On Monday, the Nevada Alliance participated in two events with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius around Nevada intended to explain what is in the Affordable Care Act, including new benefits that hit last week. In addition to spreading the news about the Affordable Care Act, Sebelius was in Nevada to support Harry Reid’s re-election to the U.S. Senate and Shelley Berkley & Dina Titus in their run for the U.S. House.
In Reno, Nevada Alliance President Scotty Watts (pictured at right) and NARA Treasurer JoEtta Brown joined the morning panel discussion.
AFT retiree and NARA Vice President Rich Miller attended the 100-person meeting in Henderson. Miller reported that there were several Nevadans present who spoke out about how provisions in the new health law would benefit their families.
Miller added on the Nevada Alliance’s work in the state around the Affordable Care Act, “We’re doing the best we can to get the information out. There’s no doubt that every opportunity we have to go to the press, to hold educational panels, and to lobby, we do that.”
On Thursday, more than 60 groups, including the Alliance, announced the creation of the coalition “Strengthen Social Security…Don’t Cut It.” The new coalition pushes back against the Fiscal Commission assertions (backed by the Wall Street spin machine) that claim Social Security is a major component of the budget deficit and is teetering on the brink of disaster.
In a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the group outlined plans to build support in Congress to fight benefits cuts and press candidates this election to push back against any move to raise the retirement age or privatize the program. “We are united by our concerns over the new Fiscal Commission, which operates in virtual secrecy and with a fundamentally flawed understanding of how Social Security is financed and operates. There is no government financial commitment at all. Every dime comes from workers and employers,” Ed Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance, said at the event.
AFSCME President Gerald McEntee said: "We have a message for the Commission: Don't turn Social Security intothe scapegoat for the deficit. Social Security is not the problem. Don't raise the retirement age. Don't tamper with the COLA. If you break the promise that was made to America's working families, we'll hold you accountable."
Nevada Alliance members rushed to Republican/tea party Senate candidate Sharron Angle's office last Friday to protest her position on privatizing Social Security. “She’s extreme. She's dangerous,” said NARA President Scott Watts. Nevada Alliance activists then convened a protest at GOP Headquarters earlier this week.
Watts called emergency meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday and Sparks, Nevada on Thursday about Angle’s positions, and scores turned out to exchange warnings about her ideas for privatizing Social Security. Emotions ran high. Other sources of concern for retirees include Angle’s stated desire to privatize Medicare and the Veterans Administration.
Despite numerous attempts by television stations to reach Angle for comment and clarification, no one from her campaign returned their calls and e-mails over the past few days. During the primary campaign, Angle said that she wanted to phase out Social Security and Medicare programs, for something private. “I've never seen any compassion from this person as far as senior citizens are concerned. Never,” Watts added.