitated adults and says he will issue a subpoena this morning that will require Terri Schiavo be kept alive. At 1 p.m. EST, Michael Schiavo will be allowed by a Florida judge to withdraw the feeding tubes that have kept his wife, Terri, alive for years. She is then expected to die within two weeks. Read more...

Protection of Incapacitated Persons Bill Passes in House

Fast action aimed at saving Terri Schiavo in Florida, Many Caregivers Watching Closely

March 17, 2005 - The U.S. House last night by voice vote passed H.R. 1332, the "Protection of Incapacitated Persons Act of 2005." Supporters hope this will delay Florida courts poised to determine that Terri Schiavo will have her feeding tube removed on Friday. It is a Bill also closely watched by many caregivers of the elderly and senior citizen groups. Read more...

Greenspan Rehashes Social Security Speech for Senate Aging Committee

March 15, 2005 – Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan presented a rehash of his speech on Social Security at a hearing this morning of the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging that was entitled “Exploring the Economics of Retirement.” He highlighted the economic burden of baby boomers reaching retirement, the Congress breaking the “lock box” that once secured Social Security funds and his favoring of private investment accounts that take the money out of the hands of the Congress and President. Read more...

Greenspan Wants Budget, Retirement Cuts Now

Highlights medical care and Social Security for seniors as looming threats

March 2, 2005 – The high cost of providing medical care and Social Security for America’s seniors was the focus of a presentation today by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said the economy is growing at a reasonable rate but not fast enough to cure the budget deficits that should be fixed by spending cuts. Read more...

Attack on AARP Starts with the Dirtiest of Politics by Swift Boat Gang - USA Next

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Feb. 22, 2005 - The political hatchet men who brought us the Swift Boat ads in the last presidential election, have launched their avowed assassination attempt of the AARP with an ad showing an X over a soldier and a check mark over two kissing men which is labeled "The Real AARP Agenda." USA Next, a right-wing political group, is angry because AARP opposes the privatization of Social Security proposed by President Bush. Read more...

Social Security Hearing by Senate Aging Committee Presents Balanced Testimony

Chairman Gordon Smith conducts his second hearing; first in series on Social Security

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Feb. 6, 2005 – If the second hearing conducted by Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) of the Senate Special Committee on Aging is an example, seniors can expect more balance in the testimony than was often provided in hearings by the former chairman. Last week’s hearing focused on Social Security and had balanced testimony and good information by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the General Accounting Office (GAO), AARP, the Concord Coalition, and the Heritage Foundation. It was the first in a series on this topic. Read more...

AARP Answers State of Union, Again Opposing Private Accounts

They say they are working to strengthen Social Security “not dismantle it”

Feb. 3, 2005 – AARP has strongly opposed suggestions by President Bush for the establishment of private investment accounts for those who pay Social Security taxes. They responded to last night’s State of the Union address, which focused on Social Security, with a new statement of their opposition. Read more...

Social Security Mentioned 18 Times in State of Union Speech

President Bush assures seniors Social Security will not change for them

Feb. 3, 2005 – President George W. Bush made “Social Security reform” the major topic of his State of the Union address last night. He said the words “Social Security” 18 times in the speech and addressed senior citizens directly saying, “I have a message for every American who is 55 or older: Do not let anyone mislead you; for you, the Social Security system will not change in any way.” And added, “We must guarantee there is no change for those now retired or nearing retirement.” Read more...

Importing Drugs High Priority for New Senate Aging Chair

Jan. 27, 2005 – At his first hearing as Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) said he plans “to pursue legislation legalizing the re-importation of prescription drugs while improving the safety of Internet pharmacies.” Read more...

Senate Aging Committee Website Back Open, Hearing Today

Internet pharmacies and drug importation topic of first hearing by new committee

Jan. 26, 2005 – The Website for the Senate's Special Committee on Aging has reopened after being closed for a change in chair person and members. New chairman, Sen. Gordon Smith, has a hearing scheduled today at 10 a.m. (E.T.) on Internet pharmacies and prescription drug importation. Read more...

Mike Leavitt Gets Committee Nod Today to be HHS Secretary

Confirmation by Senate next week will make him head largest agency that oversees critical senior programs – Medicare and Medicaid

Jan. 25, 2005 – Former Utah Governor and head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mike Leavitt, was endorsed today by the Senate Finance Committee as the new leader of the Department of Health and Human Services, the largest federal agency, and the one that manages the key health programs for senior citizens, Medicare and Medicaid, which use four-fifths of the HHS budget. The Senate is expected to approve him next week. Read more...

