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VOL. 7 ISSUE 2 $2.95

Protecting America’s Seniors Paul Ryan’s bold plan for Medicare reform

AMAC’s Grammy speaks out on Obamacare

In this Issue: ■

Washington Buzz on Key Races

Retirement in the 21st Century

Social Security FAQs


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Join over 30 top conservatives—Allen West, Paul Johnson, John Sununu, Cal Thomas, Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry, Daniel Hannan, Jay Nordlinger, Dick Morris, James Pethokoukis, Kevin D. Williamson, Anthony Daniels, John Fund, John O’Sullivan, James Lileks, Robert Costa, Jim Geraghty, Ramesh Ponnuru, David Pryce-Jones, John J. Miller, Charles C.W. Cooke, Rob Long, Andrew Stiles, Cleta Mitchell, John Hillen, Daniel Mahoney, Edward Whelan, and Eliana Johnson—for seven wondrous days and cool nights of scenic-cruising the breath-taking Norwegian coast, scintillating discussions of politics and policy, and visiting the historic and charming ports of Amsterdam, Bergen, Flam, Eidfjord, & Stavanger! social critic Anthony Daniels, NR columnists Rob Long and James Lileks, economics writer James Pethokoukis, legal experts Edward Whelan and Cleta Mitchell, senior editors Jay Nordlinger, David PryceJones, and Ramesh Ponnuru, military expert John Hillen, scholar Daniel Mahoney, and NR All stars Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Kevin Williamson, Robert Costa, John Fund, Andrew Stiles, Charles Cooke, Jim Geraghty, John Miller, and Eliana Johnson. Over 400 National Review readers and fellow conservatives are expected to take this wonderful trip (we’re giving a $50 cabin credit to every AmacAdvantage member!), so act now to reserve your beautiful and affordable stateroom. Because of the fjords’ raw beauty, and the narrow cruising “season,” this cruise is very popular (for mother Nature at her finest, you can’t beat the stunning waterways hugging the Norwegian coast). This is an unrivaled family summer-vacation destination, so don’t beat them—instead, join them (with your family!) on the National Review 2013 Norwegian Fjords Cruise.

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Publisher’s Letter

America is Rising again! AMAC is experiencing amazing growth with over 40,000 new members in April alone.

Dear AMAC Members, It’s gratifying to know there are so many patriotic citizens who care about protecting our God-given freedoms. Rest assured, AMAC is vigilant in defending our Constitution, even as government officials are aiming to weaken some of its provisions. The IRS recently claimed it had the right to look at our emails if they were older than 180 days and stored on a hosting site. We were joined by Representatives of both political parties in denouncing this threat against our privacy. AMAC will be following this issue closely to make sure the regulation is changed. This issue of Amac Advantage has a great article on Paul Ryan’s plan to save Medicare and we even have a real life “Grammy” who understands what Ryan is trying to accomplish! The article provides some insight on how to handle this difficult task.

by Dan Weber President, Association of Mature American Citizens

Brother Juniper is a frequent contributor to the magazine and he asked us to allow him to communicate his thoughts about asking for God’s continued blessing on our nation. Our editors were reminded how Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln did exactly that at times when the country was facing major challenges, so we included his moving article in this issue. Lastly, AMAC is proud to announce the unveiling of a new “Social Security Report” website, which we are sponsoring. It provides up-to-date news on Social Security issues and we are planning to expand it in the future to allow folks to submit questions. Please check it out at www.socialsecurityreport.org. Thank you for helping us preserve this great country for our children and grandchildren. Sincerely,

Dan Weber, Publisher

4 | www.amac.us


VOL. 7 ISSUE 2

Cover Stor y

Contents

Protecting America’s Seniors

34

Paul Ryan’s bold plan for Medicare reform Daniel C. Weber Publisher Rebecca Weber Keiffert Associate Publisher Editorial Inquiries Gary J. Christiansen Membership Web Developer Gia Ricottone Director of Advertising & Affiliate Sales gricottone@amac.us Pamela Smith Editor George Spangler Director, Ambassador Leadership Program

6

Sound Off

9

Simply Jedediah Thinking Outside the Box

13 Health Walk Your Way to Health

16 Your Medicare Advisor De-Mystifying Enrollment Periods

23 Carbon Monoxide Safety 25 Money Retirement in the 21st Century

48 Travel Marvelous Memphis

51 AMAC in Action 52 Kathie’s Kitchen 55 Brother Juniper 57 Celiac Disease & Gluten Intolerance 60 Member Benefits Directory 64 Just for Fun 65 Parting Thought

27 AMAC on Capitol Hill The Evolution of Influence Association of Mature American Citizens 5 Orville Drive Bohemia, New York 11716 1.888.262.2006 • www.amac.us

51

39

31

29 Washington Buzz on Key Races Your 2013-2014 Election Primer

31 Meet AMAC’s Grammy Graphic Design by: Business by Design / Advertising Dynamics 631.751.5454 • www.bbd3.com

38 Energy Jobs

The contents of Amac Advantage Magazine may not be reproduced without the publishers written consent. Amac Advantage Magazine provides information of a general nature with the understanding that neither AMAC nor its affiliates are engaged in rendering medical or legal advice or recommendations. Information provided should not be considered a substitute for a consultation with a licensed physician or attorney.

39 Social Security FAQs

52

48

Fueling America’s Economy

44 Did You Know?

16

46 Money If It Sounds Too Good

www.amac.us | 5


Speaking Your Mind

Sound Off

“sound off” at www.amac.us

Americans are speaking out on AMAC’s website. Please visit www.amac.us to give us your views and to read what others are saying!

The Need to Save Medicare 

Bernie says: Medicare and Social Security would both be financially healthy if Congress over the years would not have touched any of the money that belongs there. Now they BLAME everyone else for the short fall. Pay back what they have stolen WITH Interest. Vote out the incumbents.

Lynn M All my working life, and I started at age 14, I have had my social security contribution deducted from my salary. I am now 71 years of age and retired, collecting my Social Security contribution which somehow in the years between then and now, became part of the government’s "General Spending Fund." In order to help pay the Government’s Bills and Debts, they are suggesting that a good way to get this done would be to STOP sending we retired persons our Social Security Checks! Well now, I have a few questions: What makes you think you are entitled to my and many million other retired persons contributions? Did you match any contribution I made? Did you ask me if you could put my money in the General Fund? If a bank or any other form of institution did this, I could take them to court!

Government Waste – When Will the Insanity Stop? 

Paul E says: The insanity will stop when and if the People decide they’ve had enough of this sort of nonsense. So far unfortunately, it doesn’t seem we’ve reached that point yet, at least not in sufficient numbers to

6 | www.amac.us

effect positive change for the country. If anything, it seems we’re heading in the wrong direction, as far as our priorities regarding public spending. As long as the majority of voters continue to buy into the snake oil being pushed out of Washington that we need to spend ever more money we don’t have and have to borrow from those that don’t particularly like us, on these type of “investments,” the situation will only get worse over time.

Dannie Mulkey says: This total disregard for the tax paying Americans is an outrage. What is it going to take to return control of our government to the people?

Les Balty says: What Constitutionally enumerated power is exercised with this frivolous Federal spending? It is well past time that each branch of the Federal Government do their specific jobs and get this leviathan under control. Any official who overreaches is in violation of their Constitutional authority and should be removed for violating their Oath of Office, starting at the top.

AMAC Calls Carson a Model for Conservatives 

Elaine says: A breath of fresh air as opposed to all the hot air the Obama White House has been blowing our way! It is nice to hear a common sense approach from an intelligent citizen who has every constitutional right to differ with the opinion of the present administration.

R.E., M.D. says: Dr. Ben Carson as our president would be our dreams and prayers come true. He is extremely intelligent, moral and

ethical. We have not seen that in a President since Reagan.

S. Washburn says: Dr. Ben Carson is exactly what America needs right now. He is not only a successful hardworking man who loves the Lord, family and America but is willing to stand up for them. Many of our representatives could and should follow his example. Maybe then we can get America back on course again.

Elizabeth Clark says: I loved his idea on taxes, following the bible at 10% across the board, so simple and biblical

Medicare Advantage Cuts ‘Bad Medicine’ For Seniors 

Marybird says: Unfortunately, Medicare has been considered a cash cow by both the current and past federal administrations. They help themselves to it because it’s available and they can. Naturally the Obama administration will look to taking whatever they feel justified in taking to fund Obamacare. They don’t care that seniors worked all their lives and contributed to Medicare and Social Security, and it’s obvious that seniors will take a back burner in this administration.

Gary Ross says: Why did Obama get away with stealing $716 BILLION from Medicare in the first place? Medicare and Social Security are special taxes for special purposes, and they should not be raided, given away or borrowed against. Return all money ever taken from these programs, with interest and penalties, and the programs will repair themselves. At the same time, make these federal employees do their jobs by eliminating fraud.


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Simply Jedediah

Thinking Outside the Education Box I recently stumbled upon a Facebook post Sarah Palin had written while reflecting upon her daughter Willow’s graduation from an academy that specializes in hair and skin. In it, she said the following: “Young people should not be pressured into assuming that a college degree is the only path to employment today. It’s not. Some college degrees obviously lead to clear professions, like those in the medical and engineering fields, but that’s not the case with many of the liberal arts degrees young people today gravitate toward either because they aren’t sure what they want to do after college or because they’ve been led to believe that college life is a sort of rite of passage for any career. That might have been the case once, but the salary and career opportunities a liberal arts education alone can get you have been dramatically limited these days. It’s so sad to see young people holding expensive college diplomas that come with no practical job opportunities.” It struck me immediately, not only as a former undergraduate and graduate student who holds a B.A. and M.A. in Spanish literature, but also as a former teacher, student adviser, and academic dean. Before I proceed, would you mind taking a walk down memory lane with me?

