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New tax law puts our Social Security, Medicare in the crosshairs

medicare-in-crosshairsI wish all of you a very happy, healthy and rewarding 2018.

As retirees we have a lot to be thankful for while we continue to face challenges in our retirement.

Feb2018AlbanyDentalEmbeddedSubrata Mukherhjee

As 2017 came to a close, Congress passed a sweeping tax “reform” package. This legislation was opposed by PEF Retirees and many other retirees groups because it sets the stage for more legislation that may be hurtful to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

The $1.5 trillion addition to the national debt will create a demand to save money elsewhere, and they have sought an excuse to cut these programs. You all have paid directly into both Medicare and Social Security and our general income taxes support Medicaid. Our children, grandchildren and all workers continue to do so, too. Social Security and Medicare are benefits we earned and paid for.
Many in Congress (including my congressman) are proposing huge changes to Medicaid that include raising the age of Medicare eligibility to 67, privatizing Social Security and a myriad of other schemes to save money at our expense.

So stay tuned! We need to keep you and all of us engaged and ready to protect our interests. Those who want to cut Medicaid will emphasize how it affects “welfare users.” However, millions of seniors and other people who require care in nursing homes or other health care facilities are totally dependent on Medicaid to pay for that care.

What staff members at these health care facilities will be given pink slips to save money? Obviously, it will be the personal care staff, who are the backbone of caregiving at these institutions.

How long will it take the remaining staff to answer a call bell? Is this where you want a loved one, or a friend to live? It could be you in that situation. We must stop this before it starts.

We need to make our congressional representatives listen to us, their constituents.

A report by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) identified one area where Democrats and Republicans find common ground: economic security in retirement.

“Retirement Security 2017: Americans’ View of the Retirement Crisis and Solutions” found 78 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans are concerned about their ability to achieve a secure retirement. In fact, 88 percent of Americans agree the nation faces a retirement crisis. The findings are based on a poll of Americans 25 or older conducted by Greenwald and Associates.

“Seventy-seven percent of Americans say the disappearance of pensions is killing the American Dream, and they are strongly opposed to cutting Social Security for current or future retirees,” said Diane Oakley, NIRS executive director.

The study also found Americans:

• “Strongly support pensions for public-sector workers and see these plans as a strong recruitment and retention tool;

• Regard pensions as a route to economic security in retirement;

• See these retirement plans as better than 401 (k) accounts; and

• Believe protecting Social Security remains important.

At PEF Retirees, we agree. We believe everyone deserves a secure retirement. It is essential for us, and it is essential for America.

Retiring or Retired? Join PEF Retirees now!
Membership equals benefits. Contact PEF Retirees at 800-342-4306, x289. DON’T DROP NYSHIP AT 65!

Table of Contents – February 2018