In Washington D.C.

White House Conference on Aging Officials to Attend Mental Health Listening Session

Jan. 21, 2005 – Officials from the 2005 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) will participate in a Listening Session, stressing mental health needs of senior citizens, sponsored by the National Coalition of Mental Health and Aging on Monday, January 24, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Read more...

Greenspan to Testify on Social Security to New Senate Aging Committee

Sen. Gordon Smith is confirmed as committee chairman for 109th Congress

Jan. 6, 2005 – Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan will testify on Social Security at a meeting of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Aging on March 7, according to an announcement by Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who was elected committee chairman yesterday. More... 1/06/05*

Oregon’s Smith to Chair Senate Aging Committee

Four new members added to committee

Dec. 21, 2004 – Sen. Gordon Smith, Oregon Republican, was named today to chair the Senate Special Committee on Aging in the next Congress. The appointment, which must be confirmed by the Republican caucus, was made by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who also named the other members of the committee. More... 12/21/04*

Sen. Craig Stepping Down From Aging Committee Chairmanship

Republicans have not named new committees, Craig wants Veterans

Dec. 14, 2004 - Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig has announced that he has decided to step down as chairman of the Special Committee on Aging and seek chairmanship of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Although Democrats have already announced their committee assignments, Republican Senate leader Bill Frist has not announced the Republican line-up. More... 12/14/04*

Senate Aging Committee Gets New Democrat Leader, Kolh, and New Members Clinton and Nelson

Dec. 7, 2004 – The U.S. Special Committee on Aging is certain to have a new look in the next Congress as Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid, Nevada, is appointing a new ranking member for the Democrats, Sen. Herb Kohl, Wisconsin, and adding new members Sen. Hillary Clinton, New York, and Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida. More... 12/07/04*

HHC Secretary Thompson’s Resignation Creates a Stir, Well a Couple

He says nation in danger of food supply poisoning, flu pandemic

Dec. 5, 2004 – Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, 63, announced his resignation on Friday and left behind a storm about his warnings that the U.S. food supply could be a lethal target for terrorist and we are at significant risk of a flu pandemic. More... 12/05/04*

Senator Craig to Reintroduce Two Senior Citizen Bills

Nov 23, 2004 - The Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging said this week that he intends to reintroduce two bills important to seniors and their families during the next session of Congress. More... 11/23/04*

Older Americans Lead Gain in Internet Use for Election 2004

Nov. 12, 2004 – There was a large increase in the use of the Internet for campaign news in the 2004 election with older Americans – those 50 and up – leading the way. Senior citizens – 65 and up – are still a small number using the Web for campaign news but they, too, show a large increase. More... 11/12/04*

Iraq Was Big Issue for Senior Citizen Voters, Says New Poll

Nov. 11, 2004 - A poll released yesterday indicates senior citizens 60 and over were beating to a different drummer than younger voters who went to the polls in the presidential election last week. For seniors Iraq was the top issue on their minds (22 percent) but for all voters in was moral values at the top (22 percent) and Iraq coming in fourth (15 percent). More... 11/11/04*

Muncie Survey

Voters of All Ages Prefer Paper Ballots and Internet Voting Over Touch-Screen

Nov. 5, 2004 – A survey taken just before election days shows voters of all ages prefer using paper ballots or the Internet to vote. The electronic touch-screen kiosk introduced in much of the country in recent years came in third. More... 11/05/04*

Senior Citizen Vote Appears to Have Provided Bush Win

Bush received support from 53% of voters 60 and over, compared to 46% for Kerry - 60+ group was 25% of voters

Nov. 3, 2004 - An analysis of exit interviews by CBS and CNN from yesterday’s presidential election indicates it was senior citizens that carried the re-election for President George W. Bush. It is yet to be seen in the early analysis, but they may have also been leaders in the voting surge. More... 11/03/04*

Senior Citizens Facing New Electronic Voting Can Find Help Online

Nov. 1, 2004 – After the debacles in the 2000 presidential election, where studies show senior citizens were often the most confused by some of the voting techniques, a number of states have dropped paper ballot systems in favor of electronic voting. Seniors who may face these new technologies tomorrow can get a tutorial online about how to use these machines. More... 11/01/04*

Senior Vote Growing Much Faster Than That of Younger Voters

With senior population boom, could it become dominant vote?