by Jedediah Bila

I remember my first college meeting with my adviser like it was yesterday. I was seventeen, just about ready to start figuring myself out, and hoping to make up a semester schedule that would interest me and let me sleep until nine every morning. I also remember one of the first questions my adviser tossed my way: “So, what do you want to do with your life?” What do I want to do with my life? I thought. I don’t even know what I want to do for lunch. The truth was that I had absolutely no idea. And the reason for that was that I hadn’t taken the time to really think about it. I hadn’t brainstormed my likes and dislikes. I hadn’t chosen a school based on my interests. I hadn’t researched relevant internship opportunities. I hadn’t done any of those things. Instead, I had listened to the many teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors along the way who had told me that I didn’t need to figure any of that out just yet. They told me that I needn’t worry because a solid liberal-arts degree was the key to success; it would make me a well-rounded, ideal candidate for just about any job. In fact, on the occasions that a particular trade did interest me - skin care, marriage counseling, writing greeting cards - I was told not to get “too narrow” in my thinking too early. The broader, the better, seemed to be the way to go. (Or so they told me.) So, I listened. I spent my college years studying what I enjoyed semester to semester - a little Spanish literature here, a little psychology there, a little marketing in between. Before I could blink, I was building enough credits

for a Spanish major, so I went with it. After all, it was pretty cool to be able to read books in two languages. At some point, I had enough credits for a Business minor, so I got one. I even applied to graduate schools for full fellowships in Spanish, initially because I wanted to see if I could actually snatch one. It was all part of a journey. The problem was that I wasn’t thinking about where I wanted that journey to wind up. The truth was that I didn’t want a career in the conventional business world. I didn’t even want a career where I’d be speaking two languages; learning Spanish was far too romantic for me to ruin it with practical application. So, what happened? I graduated college valedictorian, got an M.A. from Columbia University in Spanish literature at the age of twentytwo, and still couldn’t answer the question “What do you want to do with your life?” I also had no idea how my degrees would, if ever, translate into a salary, a career, a forward vision. And, to be honest, I didn’t even know if I wanted them to. Looking back, part of the problem continued on pg. 10

www.amac.us | 9


Simply Jedediah

Thinking Outside the Education Box continued from pg. 9

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was that my high-school curriculum didn’t allow for much personal exploration. I couldn’t take Looking back, part Ceramics or Photography or Clothing Design of the problem because those classes was that my highdidn’t exist. Instead, the school curriculum program was academically didn’t allow for rigorous and aimed to cremuch personal ate tough intellectuals. I’m not knocking rigorous exploration. I couldn’t academics, but what the take Ceramics or program forgot was the Photography or importance of encouragClothing Design ing kids to discover who because those they were and what they loved. Years later, as a classes didn’t exist. teacher, adviser, and dean, Instead, the program I never forgot that. It made was academically all the difference in the rigorous and aimed way I looked at high school to create tough curriculums and the suggestions I made. intellectuals. I’m not Now don’t get me wrong, knocking rigorous I’m grateful for the colacademics, but what lege journey I took. Those the program forgot four years taught me more was the importance about love, friendship, and myself than I could of encouraging kids convey. But if I had to do to discover who they things again, I’d be less were and what they afraid to embrace what I loved. Years later, as a loved, even if it meant narteacher, adviser, and rowing my vision. I’d be less concerned with the dean, I never forgot conventionality of a wellthat. It made all the rounded, four-year degree difference in the way I and more concerned with looked at high school discovering my passion curriculums and the and mapping out what it would look like in real life. suggestions I made. So, I commend Sarah Palin for addressing this very important issue and for her willingness to think outside the box. In the world of education, I wish more people would. And I commend Willow for taking the time to discover her interest in hair and skin, enrolling in a specialized school, and combining passion with practicality to hopefully yield success. My advice to young people everywhere: choose schools that encourage self-discovery early on. Don’t be afraid to buck convention. And when someone asks you what you want to do with the rest of your life, take the time to really think about it.


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Health

Walk Your Way to Good Health

Maintain your independence with hearing help from Beltone!

Walking is a terrific way to get – and stay – healthy.

O

ne of the reasons health experts give walking such rave reviews is because it’s a “lifestyle exercise”. That means you can usually make time for it without too much of a change to your daily routine. Walking to work or the store and using the stairs instead of the escalator may take a little more time, but it’s certainly not the big project that signing up for a gym (and making the time to get there) can be. Because it’s easy to fit into everyday life, people who walk tend to keep it up. And as you’ll see below, regular exercise is exactly what you need to improve your health.

What are the health benefits? Burning 500-1000 calories per week (that’s about 6-12 miles walking for an average-weight person) reduces the risk of premature death by 20-30%. Walking will help protect you against: ■ Cardiovascular disease, as well as “risk factors” such as high blood pressure and cholesterol ■ Cancer (particularly bowel cancer, and breast cancer in post-menopausal women) ■ Type 2 diabetes ■ Obesity It has also been shown to improve: ■ Musculoskeletal health (for example osteoarthritis and lower back pain) ■ Mental health, happiness and wellbeing

by Pam Smith

How much is enough? For general health, adults should do 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity, on five or more days of the week. Children and young people need to exercise for at least an hour each day. The great news is that your 30 minutes of activity doesn’t have to be done at once, you can build up that amount in short walks of 10 minutes or more. The most important thing to remember is that most of the health benefits you receive from being regularly active are lost if you don’t keep that level of activity up. So steady, regular exercise throughout the year – and throughout your life – is the key to good health!

What does “moderate-intensity activity” mean? Because everyone has a different level of fitness, it’s not possible to say exactly how fast you need to walk to reach the level of “moderate intensity”. The important thing to focus on is not your speed, but how it feels. You need to aim for: ■ An increase in your breathing rate ■ An increase in your heart rate, to the level where you can feel your pulse ■ An increase in your body temperature (possibly even working up a bit of a sweat on hot or humid days) Remember that you don’t need to overdo it. The right pace is one that you should be able to keep up for many minutes, and you shouldn’t be exhausted at the end of it. So… now that you know what you need to do, why not dig out your comfy walking shoes, find an interesting walking route and start walking your way to a longer, happier and healthier life?

Beltone has been manufacturing hearing instruments in America for over 70 years!

Special AMAC Hearing Care Discount Program Simply show your AMAC membership card

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Free hearing screening 20% discount off all hearing aids Lifetime Care™ Full manufacturer’s warranty Discount extended to immediate family members

Complete your FREE hearing screening and receive your choice of:

❑ FREE booklet of (20) first-class stamps or

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hearing aid batteries

Call 1.866.735.8333 to find your nearest Beltone Hearing Care Center www.amac.us | 13


BEST-SELLING PRODUCTS

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The wristwatch you never have to set… or even see.

Thanks to its revolutionary design, the Talking Atomic Watch gives you accuracy to within a billionth of a second. It gets its signal from the US Atomic Clock, the standard for time keeping worldwide. Plus, all you have to do is push a button, and the watch will “tell” you the time in a clear, easy-to-understand voice. It will even tell you the day and date. Travelling? Touch a button to switch it to any time zone. It’s lightweight and attractive… and it’s always accurate. The Talking Atomic Watch was . . . $89.95. Now $49.95 + S&H. Call today. 1-877-665-3318. Please mention Promotional Code 46673.

Our Lighted Full-Page Magnifier is hands-free and huge! Our one-of-a-kind magnifying floor lamp combines powerful FULL-PAGE magnification with flexible adjustability and clear, even Balanced Spectrum light. Twelve high-powered LEDs provide ample light for close work and reading. The super-large lens provides 2.5X-plus variable magnification, to easily cover an entire page without glare or hot spots. The ultra-flexible gooseneck positions the lens exactly where you need it. And unlike that magnifier in the drawer, you’ll always know where this one is. Magnifying lens dimensions are a whopping 7.375” x 10”. AC operated. Lighted Full Page Magnifier was . . . $99.95. Now $79.95 + S&H Call today. 1-888-415-6017. Please mention Promotional Code 46674.

A floor lamp that spreads sunshine all over a room. The Balanced Spectrum’s 27-watt compact bulb is brighter than a 100-watt ordinary light bulb. With the lamp’s sharp visibility, you will see with more clarity and enjoyment in close tasks such as reading, writing, sewing, and needlepoint. It is especially helpful for aging eyes. Experience sunshine indoors at the touch of a switch. This amazing lamp is not only easy on the eyes, it is easy on the hands as well, featuring a special “soft-touch, flicker-free” rocker switch that is easier to use than traditional toggle or twist switches. And its flexible gooseneck design enables you to get light exactly where you need it. The high-tech electronics, the user-friendly design, and a bulb that lasts 10 times longer than an ordinary bulb–all these features make the Balanced Spectrum® floor lamp a must-have. Balanced Spectrum® floor lamp Only $59.95 each + S&H or buy two lamps and save $20. Call today. 1-877-725-6445. Please mention Promotional Code 46675.

The private TV listening system you’ll want to use… even if there is no one else in the room. Nothing causes more household arguments than the volume level of the TV. That’s because everyone wants to be able to hear the dialogue, and not everyone hears the same. Now, thanks to innovative digital audio technology, anyone can listen to TV at the level they desire without disturbing others. What’s more, the sound quality is so spectacular you’ll want to use it all the time. The unit hangs comfortably around your neck, so it doesn’t pull down on your ears. It’s easy to set up and use, so call today! Personal Television Listening System Only $99.95 + S&H. Call today. 1-888-715-7729. Please mention Promotional Code 46676. Copyright © 2013 by firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Introducing the all-new Jitterbug® Plus. We’ve made it even better… without making it harder to use. All my friends have new cell phones. They carry them around with them all day, like mini computers, with little tiny keyboards and hundreds of programs which are supposed to make their life easier. Trouble is… my friends can’t use them. The keypads are too small, the displays are hard to see and the phones are so complicated that my friends end up borrowing my Jitterbug when they need to make a call. I don’t mind… I just got a new phone too… the new Jitterbug Plus. Now I have all the things I loved about my Jitterbug phone along with some great new features that make it even better! GreatCall® created the Jitterbug with one thing in mind– to offer people a cell phone that’s easy to see and hear, simple to use and affordable. Now, they’ve made the cell phone experience even better with the Jitterbug Plus. It features a lightweight, comfortable design with a backlit keypad and big, legible numbers. There is even a dial tone so you know the phone is ready to use. You can also increase the volume with one touch and the speaker’s been improved so you get great audio quality and can hear every word. The battery has been improved too– it’s one of the longest lasting on the market– so you won’t have to charge it as often. The phone comes to you with your account already set up and is easy to activate.

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sign, you are not locked in for years at a time and won’t be subject to early termination fees. The U.S.-based customer service is knowledgeable and helpful and the phone gets service virtually anywhere in the continental U.S. Above all, you’ll get one-touch access to a friendly, and helpful GreatCall operator. They can look up numbers, and even dial them for you! They are always there to help you when you need them.

Call now and receive 100 FREE Minutes and FREE Car Charger The rate plans are simple too. Why pay – a $41.98 value. Try the Jitterbug Available in for minutes you’ll never use? There are Plus for yourself for 30 days and Silver and Red. a variety of affordable plans. Plus, you don’t if you don’t love it, just return it for a have to worry about finding yourself stuck with no minutes– that’s refund1 of the product purchase price. Call now – helpful Jitterbug the problem with prepaid phones. Since there is no contract to experts are ready to answer your questions.

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IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION: Jitterbug is owned by GreatCall, Inc. Your invoices will come from GreatCall. All rate plans and services require the purchase of a Jitterbug phone and a one-time set up fee of $35. Coverage and service is not available everywhere. Other charges and restrictions may apply. Screen images simulated. There are no additional fees to call Jitterbug’s 24-hour U.S. Based Customer Service. However, for calls to an Operator in which a service is completed, minutes will be deducted from your monthly balance equal to the length of the call and any call connected by the Operator, plus an additional 5 minutes. Monthly rate plans do not include government taxes or assessment surcharges. Prices and fees subject to change. 1We will refund the full price of the Jitterbug phone if it is returned within 30 days of purchase in like-new condition. We will also refund your first monthly service charge if you have less than 30 minutes of usage. If you have more than 30 minutes of usage, a per minute charge of 35 cents will apply for each minute over 30 minutes. The activation fee and shipping charges are not refundable. Jitterbug and GreatCall are registered trademarks of GreatCall, Inc. Samsung is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2013 Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC. Copyright ©2013 GreatCall, Inc. Copyright ©2013 by firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc. All rights reserved.


De-Mystifying Medicare Enrollment Periods Are you aware of your options? by Diana Wisniewski Many Medicare Beneficiaries are not aware that they may have circumstances in which they can change their Medicare Advantage Plan and/or their Medicare Prescription Drug Plan outside of the Annual Election Period. These enrollment periods may allow a person to switch to a new plan that may better suit their current needs. The many different Medicare Enrollment Periods can be very confusing. Below you will find an easy to read chart of Enrollment Periods. If you feel you may qualify for one the Enrollment Periods listed below, please call one of AMAC’s trusted Licensed Insurance Agents for assistance at 800-334-9330.

Special Enrollment Periods for Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans *** All of the enrollment periods below pertain to both Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug plans, unless otherwise noted. If this applies to you: You dropped a Medigap (Supplement) policy and joined a Medicare Advantage Plan for the first time in your life or You joined a Medicare Advantage Plan for the first time in your life when you turned 65 or You are under the age of 65 due to a disability, are entitled to Medicare and joined a Medicare Advantage Plan for the first time in your life You move out of your plan's service area or you move within your plan's service area but have new plan options available to you You lived outside of the US and have now moved back You are moving into, currently living in or just left an institution like a skilled nursing facility or a long term care facility You leave employer, union or COBRA coverage You have the ability to enroll in other coverage offered by your employer or union You live in the service area of one or more Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans with an overall 5 star rating You are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid You qualify for extra help (Low Income Subsidy) for Medicare Prescription Drug coverage

16 | www.amac.us

You may qualify for this Special Enrollment Period:

You are able to drop your Medicare Advantage Plan within the first 12 months of having your Medicare Advantage Plan, revert to Original Medicare, and have special rights to enroll into a Medigap policy. At this time you are also able to enroll into a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

If you notify your plan before you move, you can change to a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan the month before the month you move and for two full months after you move. If you notify your plan after you move, you can make the change the month you tell your plan and the two full months after. You can join a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan plan for two full months after the month you move back to the US. You can change, join or leave a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan the entire time you are in the institution and for two full months after you move out of the institution. If you choose to drop your Medicare Advantage Plan you can revert back to Original Medicare. You have two full months after the month your coverage ends to join a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You are able to drop your current Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to enroll into an employer or union plan. You can do this whenever your employer or union allows you to make changes to your plan. You can join an overall 5 star rated Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan one time during the calendar year using this Special Enrollment Period. You can switch, join or drop a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan at any time during the year. You can switch, join or drop a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan at any time during the year.


Your Medicare Advisor If this applies to you: You are no longer eligible for Medicaid

You have a disabling or severe chronic condition and there is a Medicare Chronic Care Special Needs Plan in your area specific to your condition You are currently enrolled into a Medicare Chronic Care Special Needs Plan and no longer have the condition that qualifies you for this plan You lose other drug coverage involuntarily that is as good as Medicare's drug coverage (creditable coverage), or your coverage changes and is no longer considered creditable coverage You have your drug coverage through a Medicare Cost Plan and you leave the plan You enroll into a PACE Plan (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) You drop coverage in a PACE Plan (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) You are enrolling into or already have creditable drug coverage as good as Medicare's (such as VA or Tricare) Medicare takes an official action called a sanction, due to a problem with the plan that affects you Your plan contract discontinues during the contract year Your Medicare plan's contract is not renewed with Medicare for the following year You either join or choose not to join a Medicare Plan due to an error by a Federal Employee

You were not properly informed that your prescription drug coverage is not creditable coverage, which is coverage at least as good as Medicare’s or You were not properly informed that you were losing private drug coverage that is creditable coverage, which is coverage at least as good as Medicare's You are enrolled in a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program and/or lose eligibility to be in this plan You are released from jail

You may qualify for this Special Enrollment Period: You can make a change for two full months after the month you are notified you are no longer eligible for Medicaid. During this time you can: • Join a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan • Switch from your current plan to another Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan • Drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and revert to Original Medicare • Drop your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan You can join the Medicare Chronic Care Special Needs Plan at any time; however, once you join the new plan, your opportunity to make changes using this Special Enrollment Period Ends. You can change your Special Needs Plan to a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan starting from the time you no longer qualify for your Special Needs Plan, up to three months after your Special Needs Plan's grace period ends. You can join a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for two full months after the month you lose your creditable coverage, or are notified of the loss of creditable coverage, whichever comes later. You can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for two full months after the month you disenroll from the Medicare Cost Plan. You can drop your current Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan at any time. You can join a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan for two full months after you drop your PACE plan. You can drop your current Medicare Advantage Plan with drugs, or drop your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan at any time. You can switch your current Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan during a time period determined by Medicare on a case by case basis. You can switch your current plan to another Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan starting the two months before, up to a full month after the contract ends. You can join another Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan between October 15th and the last day in February. At this time you can: • switch or join a Medicare Advantage Plan with drugs • switch or join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan • drop your Medicare Advantage Plan with drugs and revert back to Original Medicare • drop your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan You can make these changes for two full months after the month you receive notice from Medicare regarding the error.

You can join a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You can join for up to two full months after the month you receive the notice of error from Medicare.

You are able to join a Medicare Advantage Plan with drugs, or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan one time during the calendar year. You can join a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan. You can join for up to two months after the month you are released from jail. continued on pg. 18

www.amac.us | 17


Your Medicare Advisor

Medicare Enrollment Periods continued from pg. 17

Initial Enrollment Periods for Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans *** All of the enrollment periods below pertain to both Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug plans, unless otherwise noted. If this applies to you: Turning 65 and are newly eligible for Medicare

You have Part A and are signing up for Part B (delayed Part B enrollment) because you have had employer, union or COBRA coverage Under 65 and newly eligible for Medicare because you are disabled (does not apply to End Stage Renal Disease - ESRD) You are already on Medicare because of disability and you turn 65

You do not have Medicare Part A and you enroll into Medicare Part B during the Part B General Enrollment Period, which is January 1st through March 31st You have Medicare Part A coverage and enroll into Medicare Part B during the Part B General Enrollment Period, which is January 1st through March 31st

You may qualify for this Enrollment Period: You have a seven month period in which you can enroll into a Medicare Advantage and/or a Prescription Drug Plan. You have the three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and the three months after you turn 65 to enroll. You have the three months before your Part B effective date to enroll.

You have the same seven month enrollment period as when you are turning 65, except it starts three months before your 25th month of disability, and ends three months after your 25th month of disability. Initial Enrollment Period 2 - You have the same seven month period to enroll as when you turn 65 without already being on Medicare due to disability. At this time you can: • Switch your current Medicare Advantage and/or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to a different plan • Drop your current Medicare Advantage and/or Prescription Drug Plan altogether and revert back to Original Medicare. You are able to sign up for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan the three months after the Part B General Enrollment Period ends, which is April 1st through June 30th. Your coverage will begin on July 1st. You are able to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan the three months after the Part B General Enrollment Period ends, which is April 1st through June 30th. Your coverage will begin on July 1st. You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan with or without prescription drugs.

Annual Enrollment Periods for Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans *** All of the enrollment periods below pertain to both Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug plans, unless otherwise noted. The following enrollment periods apply to all Medicare beneficiaries: October 15th - December 7th This is the Annual Enrollment Period, also known as Open Enrollment. At this time you can: • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to Original Medicare • Switch your Medicare Advantage Plan to another with or without drugs • Switch Medicare Prescription Drug Plans • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan • Drop a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Changes made during this enrollment period will take effect on January 1st. January 1st - February 14th This is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. At this time you can: • Leave your current Medicare Advantage Plan and revert back to Original Medicare. Original Medicare will begin the first day of the following month. • If you switch to Original Medicare, you can join a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan. The drug coverage will begin the first day of the month after the new plan gets your enrollment form. Please be aware that during this Disenrollment Period you cannot: • Go from Original Medicare into a Medicare Advantage plan • Change Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans • Join, switch or drop a Medicare Medical Savings account.

18 | www.amac.us


Lim 25 ite 00 d thi ord to t s a er he d o s f firs nly rom t

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he loves natural diamonds. She loves you even more. But when even 1-carat stones can sell for as much as $9,000, it’s time to reconsider your relationship... with diamonds. Compared to the Stauer DiamondAura® 5-Stone Ring with nearly 2 ½ carats, a skimpy diamond is “romantically defective.” Have you overpaid only to be underwhelmed? Send it back. You can do better. You can do bigger. And you can absolutely take her breath away for under $100. When “cute” is a four-letter word. If you want to make a romantic impression, go big. Cute doesn’t cut it. Your love deserves to be wowed. If you’re a billionaire with money to burn, turn the page. Everyone else? What you read next just might change your life. There’s only one way to find out... Science not snobbery. Thanks to the advanced science behind our exclusive DiamondAura, you can experience superior clarity and larger carat weights without the outrageous cost of natural diamonds. DiamondAura is crafted using an incredibly complex process that involves heating rare minerals to temperatures of nearly 5000˚F. After expert cutting and polishing, every lab-created DiamondAura retains the

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Attention All Medicare Beneficiaries… AMAC Offers More Choices! Get the answers you need from the people you trust. • Competitive rates for Medicare Supplement plans • Medicare Advantage plans • Prescription Drug plans • Dental • Vision

Call Amac Senior Resources Network

1-800-334-9330 You will be connected with one of AMAC’s trusted Licensed Insurance Agents. Available Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 AM and 7 PM EST.