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Oct. 29, 2004 - An analysis of voting in the U.S. since 1964 shows the percentage of all voters that are 65 or older is growing dramatically - 14.9 percent of all voters in '64 to 23.2 in 2002. More... 10/29/04*

Seniors are Consistent Voters, Increasingly Larger Share of Vote

Trend line says seniors will dominate future elections

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Oct. 28, 2004 – Senior issues – Medicare, importing drugs, Social Security – are receiving minimal attention in the wild presidential election, which may be a mistake, since those 65 and older are by far the most prolific voters in America. We can be relatively certain that one of every five votes cast will be by someone 65 or older and that seniors will continue to be a larger percentage of those who vote. More... 10/28/04*

Five Things Seniors Need to Know About Voting Issued by League of Women Voters

LWV provides other useful voter information

Oct. 22, 2004 – The League of Women Voters has issued a list of five things voters need to know about voting and a hotline telephone number of the Voter Protection Coalition to call for those who experience voting problems. This information can be especially useful for senior citizens, who were among those experiencing the most problems in the 2000 election. (see information about Voter Protection Coalition below story.) More... 10/22/04*

2005 White House Conference On Aging Launches New Web Site

Sep 29, 2004 – To meet the growing demand for information on the Web, The White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) today unveiled a new Website that will provide information on the conference to be held in 2005. More... 9/29/04*

Mandatory Retirement to be Questioned at Senate Aging Committee

Over 1.6 million people impacted – Committee to listen to airline pilots and others

Sept. 12, 2004 - U.S. Senator Larry Craig, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, the committee will hold a hearing Tuesday concerning mandatory age retirement rules. More... 9/12/04*

GrannyVoter Organization Kicks Off on Grandparents Day

Washington, DC, September 12 - On National Grandparents Day, women activists representing a new generation of grandparents launched GrannyVoter, a movement to encourage grandparents to speak out as trustees of the future. How? By voting on behalf of their grandchildren on Election Day 2004. More... 9/12/04*

GrannyVoter to be Announced on Grandparents Day

Sept. 10, 2004 - On National Grandparents Day, Sunday, Sept. 12, women activists representing a new generation of grandparents, will kick off GrannyVoter, a movement to urge these senior citizens to use their voting power to become advocates and trustees of the future and vote for their grandchildren on Election Day 2004. More... 9/10/03*

2005 White House Conference on Aging to Hold First Listening Session in Florida

Aug. 25, 2004 - The 2005 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) will conduct a public listening session in conjunction with the 2004 Florida Conference on Aging on Monday, August 30 in Miami, Florida. More... 8/25/04*

Kerry Endorsed by Senior Group Formed by AFL-CIO

Aug. 11, 2004 - John Kerry was today formally pledged the political clout of 3 million retirees when he received the endorsement of the Alliance for Retired Americans at a seniors' town hall meeting in Nevada. The Alliance was created by the AFL-CIO to promote the interests and welfare of retired workers. More... 8/11/04*

Granny D Haddock, 94, Gets Help With Senate Campaign

Aug. 4, 2004 - Doris "Granny D" Haddock, 94 years young and great-grandmother of 16, received a big boost to her campaign to become a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, when Joe Trippi – the former Howard Dean campaign manager – agreed to become her principal campaign strategist. Trippi won acclaim for his use of the Internet to promote Dean and raise campaign funds. Haddock attracted national attention in 1998, when she walked across the country to promote campaign finance reform. More... 8/04/04*

Sen. Kerry Accepts Nomination

Democrat Presidential Nominee Kerry Speaks for Lower Drug Prices, Better Veterans Health Care, Against Privatization of Social Security

July 30, 2004 – Sen. John Kerry focused the vast majority of his presidential nomination acceptance speech on national security, family values, healthcare and the economy at the Democratic National Convention last night, but did directly address senior citizen concerns about prescription drugs, the privatization of Social Security and veterans health care. More... 7/30/04*

17-Member Committee

Policy Committee Sets 2005 White House Conference on Aging for October 2005

First meeting and new members, executive director get to work

July 22, 2004 - The first White House Conference on Aging of the 21st Century will be held October 23-26, 2005 in Washington, D.C. The date and location of the Conference were decided and work began on the agenda at the first meeting of the Policy Committee for the 2005 Conference held on Wednesday. More... 7/22/04*