In the News

“Social Security Report”

GOP Needs a Facelift

a New Website Sponsored by AMAC

Image needs to be improved with the voters

S

A

ocial Security benefits will be cut 25% for all recipients within the next 20 years unless something is done about it. That is according to the Trustees report issued by Social Security itself. (the report says 20 + years but it keeps being shortened) AMAC is watching that situation and that’s one reason why we created a special website: www.SocialSecurityReport. org . Another reason is to offer help and information to our members. Americans need to know what is happening to one of the basic parts of our retirement system. We are proud to sponsor this site which will provide a resource to those seeking information and answers to typical questions on the Social Security program. Initially it will carry news items and answers to general questions. Eventually we hope to build it to be able to answer individual questions. Please check it out and give us your feedback!

sk a typical voter which political party cares more about the average person and most people will say the Democrat party. Which party cares more about women? Which party cares more about immigrants? Yet on most substantive issues the voters tend to think Republicans do a better job. (exit polls in the last election showed Romney beating President Obama on most important issues but losing by 80 to 10 on the issue of “who cares most about people like me.” So there is a disconnect here that Republicans need to address. (On most “bread and butter” issues the Dems win the day.) If the Republican party is going to make any headway they have got to redefine themselves to gain the support of the people. Perhaps they could learn something from their last Great Communicator. Anthony R. (Tony) Dolan, who served as the chief speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, says the secret to President Reagan’s success in being able to communicate was his ability to talk about ideas. “Reagan had communications skills but his greatest communication skill had nothing to do with image-making or theatrics or his training as an actor. When he spoke about his ideas people knew that he believed in something beyond his own ambition. They knew he cared about those ideas and he had a vision for the country. For Reagan, public office wasn’t something he wanted just to complete his resume. And he didn’t see it as some reward he deserved. He

by Dan Weber

Yet on most substantive issues the voters tend to think Republicans do a better job. (exit polls in the last election showed Romney beating President Obama on most important issues but losing by 80 to 10 on the issue of “who cares most about people like me.” So there is a disconnect here that Republicans need to address.

connected with people because they knew he cared about what he believed and what he said. Even if they disagreed with him on one issue or another they basically trusted him. He didn’t let the media dictate the agenda – he put issues out there. He was determined to move forward with an agenda of strong foreign policy and limited government at home.” We are reminded how Reagan called the former Soviet Union the Evil Empire despite his own State Department’s strong opposition to using that phrase. Perhaps the present leaders of the G.O.P. should read some of Reagan’s speeches and learn from them.

www.amac.us | 21


Technology Simplified – New and Improved

WOW… A Computer Designed For YOU, Not Your Grandchildren! …It’s easy to read. It’s easy to see. It’s even easier to understand and use!

This computer is easy-to-use, worry-free and literally puts the WOW! The perfect name for this amazing computer. I have been using it for about a month and thoroughly enjoy the speed and ease in which I am able to download pictures from my camera and share them with family and friends via email. Everything is so easy to use at the touch of my fingertips. To be able to chat with and see my grandchildren is as though they are here with me. I haven't begun to explore all the benefits of this computer. It has opened up a whole new world for me. I love it, love it, love it! – Carol K., Benbrook, TX

Just plug it in!!! NEW

Touch Screen Technology

Simple navigation, so you never get lost!

designed for SENIORS Big Bright Screen One-touch “zoom” magnification No bulky tower ®

…”surf” the internet Get current weather & news. …send and receive emails, and video chat Keep up with family and friends. …play games online hundreds to choose from! world at your fingertips. From the moment you open the box, you’ll realize how different the WOW Computer is. The components are all connected; all you do is plug it into an outlet and your high-speed Internet connection. Then you’ll see the screen. This is a completely new touch screen system, without the cluttered look of the normal computer screen. The “buttons” on the screen are easy to see and easy to understand. All you do is touch one of them, from the Web, Email, Calendar to Games– you name it…

U.S. Based Customer Service

and a new screen opens up. It’s so easy to use you won’t have to ask your children or grandchildren for help. Until now the very people who could benefit most from E-mail, and the Internet are the ones that have had the hardest time accessing it. Now, thanks to the WOW Computer, countless older Americans are discovering the wonderful world of the Internet every day. Isn’t it time you took part? Call now, and a patient, knowledgeable product expert will tell you how you can try it in your

home for 30 days. If you are not totally satisfied, simply return it within 30 days for a refund of the product purchase price. Call today.

Call now for our special promotional price! Please mention promotional code 46672.

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80385 Copyright © 2013 by firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc. All rights reserved.

Have you ever said to yourself “I’d love to get a computer, if only I could figure out how to use it.” Well, you’re not alone. Computers were supposed to make our lives simpler, but they’ve gotten so complicated that they are not worth the trouble. With all of the “pointing and clicking” and “dragging and dropping” you’re lucky if you can figure out where you are. Plus, you are constantly worrying about viruses, spam and freeze-ups. If this sounds familiar, we have great news for you. There is finally a computer that’s designed for simplicity and ease of use. It’s the WOW Computer, and it was designed with you in mind.

FREE Automatic Software Updates


Your Safety

Carbon Monoxide 8 Ways to Help Keep Your Family and Home Safe

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ach year, too many families are exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. In fact, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisonings in our country today.* Oftentimes, people are simply unaware of the risks of carbon monoxide (CO). For example, they may use a grill in the garage when the power goes out. They may place a generator outside, not realizing it is too close to the dryer vents. They may close the chimney flue before the fire has completely burned out. All of these and more can trigger dangerous exposure to CO – a dangerous gas that you cannot smell or taste. The good news is that many of these incidents can be prevented – with the right preparation. Start with these eight tips to help keep your home and family safe from carbon monoxide. 1. Know the risks of carbon monoxide Anything that burns a fuel – such as a furnace, fireplace, generator, gas appliance or car – produces a toxic by-product: carbon monoxide (CO). When these devices are properly maintained and vented, this colorless, odorless gas can be effectively dispersed and channeled out of your home. If not, inhaling carbon monoxide can trigger serious health issues. At lower concentrations, victims may experience such symptoms as a headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. But at higher concentrations, CO can quickly cause a loss of consciousness, even death. 2. Keep your vents clear During and after a storm, make sure nothing is obstructing the outside stack or vent for your dryer, stove, furnace and

your Insurance Advisor

fireplace. Take special care to prevent snow from building up and blocking these critical exits for dangerous gases. 3. Do not run engines in a closed area Proper ventilation is critical to avoiding CO poisoning. So do not start a car, fire up a grill or stove, or run a generator in a closed area like a basement or garage. Even if you leave the garage door open, carbon monoxide gas can quickly build up to toxic levels. 4. Keep generators a safe distance from the house (check your local ordinances and manufacturer’s recommendations, or 25 feet) One generator can produce as much CO as hundreds of cars. So it is critical to keep generators a safe distance from the house. Be sure not to position them anywhere near vents or windows where a backdraft can pull the CO gas back into the house. 5. Schedule regular maintenance Make sure you rely on experts to install your fuel-burning devices and set up the appropriate venting for each device. At least once a year, have a qualified professional inspect your fuel-burning devices to make sure they can continue to operate properly. 6. Keep fireplaces clean and well vented If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, make sure you keep it clean and that the flue is working properly. Even if the last embers are just smoldering, keep that flue open to let the gases escape. 7. Install enough CO alarms If you have fuel-burning appliances, a fireplace or an attached garage, consider installing these special devices in your home. You will want one on every level (including the basement), within the vicinity of each sleeping area and in other locations required by any applicable laws/building codes. Some CO detectors can even be interconnected across your house, so that when one detects an issue, they all

sound the alarm. If you do hear the CO alarm, immediately move to fresh air and call 911. 8. Maintain your CO alarms regularly Keep in mind that CO alarms do need to be maintained regularly. Many come equipped with a battery backup to ensure uninterrupted operation, even if the power goes out. But you will need to remember to change your batteries at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer, like you do with your smoke detectors. It is also a good idea to keep a supply of batteries on hand in the event of a multi-day power outage. We hope you have found these safety tips from Travelers helpful. To learn more and find out how much you could save with special rates on auto, home and renters insurance through the Travelers Auto and Home Insurance Program available to AMAC members, call Travelers at 1-866-906-4467 or visit www.travelers.com/amac. *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ mm6030a2.htm. This article is for general information only. It is not intended to provide legal, technical or other professional advice, nor is it an endorsement of any particular product. In no event will Travelers or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates be liable in contract or in tort to anyone for the accuracy or completeness of this information. Laws, regulations, standards or codes may change from time to time, and you should always refer to the most current requirements. This information does not amend, or otherwise affect, the provisions or coverages of any insurance policy issued by Travelers, no is it a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy

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The Invention of the Year is Great News for your Ears Perfect Choice HD™ is simple to use, hard to see and easy to afford... it’s like reading glasses for your ears™!

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Perfect Choice HD is NOT a hearing aid. Hearing aids can only be sold by an audiologist or a licensed hearing instrument specialist Why Perfect Choice HD is the best choice ! following hearing Lightweight / tests and fitting Less than 1 ounce ✓ Inconspicuous appointments. Once they have you tested Sound Quality ✓ Excellent – up to 50 dB and fitted, you could pay as much as $5000 No Test and Fitting required ✓ for the product. Yes

Free Extra Hearing Tubes ✓ Reading glasses for 3 to choose from your ears. While some One-on-One Free people need hearing ✓ personal set up aids, many just need 60 Days the extra boost in Friendly Return Policy ✓ volume that a PSAP gives them. As people age, their senses is small and lightweight enough to need a little “help.” Reading glasses hide behind your ear… only you’ll know you have it on. It’s comfortable and won’t make you feel like you Are you or have something stuck in your ear. It a loved one frustrated provides high quality audio so sounds in these situations? and conversations will be easier to hear and understand. • Restaurants • Dinner parties • Outdoor conversations We want you to be happy with Perfect Choice HD, so we are • Lectures • Sermons offering to let you try it for yourself • Meetings with our exclusive home trial. If …and other times where you you are not totally satisfied with need to turn up the volume this product, simply return it within

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Money

Retirement in the 21st Century The New Cycle of Retirement

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ife expectancy at the turn of the 20th century was a mere 47 years. Today, the average American can look forward to about 78 years of life. By 2040, for individuals who reach age 65, the average life expectancy is projected to rise from 82 to 85 for men and from 85 to 88 for women.1 What’s causing this trend? Some reasons are obvious, such as improved health care, medical advances, and healthier lifestyles. People are taking better care of themselves. They’re giving up smoking, learning to eat right, and exercising regularly. Inevitably, these trends lead to healthier, longer, more productive lives. The result is a new way of thinking about age. The period between ages 45 and 65 is no longer thought of as middle and old age, but instead, a second adulthood. Next comes late adulthood (60 to 80), followed by old age (80 to 100), and very old age (100+). But perhaps more important is the effect that longer, healthier lives may have on the traditional life cycle of education, work, and retirement. It will be replaced by short-term retirements, followed by any combination of career shifts, part- or flex-time work, entrepreneurial endeavors, and continuing education interspersed with occasional ‘mini-retirements’.