Talking Pill Bottles to Tell Democrats About Struggles of Senior Citizens

Distributed With Customized Recordings Featuring Stories of Real Seniors'

July 22, 2004 - The talking pill bottle will be distributed at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) as the voice of The Alliance for Retired Americans, a nationwide grassroots organization that advocates for America's seniors. More... 7/22/04*

Bush Not Providing Specifics on Senior Citizen Issues if Reelected

July 21, 2004 – President Bush is only making broad statements about what he will do if reelected, according to an Associated Press analysis published today. But the AARP Website serves as a good example of his avoiding the specifics, particularly on issues important to senior citizens. In responding to the AARP on issues important to older Americans, Bush refused to take a “for” or “against” position on any of the questions, while John Kerry took positions on every question. More... 7/21/04*

New Political Survey of Older Americans: Boomers Want Third Party, Seniors Focus on Candidate’s Qualities

Over 9 in 10 (91%) of those 70 or older are registered to vote and 90% voted in the 2000 presidential election

July 20, 2004 – A new AARP survey examines the political thoughts and differences of three age groups – 40-57, 58-69 and 70+ - but primarily focuses analysis on the Baby Boomer generation - the largest electoral bloc in the nation. It finds the Boomers hard to predict and says 56% say the country needs a new strong third political party. More... 7/20/04*

Senate Aging Committee Hears Alternate View on Tort Reform

Improving nursing home care suggested as alternative to tort reform

July 15, 2004 – The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held their hearing today on Medical Liability in Long-Term Care without any consumer advocates but the committee chairman did not hear what he wanted from all the witnesses. At least one testified an alternative to tort reform could be improving the quality of care. More... 7/15/04*

Support for Long-Term Care Act Pledged by Chair, Witnesses at Senate Aging Committee Hearing

June 22, 2004 - At hearing on long-term care held by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Sen. Larry Craig called for passage of legislation he has introduced with Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) and Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia), officially known as the Long-Term Care Partnership Program Act of 2004. More... 6/22/04*

AARP Leads Lobby In Breaking $1 Billion Spending Mark

June 1, 2004 - One billion dollars was spent by organizations lobbying the federal government in the last half of 2003 and the AARP led the way in setting this new record, according to records released today by PoliticalMoneyLine.com. More... 6/01/04*

Least Likely to Have Insurance

Older Women’s League Recognizes Mother’s Day With Demand for Healthcare Reform to Help Women

May 5, 2004 - At a press conference today on Capitol Hill, the Older Women's League (OWL) will release its 18th annual Mother's Day report, urging Congress to enact “real reforms” to the current healthcare system to stem the tide of women losing health insurance and incomes. Midlife and aging women are the population least likely to have insurance in America. More... 5/5/04*

Drug Import Bill Offered by Powerful Senate Group

April 22, 2004 – A powerful group of U.S. Senators – Republicans and Democrats – introduced a bill (S.2328) yesterday that would allow Americans to purchase lower priced prescription drugs from other countries. More... 4/22/04*

Scheduled for 2005

Executive Director Named for White House Conference on Aging

April 16, 2004 – Ann Y. McGee, Ed.D., has been named to serve as executive director for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. She is the former Commissioner of the Virginia Department on Aging. More... 4/16/04*

San Antonio Express-News Report

Silver Haired Congress Pressing Bush for White House Conference

April 12, 2004 -The National Silver Haired Congress is urging the Bush administration to come up with an exact time for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and the chairman of the board of directors, retired Air Force Col. Homer Lear, told the San Antonio Express-News, this is the group’s "top priority." More... 4/12/04*

Did GOP Break Law

Republicans Won't Answer About Hiding Medicare Cost

April 2, 2004 - Republicans on Thursday shut down efforts to learn if  the Bush administration acted illegally last year when it withheld its estimate of the "real" cost of the Medicare prescription drug bill from Congress. More... 4/02/04*

Congress Gets Failing Grade on Senior Issues

(Link to voting records at end of news story)

March 1, 2004 - The first session of the 108th Congress was a direct assault on the quality of life for America's retirees, according to the results of the 2003 Voting Record, released today by the Alliance for Retired Americans, a nationwide grassroots organization that advocates on behalf of seniors. More... 3/01/04*

AARP Public Policy Conference Opens Today

To Include Release of AARP’s First Annual Quality of Life Index on the State of 50 Plus America

Feb. 3, 2004 - The AARP today opens their Public Policy Conference and no doubt part of their unwritten agenda will be aimed at mending the fence with the customers that built them - senior citizens. More... 2/3/04*

State of Union by President Bush

Not Much on Social Security or Medicare

Follow this link to the complete text. You can scroll down to find paragraphs in boldface that mention Social Security of Medicare. Click Here 1/21/04* Click Here

Here are his former State of the Union addresses:

2003  -  2002  -  2001

Long-Term Budget Outlook by Congressional Budget Office

U.S. Facing Economic Peril Due to Programs for Seniors

Dec. 22, 2003 – The rapid growth of the senior citizen population – principal recipients of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – is putting the U.S. in serious financial peril, according to the Long-Term Budget Outlook just released by the Congressional Budget Office. More... 12/22/03*

Democrat Complains of Secrecy in House

Under the Cover of Darkness

"Never before has the House of Representatives operated in such secrecy" writes Cong. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). He covers what happened when the people slept, including passage of Medicare reform bill. More... 12/19/03*

Leading Democrat on Senate Aging Committee

Sen. John Breaux Will Not Run Again

Dec. 16, 2003 - U.S. Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) yesterday announced he will not seek re-election to the United States Senate after serving 31 years in the United States Congress. Sen. Breaux is the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Select Committee on Aging and was formerly chairman. More... 12/16/03*

How Your Representative Voted on Drug Bill

Nov. 22, 2003 – The pre-dawn vote to pass the Medicare drug bill out of the House and send it on to the Senate was 220 in favor and 215 against. Twenty-five Republicans voted against passage and 16 Democrat supported it. Below is the final official vote by member recorded at 5:53 this morning. More... 11/22/03*

Is There No Shame in Congress?

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

   Oct. 24, 2003 - You would think the U.S. economy was great and the federal budget was awash with money, the way Congress continues to spend – particularly on themselves

   It’s almost unbelievable but the Senate gave themselves a pay raise yesterday of 2.2 percent, to over $158,000 a year.  Aren’t these the same people who have been complaining about corporate executives getting pay increases when their companies are doing poorly?

   They also gave most federal workers an increase of 4.1 percent.

   The Senate voted 60 to 34 to reject a proposal by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) to kill the raise for lawmakers. Feingold noted that the five-year pay increase for Congress of $21,000 is larger than the $17,796 average annual Social Security benefit for a retired married couple… or the $16,068 a full-time worker earns over 18 months at minimum wage.

   The House had earlier approved the pay raise - on their first day back from summer vacation.

No Prescription Drug Bill After Years of Debate, but Congress Gives Themselves Pay Hike After Being Back from Summer Vacation for Two Days

Sept. 5, 2003 - Attempts to create a joint bill to approve a prescription drug plan for senior citizens has been an impossible task for years but the Republican led House of Representatives, back only two days from vacation, managed to quickly give members of Congress a raise of $3,400 a year. More... 9/05/3*

Medicare Bill Beginning to Look Doubtful

Sept. 3, 2003 - A Medicare prescription drug bill, which once seemed a certainty, is now looking increasingly doubtful as the Bush budget spirals out of control. The U.S. Senate returned from their summer recess yesterday and the House is back today, but they find the staff members left behind to negotiate a compromise on the Medicare bills passed by the House and Senate have made little progress. More... 9/3/03*

Saving Senior Citizen Homes in Bankruptcy is Goal of Michigan Legislator

By State Rep. Mickey Mortimer, Michigan

July 29, 2003 - As Congress works on a much-publicized prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients, the great untold story is how rising medical costs are forcing senior citizens to file for bankruptcy at an alarming rate. These senior bankruptcies are having terrible consequences. Click 7/29/03*

Medicare Conferees Asked to Protect Health Centers

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2003 -- More than 100 House lawmakers have sent a bi-partisan letter to House-Senate Medicare Conferees, asking that key health center provisions remain in the final Medicare Rx bill that is hammered out in the conference. Spearheaded by Representatives Jerry Weller (R-IL) and John Lewis (D-GA), the letter presses conferees to maintain three essential provisions affecting health centers in the final Medicare Reform and Prescription Drug legislation currently being negotiated in the conference. Click 7/28/03*