Planning for the “new” retirement So what does this new definition of retirement mean to you? There is no one answer. In the coming decades, “retirement” will mean something different to each of us. Regardless of your decision, you’ll need to design a financial plan suited to your specific vision of the future. Retirement Income - A good starting point is examining your sources of

by John D. Caffrey, CFP

retirement income. If you pay attention to the news, you’ve probably come across at least a few commentators who speak in gloom-and-doom terms about the future for American retirees, criticizing a lack of savings and warning of the impending growth of the elderly population. True, there is widespread concern about at least one traditional source of income for retirees – Social Security. Under current conditions, Social Security funds could fall short of needs by 2033, according to the SSA. But the reality is that Social Security was intended only to supplement other sources of retirement income. In fact, Social Security benefits account for only 37% of the total income of today’s retirees. Even pension plans, once considered a staple of retirement income, only account for 18% of the retirementincome pie. In recent years, employers have been moving from traditional defined benefit plans based on salary and years of service to defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans, funded primarily by the employees. This shift makes it even more important for individuals to have a wellthought-out financial plan that focuses on the key source of retirement income: personal savings and investments. Some of the elements you’ll need to consider: Time - You can project periods of retirement, reeducation, and full employment. Then concentrate on a plan to fund each of the separate periods. The number of years until you retire will influence the types of investments you include in your portfolio. If retirement is a short-term goal, investments that provide liquidity and help preserve your principal may be most suitable. On the other hand, if retirement is many years away, you may be able to include more aggressive investments in your portfolio. You will also need to keep in mind the number of years you may spend in

retirement. Thirty years of retirement could soon be commonplace, requiring a larger nest egg than in the past. Inflation - Consider this: An automobile with a price tag of $20,000 today will cost $29,600 in just 10 years, given an inflation rate of just 4%. While lower-risk fixed-income and money market investments may play an important role in your investment portfolio, if used alone they may leave you susceptible to the erosive effects of inflation. To help your portfolio keep pace with inflation, you may need to maintain some growth-oriented investments. Over the long-term, stocks have provided returns superior to other asset classes. You must keep in mind that stocks generally involve greater short-term volatility. Taxes - Even after you retire, taxes will remain an important factor in your overall financial plan. If you return to work or open a business, for example, your tax bracket could change. In addition, should you move from one state to another, state or local taxes could affect your bottom line. Tax-advantaged investments, such as annuities and tax-free mutual funds, may be effective tools for meeting your retirement goals. Tax deferral offered by 401(k) plans and IRAs may also help your retirement savings grow.

Make the most of this exciting phase of your life Making informed decisions about your retirement today can help ensure that your financial future is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

1

National Center for Health Statistics

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Surrender to 400 Carats of Temptation

Ge th nu an i th ne e I

nd R ep ub en i de e nt s ly Ap 9 pr 3% ais ed Va Le lu ss e*

The Stauer Voros Collection is a magnificently massive collection of smoldering rubies that may trigger some extremely pleasant side effects.

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re you ready for this necklace? You might think you are, but when dealing with 400 carats of the most robust red gem on the planet, we want you to be prepared. Before you invite the Stauer Voros Ruby Necklace into your home for only $149, you need to understand the consequences. Possible side effects may include: spontaneous kissing and hugging, increased heart rate, slow dancing, and the urge to get away for the weekend. Some may experience: long walks on the beach, episodes of snuggling, spooning and staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. Less serious side effects may include: increased appetite for romantic comedies and overuse of the words “honey-pie” and “sweetheart.” Sound dramatic? You bet. But don’t forget we’re talking about ruby, the stone notorious for provoking passion, lust and intense romantic emotions throughout history. One look at the Voros and it’s easy to see what all the fuss is about. Each smooth-polished nugget in the Voros Necklace is a genuine gemstone, deep crimson in color and infused with the incomparable mystique of rubies. The 18" strand is handstrung, double-knotted with luxurious gold-finished beads and secures with a gold-finished lobster clasp.

We don’t play by the luxury rules. We took the Voros Ruby Necklace to an independent appraiser who works with auction houses, estate sales and insurance companies. He valued it at $2,200. We thanked him for his professional opinion and then ignored it. Because even if a gemologist tells us that this necklace is valued at over $2,000, we want you to wear it for ONLY $149. Yes, we’re serious. Love it or get your money back. I guarantee that you’ll adore the Stauer Voros Collection. But don’t take my word for it, take the rubies for a test drive. If you’re not 100% satisfied, send them back within 30 days and we’ll refund every dollar of your purchase price. It really is that simple.

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AMAC on Capitol Hill

The Evolution of Influence AMAC members have read with regularity updates of our activity in Washington, DC, both in this space in the AMAC Advantage and in our other online information sources. We are happy to report that the momentum regarding our influence is continuing to build. However, we have heard from some members who have requested a more in-depth description of this momentum, and we are excited to quantify the evolution of AMAC’s influence on Capitol Hill.

As you are aware, the purpose of our initial meetings on Capitol Hill was primarily to introduce lawmakers to AMAC and let them know that an alternative to AARP exists. Both Members of Congress and Senators were relieved to know that a senior organization supporting conservative values is not only available as an alternative, but were also impressed with the rapid growth AMAC has experienced over the past 18 months. Our meetings are evolving from points of introduction to the resource and partnership level. Legislators are learning that, on average, over 1,400 AMAC members reside in every Congressional District in the United States. And this number is growing every day. They’re also learning of the AMAC Delegate program, which places an AMAC member serving as our association’s point of contact for each local Congressional district office. Lawmakers have also been exposed to AMAC’s Social Security solvency ideas and know that we presented these designs to national small business advocates, large labor concerns, think tanks and Capi-

by Andrew Mangione

tol Hill economists. As a result of this exposure, AMAC’s ideas to make Social Security solvent have gained credibility and traction with Members of Congress. A milestone was reached recently when several congressional and senatorial offices reached out to AMAC to secure our support for legislation that they have sponsored. Here is a recap of the bills that AMAC has recently supported: ■ The SCOPE Act – Introduced and sponsored by Dr. Phil Gingrey (R-GA, 11), this bill seeks to reduce the discretionary power of the Secretary of HHS in determining “quality care” and restoring such decisions to state medical boards. ■ H.R. 351 – Introduced and sponsored by Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN, 1), and also known as the “Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2013,” this bill essentially calls for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). ■ H.R. 61 – Introduced and sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN, 7), and also known as the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,” this bill seeks to amend Title X of the Public Health Service Act by adding a number of critical restrictions regarding how Federal assistance is used in the administration of abortions. ■ S. 135 – Introduced and sponsored by Senator David Vitter (R-LA), this bill is the companion to the House bill H.R. 61, sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

H.R. 38 – Introduced and sponsored by Dr. John Fleming (R-LA, 4), and also known as the “Seniors’ Tax Simplification Act of 2013,” this bill seeks to simplify the tax reporting requirements for senior citizens with a simplified reporting form. ■ S. 448 – Introduced and sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), this bill is the companion to the House bill H.R. 38, sponsored by Dr. John Fleming. AMAC’s persistent presence on Capitol Hill has manifested into lawmakers soliciting our support on key legislation, and as long as the legislation is in synch with AMAC’s mission, we are happy to provide it. We anticipate this trend to evolve into the norm, and expect to hear from more legislators in the near future. We are pleased by our reception in Washington, DC and inspired by the evolution of our influence. Most importantly, we are proud and honored to represent you, our AMAC members. Your concerns, thoughts and ideas drive everything we do on Capitol Hill, and your participation in our advocacy message is vital. There is no other senior organization in America that has members who are more informed, engaged and passionate about being part of the solutions to remedy the problems facing our country than AMAC. Thank you for all you do! ■

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AMAC Roadside Assistance Program

Built from the ground up exclusively for AMAC members, our new program delivers top-quality service at affordable prices! Sign Up online at www.amac.us or call 1-855-875-8598

Benefits for you: ❱ NO Hidden Costs ❱ FREE Maps and Trip Planner ❱ Multiple Program Options to Meet Your Individual Needs ❱ Competitive and Affordable Prices Exclusively for AMAC Members ❱ 24/7 Roadside Assistance & Claims Service ❱ Towing ❱ Lockout Service ❱ Emergency Fuel Service ❱ Battery Jump-Start Service ❱ Benefits for Eligible Members in Any Passenger Vehicle They Drive ❱ Rates starting as low as $44 per year

Providing the services you want, the services you need! Not available in MA


Politics

The Washington Buzz on Key Races Your 2013 - 2014 election primer

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ust from the recent presidential election has barely settled, but action on the campaign trail is ramping up again. Republicans and Democrats are gearing up for head-tohead battles in the states, as they seek to secure victories in a series of pivotal 2013-2014 gubernatorial and Senate races that stand to shakeup the political landscape in America. With only seven months to go until the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, the campaigns are forging full-speed ahead. The GOP aims to preserve its gubernatorial control in both states, which went blue for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Incumbent Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, maintains a solid lead over his opponent, state Senator Barbara Buono (D), with polls showing that voters favor Christie about 60% to 25%. The polls tell a different story in Virginia, however, where Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe (D) are in a statistical deadheat vying for Governor Bob McDonnell’s seat, who is leaving office in November due to the state’s strict term limits that prevent incumbent governors from serving consecutive terms. No doubt, the Virginia gubernatorial race is the one to watch. Both candidates present a stark juxtaposition in what could prove a bitter race, with Cunccinelli touting a hard-right message of social and fiscal conservatism and McAulliffe identifying himself as an ideological moderate despite his long-

by Caroline Howle

term connection to the Bill and Hillary Clinton political machine. History, however, may be on Cuccinelli’s side. In Old Dominion’s last eight elections, the party to lose the White House just 12 months earlier has taken up residence in the Virginia governor’s mansion. Anticipated low voter turnout in an off-year election could also tip the governorship in the GOP’s favor. Virginia and New Jersey voters won’t be the only ones evaluating their political choices in the coming months, though. Voters across the country will play a significant role in deciding the makeup of the Senate in 2014. Senate Democrats in particular face a tough road ahead as they attempt to defend 21 open seats, including six seats in states that Obama lost in 2012 by double-digit margins. Five of the open seats currently belong to Democratic Senators who will not be seeking reelection – Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia), Tim Johnson (South Dakota), Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey), Carl Levin (Michigan) and Tom Harkin (Iowa) – blasting the door wide open for fierce grassroots challenges from the Right. For Republicans, the 2014 election poses the greatest opportunity for the party to take back the majority in the Senate since losing control in 2006. As is, Democrats hold 53 seats compared to Republicans’ 45, with two Independents caucusing with the Democratic Party. To form a simple majority, Republicans need to pick up at least six seats while retaining their 14 seats that are up for re-election. If Republicans play their cards right, then a Republican-controlled Senate and House would spell major problems for President Obama. The combined

Virginia and New Jersey voters won’t be the only ones evaluating their political choices in the coming months, though. Voters across the country will play a significant role in deciding the makeup of the Senate in 2014.

efforts of these two chambers would effectively hinder the president’s agenda during the final two years of his administration, essentially making President Obama a lame duck for three-fourths of his entire time in the Oval Office. With a congressional majority in reach for Republicans, only time will tell if the GOP can muster the political prowess to capitalize on the situation. 2014 will be an important test of the both parties’ political resilience and ability to reconnect with moderate voters dissatisfied with the job Congress has done. These elections will set the tone for the direction the country will take from here and lay the foundation for yet another major presidential election.

www.amac.us | 29


NEW from Neutronic Ear

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These devices can cost up to $5000 or more each! The high cost and inconvenience drove an innovative audiologist and speech pathologist, to develop an affordable solution that is simple and easy to use.