Nursing Home Care Under Scrutiny by Senate Finance Committee

July 2, 2003 - A hearing aimed at probing the quality of nursing home care across the nation is on tap for before the Senate Finance Committee on July 17 – the same committee that produced the recent Medicare reform bill for the Senate. Consumer advocates note that progress has been made in the industry since a wave of scandals were exposed. Read Bob Cusack's story that appeared in the July 1, 2003 issue of The Hill – Click 7/02/03

Senior Citizen Advocates Concerned About Medicare Drug Legislation

Washington, D.C., June 24, 2003 - As both chambers of Congress push to pass bills that would add a prescription drug benefit to the Medicare program before the July 4 recess, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the Center for Aging Policy (CAP) expressed their concerns about the content of the bills and the speed at which they are moving. Click 6/24/03*

National Council on Aging Backs Compromise on Prescription Drugs

Statement of James Firman President, on Grassley Baucus Proposal

America's seniors and their families have been waiting almost 40 years for Medicare to cover prescription drugs.  The National Council on the Aging (NCOA) - the first national organization formed to represent seniors and those who serve them - commends Senators Grassley and Baucus for developing a proposal that represents what Americans want from their political leaders - a fair, truly bipartisan compromise. Click 6/11/03*

Newt Gingrich to testify Tuesday

Hearing: Market and Innovation Impacts on Human Longevity

May 29, 2003 - Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will testify before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging about the impact of free markets on human longevity at hearing to be held June 3, starting at 10 a.m. in room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, Chairman Larry Craig announced today. Click 5/29/03

Senate Aging Committee Remodels Website

65 Millions Seniors Online

May 12, 2003 - The U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging has remodeled their Web site with a cleaner look, useful links and help for those who read Spanish. It is located at http://aging.senate.gov.

Iowa Voters Like Gephardt as Dem Nominee

Social Security May Be Hot Button for National Elections

May 6, 2003 - Social Security reform may be the hot button in the upcoming national elections if a recent poll of Iowa voters is an indicator – 80 percent think the financial future of the program is at risk. The results were released this week by the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative group that has Social Security reform high on their own agenda. Iowans also expressed a preference of Rep. Dick Gephardt as the Democratic presidential candidate. Click 5/6/03*

New Budget Has $400 Billion for Medicare

Speaker Hastert Appoints Prescription Drug Team – All Republicans

April 12, 2003 – Late Friday, right after the Congress passed a federal budget cutting the President’s tax cuts in half, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) appointed a “Prescription Drug Action Team for the 108th Congress – all of the members being Republicans. Click to story 4/12/03

Tax Cut Slashed in Half by Senate: Funds Added to Social Security Reform

March 26, 2003 - The thunder of war has pushed all other news off the television screens and to the back pages of the newspaper, but the battle over Social Security reform is hot in the Congress as the Senate votes today on their budget package, which may be only half of the amount in tax cuts pushed by President Bush and many millions more for Social Security reform. Click 3/26/03

Consumer's Union Unhappy With Bush Revised Medicare Proposal

Mar. 5, 2003 – The new revised Medicare proposal released by the White House late Monday does not satisfy Consumers Union. The organizations Director of Health Policy Analysis, Gail Shearer, released the following statement detailing why they think the new plan is “bad medicine” for seniors. Click 3/5/03*

Sen. Breaux To Hold Hearing On Health Care Reform

Mar. 4, 2003, WASHINGTON  - Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, announced today the committee will hold a Monday hearing to address the problems of America’s collapsing health care system and it will be webcast live at http://aging.senate.gov. Click 3/04/03*

Senate Aging Committee Chair Likes New Bush Medicare Plan

Stresses need for benefits and choices similar to those enjoyed by Congress

March 4, 2003, Washington, DC) - Just hours after President Bush unveiled a new set of principles for Medicare, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, praised the president for leading the Medicare debate.  Here is Chairman Craig's statement: Click 3/04/03*

President Expected to Announce Drug Program Changes Today

March 4, 2003 – President Bush is expected to announce changes in his Medicare Prescription Drug program when he addresses the American Medical Association today. There were reports last week that some Senators had been briefed on changes made to his plan that are aimed at blunting the criticism his earlier proposal had received in the Congress and from senior citizen groups. Click 3/04/03*