With over 20 years in business, Neutronic Ear has been the innovator in sound amplification technology. Neutronic Ear has done it again with the SOUNDWAVE, the world's first personal sound amplification product with a uniquely removable and rechargeable power tip.

The SOUNDWAVE is so small and light weight that when worn its invisible. With the greatest of ease you can turn the volume control down to cheer with the crowd at a sporting event, and turn it back up for the car ride home - no matter where your adventures take you, you are in control. With a full 28 hour charge life, you can recharge the patented power tip at your convenience and rest assured your SOUNDWAVE will always deliver clear crisp sound. Multiple tube and tip sizes are provided for proper personal fitting while leaving the ear canal open.

The Neutronic Ear SOUNDWAVE provides the performance, savings and convenience, unmatched in the conventional hearing aid industry. And don't waste your money on cheap low quality imitators. SOUNDWAVE is delivered discreetly to your door, ready to use right out of the box. This eliminates the need to see a hearing specialist, have hearing tests and numerous fitting appointments.

It works… but don’t take our word for it. Why pay thousands to make everything sound louder when all you really need is Personal Sound Amplification? We’re so sure you’ll be absolutely thrilled with the quality and effectiveness of your SOUNDWAVE, that we are offering it to the public at a LOW introductory price with our exclusive in-home offer. If, for any reason, you are not amazed by how this product improves your life, simply return it for a refund within 30 days.

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Meet AMAC’s Grammy! The bright red cardinal is an exceptional songbird. The pointed crest and brilliant plumage create a striking silhouette, most dramatic against a bright blue sky. The cardinal has distinguished features which make it unique. Similarly, people possess characteristics which make them special. America’s Grandma, affectionately known as Grammy, is a great example. Loved for her kind heart, unwavering devotion to God, dedication to family and friends, and straight forward way of speaking the truth, she similarly stands out.

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rammy is not an Academy Award winning actress nor is she a Noble Peace Prize recipient, but that doesn’t make her any less remarkable. This mother of two, grandmother of eight, great-grandmother of seventeen and great-great grandmother of six, possesses a charismatic personality. Born in 1921 in New York City, she was the only child of her Hungarian Immigrant parents. She was named Margaret, meaning “pearl” and “daughter of light”. Raised in a close-knit Hungarian community, she grew up on the streets of Manhattan. Margaret made friends easily and enjoyed happy times roller-skating on sidewalks and playing tag on city blocks. She enjoyed school, despite being reprimanded in second grade for talkativeness. In front of friends, she preferred to be addressed by her parents in English. Her family lived on a modest income, her mother performing housework to earn keep for the family. Her father, a carpenter, was out of work during the depression. Her family did not attend church regularly. Discovering God was something she did on her own, by attending a local Sunday school without

by DJ Wilson

invitation. When Margaret was 15, her father died suddenly. Margaret enrolled in business school and attended college at night for one year. Upon completion, she found employment at a local law firm, earning ten dollars a week to support her mother and herself. Through church attendance, Margaret met her husband, George. Two calls to war would test their faith in God and humanity. During WWII, they welcomed their first daughter into the world. “Lots of people are curious about how we endured. It was no different for me than for anyone else. Like others, we managed on food stamps and rationing. Families started living together to make ends meet. You couldn’t get butter, sugar or shoes; but you weren’t the only one. Everybody was in the same boat. We would follow the newspapers and read our censored mail to learn what was happening.” George was also called to service during the Korean War. Margaret fondly remembers their first home on Long Island. George worked nights at a printing firm. Blessed with a second daughter, Margaret enjoyed her most important callings in life, raising her two children and teaching Sunday school. Memories were made vacationing around the United States. “We saw a lot of the U.S. over the years, including beautiful state parks. We went to the Grand Canyon and traveled to every state but Alaska.” When the couple retired to Florida, they maintained active social lives. Margaret counseled at a pro-life

Margaret fondly remembers their first home on Long Island. George worked nights at a printing firm. Blessed with a second daughter, Margaret enjoyed her most important callings in life, raising her two children and teaching Sunday school.

center and met with women’s groups. Gardening became a favorite pastime. The Adirondack Mountains provided a perfect get-away to canoe, fish, boat, hike and swim. Today, it is still Margaret’s favorite retreat and a place where the whole family loves to gather. Practically everyone calls her Marge or “Grammy” and her positive attitude is ever-present. Though she hints at slowing down, she remains active in her church and, at 91 years young, still teaches Sunday school. She is happy to share her favorite bible verses with students: continued on pg. 32

www.amac.us | 31


Meet AMAC’s Grammy! continued from pg. 31

Philippians 4:6-7 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Grammy’s active role in AMAC is an expression of her love of America and desire to uphold our nation’s basic values. AMAC provides optimism for those losing faith in present government by addressing failing policies and setting forth viable solutions to problems. “AMAC is important to the future of America. It’s an organization which tremendously emphasizes love of God, family and the nation. There are many advantages to joining, from their money saving programs to keeping members well-informed.” She enjoys meeting people and boasts “I don’t have to know you to say hello to you.” To get you to listen, she coins the phrase “Listen to your Grammy!” This down-to-earth lady never claims to be perfect. In fact, she resists the idea of being put on a pedestal. “I’m just like everyone else, no more or less special and God is the one who loves each one of us most.”

Grammy on Obamacare Recently, important issues affecting seniors like Grammy have risen to the forefront. Obama’s runaway spending has increased deficits, causing his administration to place increased taxes on the wealthy and to trim popular benefit programs for seniors, such as Social Security and Medicare. Many view this as a nasty political game, designed to force Republicans to agree to tax increases. Grammy shares, “Senior citizens who are unhappy with Obama’s proposals must have their voices heard. Ryan’s Plan will clearly save and strengthen Medicare, which I depend upon. I’m interested not for myself, but for future generations who are entitled due to years of labor and paying in. The determination for medical procedures should not be in the hands of government who may deny services. The best care is determined by doctors and individuals. I am against Obamacare and stand united with AMAC in total support of Ryan’s plan to save Medicare.” The brilliant red coloring of the cardinal and the melodies which they share sets the bird apart from others. Grammy is like a cardinal, possessing special qualities and with a desire to share her own melody, tirelessly dedicated to making the world a better place.

photo: James Peluso

photo: James Peluso

Check Out AMAC’s Affordable Term Life Insurance for AMAC Members Age 50 55 60 65 70 75 80

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ING TermSmart and ING TermSmart*NY: Rates are quoted for 10 year term, preferred, non-smoker. Also available in 15 and 20 year terms, smoker and non-smoker rates. Rates are effective as of 01/9/2013 and are subject to change. Premiums shown are for a healthy non-nicotine Preferred Rate Class, and are subject to underwriting approval by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York. Premiums shown are monthly and include an annual $75 policy fee. ING TermSmart, policy form series 1315-02/10, varies by state and may not be available in all states (not available in New York), is issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN). ING TermSmart NY, policy form series 3314-02/10, (only available in New York), is issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York (Woodbury, NY). Within the state of New York, only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is admitted and its products issued. Both are members of the ING family of companies. All guarantees are based on the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company, who is solely responsible for all obligations under its policies. Other than the ING companies identified, no other entities whether distributing or listed on the material, are members of the ING family of companies. © 2013 ING North America Insurance Corporation. 160363 CN0402-9167-0515

32 | www.amac.us


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Blueprint for American Renewal Paul Ryan’s bold plan for Medicare reform AMAC members have expressed concern about the solvency and structural stability of Medicare – and for good reason. The latest reports from the Congressional Budget Office are indeed dismal and project the Medicare Trust Fund to be bankrupt by 2024 if the country’s second largest entitlement program is not reformed soon. To address America’s precarious Medicare dilemma, House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan, proposed a plan to overhaul the program in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget that was passed by the House in late March. Broadly, Ryan’s “Blueprint for American Renewal” highlights the dire need to restructure Medicare as a premium-support program in order to save the program for current seniors and to preserve it for future generations of Medicare beneficiaries. Ryan’s bold plan for Medicare reform depends entirely on the repeal of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare, which continues to pose a series of roadblocks for Republicans since the Supreme Court upheld the law last summer. Nevertheless, Ryan’s budget blasts ObamaCare for its $700 billion “raid” on Medicare while promoting a return to fiscal responsibility on the part of the federal government. Instead of adding “‘at least a dozen years to the solvency of Medicare’ [while not adding] to the deficit,” which the President claimed would be a by-product of