Alan Greenspan, Sen. Craig Say Social Security and Medicare are "Unsustainable" Without Changes

(Feb. 27, 2003 - Washington, DC) At a hearing today on the economic impacts of global aging held by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan said that America's aging population will have significant effects on the nation's fiscal situation. Click 2/27/03*

New Website

Senate Aging Committee in Transition

Feb. 17, 2003 - It has taken awhile, but the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging seems to be finally getting organized under the new Republican leadership. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) has regained the chairmanship from Sen. John Breaux (D-La.). The members of the committee have been named at can be found on the new Website. Click Here to Site 2/17/03**

Republican Chair of Senate Aging Committee Says New Budget Good for Seniors

Feb. 15, 2003 - U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, said yesterday he is pleased with the newly agreed-to federal budget bill which includes significant increases for Medicare, veterans health care, and additional funds which should help rural hospitals across America. Click 2/15/03*

Elder Abuse Legislation Introduced by Senators Breaux, Hatch

Feb. 11, 2003  -- Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, yesterday introduced comprehensive federal legislation to address elder abuse and crimes against seniors, and to guarantee protections for older Americans. Click 2/11/03*

President Releases $2.2 Trillion Budget

Medicare, Social Security Get Top Mention

More Details on Medicare Modernization Released

"Medicare is not financially secure for the retirement of the Baby Boom generation" 

Feb. 3, 2003 - President Bush released his budget for 2004 today and Medicare and Social Security both made it into the first paragraph of his statement on the 2.2 trillion dollar budget. The White House also provided more details on their plan to modernize Medicare. Click 2/3/03*

Budget Message on Social Security Focuses on Improved Efficiency - Click 2/3/03

Medicare and State of Union

Senior Groups Not Happy With Bush Proposal, Industry Groups Are

Jan. 30, 2003 - Senior organizations are not happy with President Bush’s proposals on Medicare and Social Security in his State of the Union address, while private industry groups representing insurance and pharmacy companies are supportive. The critics primarily want the prescription drug program to be a part of the basic Medicare program, rather than placed under the control of private firms. Click 1/30/03*

Pretty Much Same Promises as Two Years Ago

President Bush Says He Will Spend $400 Billion More to Improve Medicare, Again Promises Prescription Drugs

By Tucker Sutherland

Jan. 29, 2003 - President Bush, as expected, focused a part of his State of the Union address on improving Medicare, including a program that “provides prescription drugs.” There were few details, however, but a budget commitment of “an additional $400 billion over the next decade to reform and strengthen Medicare.” Generally, the promises for Medicare and Social Security were the same ones he has been making since he began his campaign for President. Click 1/28/03*

Mood of America Turns Negative

Affordable Healthcare Gets Most Negative Rating on Quality of Life Issues

Jan. 28, 2003 - Americans give the “availability of affordable healthcare” the most negative rating on quality of life issues in the annual state of affairs survey by Gallup Poll, which also found senior citizens taking unique positions on some of the questions and the general mood of the nation becoming negative. Click 1/28/03*

Defining Moment for Medicare - State of Union Address

White House Not Talking About Medicare Plan to be Announced Tuesday

Jan. 27, 2003 - The hot speculation is that President Bush proposes to provide seniors with a drug benefit, but only if they agree to get their medical care through managed-care plans. These private companies ration care within a fixed budget to where they assume it is most needed and most cost-effective. Click 1/27/02*

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2005-03

Current Political News for Senior Citizens

$25 Trillion Senior Promises Unfunded

Concord Coalition Worries Bush Tax Cut Will Endanger Senior Promises

Jan. 13, 2003 - The Concord Coalition, a "nonpartisan, grassroots organization advocating fiscal responsibility while ensuring Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are secure," has issued a statement on four questions that concern them about the tax cuts proposed by President Bush. One of the four expresses concern about the prospect of big deficits just as baby boomers are reaching retirement age. Click 1/13/03*

Craig Elected Chairman Of Senate Aging Committee

Dole, Hatch among new Republican members

Jan. 9, 2003 - U.S. Sen. Larry Craig was chosen by his colleagues to be the chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. This is the second time the Idaho Republican has held the post and he was sworn in this week for his third term in the senate. Click 1/9/03*

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