By Caroline Howle

34 | www.amac.us

the trillion-dollar overhaul of the health care system, Ryan’s budget explains how “it would be impossible for the new law to do both unless the savings were double-counted.” According to Ryan and House Republicans, strengthening Medicare through comprehensive reforms is the only way it can be saved. ObamaCare also seeks to empower an unaccountable board of 15 unelected bureaucrats, known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), to make decisions affecting Medicare. Shifting an immense amount of power and control from families, individuals, and doctors into the hands government officials, ObamaCare gives the IPAB an unprecedented amount of authority to cut Medicare in significant ways, which could result in the rationing of health care for seniors. The Ryan plan for Medicare seeks to return control over health care to patients and their doctors, trusting that individuals are better equipped than the government to determine the care they need. In past weeks, AMAC has been active in supporting legislative measures to repeal the provision of ObamaCare that institutes the IPAB, recognizing the detrimental effects the bureaucratic panel will have on seniors and their access to high-quality, affordable health care and Medicare benefits. After diagnosing ObamaCare as one of the central sources of Medicare’s terminal pain, Ryan prescribes his remedial solution for the program in the House’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget. Ryan’s plan to restructure Medicare hinges on two main principles. First, it promises not to affect people nearing retirement in any way. Second, it indicates that “Medicare will provide a Medicare payment and a list of guaranteed coverage

options – including a traditional-fee-forservice option – from which recipients can choose a plan that best suits their needs.” Beginning in 2023, workers under the age of 55 would receive access to a myriad of private Medicare plans, and these plans would compete alongside the government’s traditional feefor-service option on what would be a newly created Medicare Exchange. The advantage of Ryan’s Medicare Exchange is the range of quality, affordable choices seniors are provided in the competitive marketplace. So, how can health care plans practically compete for the right to serve Medicare beneficiaries? The Ryan budget mandates that all of the plans – both private and traditional fee-for-service – participate in “an annual competitive bidding process to determine the dollar amount of the federal contribution seniors would use to purchase the coverage that best serves their medical needs.” Thus, “the second-least expensive approved plan or fee-for-service Medicare, whichever is least expen-


The Simple Truth about Medicare’s Future according to Paul Ryan’s FY 2014 Budget Bureaucrat Control

Patient Control

Proposal

The President’s partisan health care law creates an unaccountable board of 15 unelected bureaucrats – the so-called “Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) – empowered to cut Medicare in ways that will result in denied care and restricted access for seniors. The bureaucrat-imposed cuts threaten critical care for current seniors and fail to strengthen Medicare for future generations.

Bipartisan solutions to preserve the Medicare guarantee, offering guaranteed coverage options to future seniors, regardless of preexisting conditions or health history, financed by a premium-support payment adjusted to provide additional financial assistance to lowincome and less-healthy seniors and less to the wealthy. The Medicare health plans, including a traditional Medicare option, would compete against each other to offer higher quality care at lower costs.

Ration care?

Yes. IPAB’s unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats have the power to determine what “rationing health care” means, allowing them to cut Medicare in ways that harm seniors’ access to providers and lead to the denial of critical care.

No. Strips unaccountable Washington bureaucrats of their rationing power; puts patients in control of their health care decisions instead of government; and forces providers to compete for the right to serve seniors. All Medicare health plans are required to meet high standards of care.

Control costs?

No. Cutting reimbursements only reduces access, while the true costs of care continue to grow.

Yes. Harnessing the power of choice and competition helps tackle the root drivers of health inflation that are bankrupting the current system.

Who is in control?

An unaccountable board of 15 unelected bureaucrats.

Protect benefits?

No. The President’s latest budget proposes to give IPAB “additional tools” that would give it the power to change benefits in ways that restrict access for seniors. Seniors are prohibited from legal appeals to IPAB’s decisions.

Current seniors

Exposed to the harmful consequences of IPAB.

Solvent future?

No. Medicare’s trust funds are exhausted, and the program collapses into bankruptcy.

sive, would establish the benchmark that determines the premium-support amount for the plan chosen by the senior.” As seniors shop for the best plan available in terms of price and quality of care, competition between private insurance providers would result in the overall lowering of insurance costs for buyers. Under Ryan’s premium-support proposal, seniors would be required to pay out-of-pocket if they opt for a plan costing more than the established benchmark plan. However, beneficiaries who choose to purchase a plan that is cheaper than the benchmark plan will receive a rebate for the difference.

With a premium-support model of Medicare in place, the competitive market will be forced to “foster innovation” and offer higher quality care at lower costs. Medicare’s chief actuary, Richard Foster, cited the “merits of competitive bidding as a promising means to improve quality and control costs,” while testifying before Congress. From Ryan’s vantage point, restructuring Medicare in this way ensures the program’s financial stability and solvency in the years to come. Digging into the nitty-gritty of the budget exposes several other significant details about how Medicare would

Patients and their doctors.

Yes. Making no changes for current seniors, ensuring that traditional Medicare remains an option, and strengthening the program for future seniors protects the Medicare guarantee.

No changes. Yes. Medicare will be able to deliver on its critical mission to seniors today and future generations.

change if the budget was ever adopted by the Senate and signed into law. Ryan’s plan requires all Medicare options to “offer insurance to all seniors – regardless of age and health status – [to prevent] insurers from cherry-picking only the healthiest seniors for coverage under their plans.” This means that Medicare’s sickest beneficiaries would be given access to the most affordable and quality plans to best meet their needs, absent threats of discrimination or denied coverage. Furthermore, the federal contribution to seniors’ health plans would be properly risk-adjusted, and insurers participating in the Medicare Exchange continued on pg. 36

www.amac.us | 35


Blueprint for American Renewal continued from pg. 35

would be audited annually by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to assess the amount of low-risk and high-risk seniors being covered by each provider. To level the playing field among insurers, “insurance plans covering a higher-than-average number of low-risk seniors would pay a fee. Conversely, insurance plans covering a higher-than-average number of highrisk seniors would receive an incentive payment.” The plan holds that “the fees and incentive payments would flow internally through the same fund,” enabling the plans that insure high-risk patients to be funded by the fees that cover low-risk patients. Since the passage of Ryan’s budget, Democrats have vehemently fought against the detailed plan to reform the program, even reviving the term “Mediscare” and other fear tactics from the 2012 presidential campaign to incite pandemonium at the mention of the words “premium-support” or “vouchers.” Despite the lack of democratic support in the House, the premise of Ryan’s plan stems from past examples of bipartisan efforts to improve the program. The notion of a premium-support model first garnered support in the 1980s when a bipartisan Medicare voucher program was presented to Congress. The idea was heralded again during the Clinton Administration when Democratic Senator John Breaux and Republican Senator Bill Thomas, co-chairmen of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, introduced a premium-support proposal in another attempt to reform the broken system. Given the bipartisan support for premium support historically, the 2012 Wyden-Ryan plan brought the issue of Medicare to the forefront of American politics again, imploring congressional leaders to revisit the ominous Medicare crisis that is quickly contributing to the financial debt that is crippling the country. Ryan’s new budget underscores the original commitment the U.S. government made to the American people when Medicare was established in 1965 – a commitment to “help fund the medical care of elderly Americans

36 | www.amac.us

without exhausting their life savings or the assets and incomes of their working children and younger relatives.” What was once a program chiefly designed to protect hard-working Americans from emptying their savings to pay for a costly health problem has evolved into a fractured entitlement program that will be unable to provide coverage at any price a decade from now. Congress cannot afford to kick the can down the road any longer at the expense of the millions of Americans who have paid into the fund under the assumption that they would be able to collect their benefits when they turned 65-years-old. While the GOP seeks to reform Medicare and return it to a state of fiscal solvency, concern remains over how Democrats in the Senate and President Obama will address this pivotal issue. Passing a budget for the first time in four years in March, the Senate put forth its rival plan to address the nation’s financial predicament. Despite familiar calls of praise for “saving Medicare” following the Senate budget’s adoption, their plan includes $275 billion in new cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, strapping an additional burden to the backs of Americans. Remarks from the White House, however, indicate support for the Senate’s budget, comparing the president’s plan with that of the Senate, which claims to “makes tough choices to strengthen entitlements.” “Medicare as we know it” may soon be ending, but who the American people decide to blame for its bankruptcy remains to be determined. Reforming Medicare is a highly contentious and unpopular idea in the modern political era, but the threat of Medicare’s looming insolvency gets closer every day. Today, the premium-support plan set forth by Paul Ryan, and endorsed by House Republicans, recognizes the imperative and immediate need to reform Medicare before seniors lose access to the care on which they greatly depend. AMAC is committed to fighting for seniors and ensuring that Medicare will be around to uphold its critical mission for the millions of Americans who stand to benefit from the program in the future.

“Ryan’s bold plan for Medicare reform depends entirely on the repeal of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare, which continues to pose a series of roadblocks for Republicans since the Supreme Court upheld the law last summer. Nevertheless, Ryan’s budget blasts ObamaCare for its $700 billion “raid” on Medicare while promoting a return to fiscal responsibility on the part of the federal government. Instead of adding “‘at least a dozen years to the solvency of Medicare’ [while not adding] to the deficit,” which the President claimed would be a by-product of the trillion-dollar overhaul of the health care system, Ryan’s budget explains how “it would be impossible for the new law to do both unless the savings were double-counted.” According to Ryan and House Republicans, strengthening Medicare through comprehensive reforms is the only way it can be saved.


Americans are being taught that:

Free Enterprise is Bad... Big Government is Good While: Taxes are increasing... But the National Debt gets worse America is on the Decline... China and India are rising Freedom is eroding... Socialism is expanding

How can we change all this? We must educate the voters!

“When People get the right information... They make the right decisions” Tom McClintlock, Congressman, CA

The “Good Sense News”, a weekly newsletter, will educate and inform your employees and associates. It will be mailed to your place of business each week for you to give to each of your employees. The cost is only $.50 cents per newsletter. It will educate your associates and keep them informed about big government programs and their cost to small businesses, taxes you must pay, and the laws and rules that are bad for businesses and how they ultimately wind up hurting employees. The attractive four page Newsletter is viewed as an employee benefit and shows you care by giving them enjoyable articles about sports, health, travel, finance, and inspirational stories. You built your business; don’t let the government take it away. Conservatives own 70% of small businesses and you can use that advantage by educating and informing your fellow workers so they know the facts when it’s time to vote. The “Good Sense News” is not a political newsletter; rather it is written to provide enjoyment to the people in your business while supplying them with the true facts on today’s happenings. At the same time, each edition has a section for helping your employees learn how to become better workers. There will be tips on subjects like providing good customer service and how workers can make themselves more valuable to their company.

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America’s Energy

Energy Jobs Fueling America’s Economic Engine

T

he foundation of a strong and vibrant economy is affordable energy, and the vast supply of energy resources in North America means that the United States is literally sitting on its best opportunity to create high-paying jobs, revive the economy, and lead to energy independence and increased national security. With hundreds of years of energy stores under our feet, and with technology available to produce these resources safely, the opportunity is tremendously encouraging. Recent government policy has ignored our need to develop our domestic energy resources; instead, it has increasingly instituted shortsighted regulatory barriers that block the promise of affordable domestic energy. The rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline by the White House left an estimated 20,000 jobs on the table and the tax increases the President is seeking on the production of oil and gas could undermine any chance of recovery for our still fragile economy.

New drilling technologies perfected in the last several years have unlocked enormous domestic reserves of crude oil and natural gas on private and state lands and waters. This expansion has shown a profound effect on job creation and economic stimulus, and a change in policy to open Federal resources to this same type of exploration and development could accelerate these trends. Recent broken promises to allow access to Federal resources, proposed tax increases on energy production, and excessive delays in the permitting process have stalled any additional expansion.

“ America’s oil and natural gas industry currently supports 9.2 million men and women across the United States in a wide range of highly skilled, well-paying professions.

by Pam Smith

38 | www.amac.us

continued on pg. 41


Social Security

Common Social Security Questions Puzzled about when to claim or whether you’re eligible for benefits? AMAC has answers. 1. I am about to turn 66 and plan to file for Social Security. How do I get started? You should apply three months before you want to start collecting. Sign up online at www.socialsecurity.gov or call 1-800-772-1213. You can also visit your local Social Security Office to apply. You should have the following documents available: Social Security card or a record of the number; your birth certificate; proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status; military discharge papers if you served before 1968; and last year’s W-2 tax form or tax return if you’re self-employed. Benefits are based on the amount of money you earned during your lifetime, with an emphasis on the 35 years in which you earned the most. Plus, lower-paid workers get a bigger percentage of their pre-retirement income than higher-paid workers.

unless that marriage ends, too, whether by annulment, divorce or death of your new husband. If you remarry after age 60 (50 if disabled), you can still collect benefits on your former spouse’s record. After you reach 62, you may get retirement benefits on the record of your new spouse if they are higher.

2. If I retire before my “Full Retirement Age,” how will my benefits be affected? If you start benefits early, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age. For example, if you were born in January of 1960, your full retirement age is 67, and your monthly benefit would be reduced by 30% if you elect to receive benefits at age 62.

5. I filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after being laid off. Do Social Security benefits count as income in bankruptcy, or are they protected? Your benefits are protected. Social Security is excluded from the calculation of disposable income when setting up a debtor repayment plan.

3. If I remarry, can I still collect Social Security benefits based on my deceased first husband’s record? You can — subject to several rules. In general, you cannot receive survivor benefits if you remarry before age 60

by William Hall

4. Do my Social Security contributions go into a personal retirement account for me and earn interest? Although many people think so, the answer is no. Social Security operates under a pay-as-you-go system, which means that today’s workers pay for current retirees and other beneficiaries. Workers pay 6.2 percent of their wages up to a cap of $113,700; employers pay the same. The money that younger people contribute will pay for our benefits when we retire.

6. My husband died recently. Can I choose between my own benefit and that as a widow? Can I collect both? Eligibility for a widow’s benefit begins at age 60, or 50 if you are disabled. If you are full retirement age, your survivor benefit will be 100 percent of his benefit; if you take it early, the amount will be reduced. You can switch to your own benefit as early as 62. In any event, you can only get one benefit, whichever is higher.

7. My wife is 62 and collects Social Security based on her own work record. Can she receive spousal benefits based on my record when I retire in a few years? If she is eligible for both benefits, yours and hers, Social Security will pay her own benefits first. If she is due additional benefits, she will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spousal benefit. 8. I am 63 and collecting Social Security. If I work, will my benefit be cut? It depends on your income. Between age 62 and the start of the year when you reach full retirement age, $1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 you earn above a limit, which is $15,120 in 2013. In the year you reach full retirement age, $1 is withheld for every $3 above another limit, $40,080 in 2013. In your birthday month, the limits go away, and your benefit will be recalculated upward to compensate for the money that was withheld. Always check with your local Social Security office for more information. Remember, do your research before you apply. Have more questions? Email them to AMAC at: info@amac.us

www.amac.us | 39


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America’s Energy

Energy Jobs Fueling America’s Economic Engine

continued from pg. 38

Permit Process The House Committee on Natural Resources reports that the time it takes to obtain a permit for oil and gas exploration on state lands is about 12 to 15 days, compared with the average 307 days to obtain a permit for onshore drilling on federal land. The Federal permit process has nearly doubled from the 154 days it took in 2005.

Jobs, jobs, jobs! America’s oil and natural gas industry currently supports 9.2 million men and women across the United States in a wide range of highly skilled, well-paying professions. In fact, oil and natural gas industry exploration and production wages are more than double the national average. An analysis of public data, independent research and corporate annual reports finds that the industry distributed $176 billion in wages paid to U.S. employees, plus benefits and payments to oil and natural gas leaseholders.

Fast Facts 1.

America’s oil and natural gas industry currently supports

nearly

9.2

million American jobs. 2. Expanding access to America’s oil and natural gas resources can create 1.4 million jobs by 2030. 3. Industry workers are not only engineers and geologists,

but

also

botanists, zoologists and even veterinarians.

continued on pg. 42 energytomorrow.org

www.amac.us | 41


America’s Energy

Energy Jobs Fueling America’s Economic Engine

continued from pg. 41

Opening federal land that is currently closed-off because of statutory or administrative action would lead to broadbased economic stimulus, including increasing GDP, employment, and wages: GDP increase: ■

$127 billion annually for the next seven years. $450 billion annually in the next thirty years. $14.4 trillion cumulative increase in economic activity over the next thirty-seven years.

These estimates include “spill-over” effects,or gains that extend from one location to another location.

Wage increase: ■

Increase in tax revenue: ■

Jobs increase: ■

552,000 jobs annually over the next seven years. Almost 2 million jobs annually over the next thirty years.

Jobs gains would be felt in high-wage, high-skill employment like health care, education, professional fields, and the arts.

$32 billion increase in annual wages over the next seven years. $115 billion annually between seven and thirty years. $3.7 trillion cumulative increase over thirty-seven years.

$2.7 trillion increase in federal tax revenues over thirty-seven years. $1.1 trillion in state and local tax revenues over thirty-seven years. $24 billion annual federal tax revenue over the next seven years, $86 billion annually thereafter. $10.3 billion annual state and local tax revenue over the next seven years, $35.5 billion annually

Institute for Energy Research

Energy’s Multiplier Effect A March 2012 study found that for every one new job added in oil and gas extraction activities, there were three new additional jobs created elsewhere in the economy. The report also found that “the jobs-multiplier effect of U.S. oil and natural gas activity is higher than many other U.S. industries, including the financial, telecommunications, software and non-residential construction sectors.

42 | www.amac.us

This is the result of the energy industry’s long supply chains and relatively high levels of spending by employees and suppliers.” As a result of the multiplier effect, the U.S. economy has potentially been adding almost 400 new jobs per day over the three months due to increased oil and gas production. American Policy Institute

Untapped Resources Opening Federal lands and waters to oil and gas leasing will generate Federal tax revenue far exceeding revenue sought through levying new taxes on existing oil and gas production.

Let’s get smart... The United States must reduce its oil imports from unfriendly nations and ensure that no nation can manipulate markets against our national interests. To continue to rely on these countries for our energy puts us at a severe disadvantage. To achieve energy independence, reasonable and consistent environmental regulations must be put in place, along with the encouragement of oil and gas development on federal lands and tax policies that allow energy companies to keep their own money to drill with. With the right government policies in place, the oil and natural gas industry can create more American jobs that can help grow the U.S. economy, generate substantial new revenues for government and provide greater energy security for our nation.


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Did You Know? What is Chained CPI and How Will It Affect You?

Coming Soon…Your Car Will “Chat” With Others on the Road

The term “chained CPI” has solidly worked its way into everyday language and, at least for the next few months, it isn’t likely to go away. It’s become a highly visible topic since the Obama administration included it in its 2014 budget proposal. This recalculation of the Consumer Price Index will change how the government calculates the annual costof-living adjustments for millions of Social Security recipients. This means that your income taxes will be higher and your Social Security benefits will be lower. Chained CPI, as opposed to the current way the Consumer Price Index is measured, takes into account when people replace expensive goods with cheaper ones, resulting in a lower annual inflation rate. When you pay income taxes, the tax bracket you fall under is determined by how much taxable income you have and over time, due to inflation, the cutoffs for each bracket rise. So with chained CPI, those cutoffs will rise slower, which means you lose your money quicker, getting exposed to higher tax rates compared with now. With regard to Social Security benefits, the slower inflation rate has the same effect. While you pay more, the benefits you receive from Social Security, in turn, grow more slowly as well. When you collect your Social Security checks, the amount will be smaller than it would have been otherwise.

“The past 50 years have been about surviving vehicle crashes; the next 50 will be about preventing them,” says Gregory D. Winfree, U.S. D.O.T.’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s Deputy Administrator. This broad goal will involve extensive expansion of the technology that will be installed in vehicles of the future. It’s called “Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications for Safety” or V2V, and it is being built around the wireless exchange of data between vehicles and roadside network stations. Imagine approaching an intersection and getting set to make a left-hand turn. You have a green light, your turn signal is on, and you looked both ways to be sure there was no oncoming traffic. But what you didn’t see (maybe because it was a rainy day, or foggy perhaps) was another vehicle coming right at you so fast that there’s no way it can stop at the red light. With V2V technology, the oncoming vehicle and your vehicle will communicate and you’ll get audible and visible alarms in enough time to hit the brakes. Transmitting in a roughly 1000 foot range, the technology can alert drivers to out-ofsight hazards. Watch as this technology catches on in the next few years. You’ll soon be seeing your car “chatting” with its neighbors!

Warning Signs Your Bones May be Thinning Osteopenia -- the process of bone thinning that precedes full-scale osteoporosis -- can happen without obvious symptoms. Here are some warnings signs that may indicate you are at risk.

44 | www.amac.us

• You’ve had more than one fracture in the past two years, or you’ve had a fracture that seemed unusually severe for the circumstances. • You take prednisone or other corticosteroids to treat an autoimmune condition. • You’re lactose intolerant or have other reasons for not drinking milk. • You’ve struggled with an eating disorder. • Women only: Your periods are irregular or infrequent. • You have a first- or second-degree relative who had osteoporosis before the age of 50 or before menopause.

The 3,000 Mile Oil Change Myth For so many years, it was a pretty simple thing. You just needed to remember to look at the sticker on your windshield so you’d know when to go for an oil change. When you did, you got a new sticker that told you when to come back. Today, experts have begun to question the need to bear the expense of an oil change every 3,000 miles. If you drive your car 100,000 miles, you’ll change your oil 33 times. Using a conservative price of $25 per visit, you’ll spend $825. Now, if you move your interval up to 5,000 miles, you avoid 13 oil changes, saving $325. But that’s not all. You’ll avoid putting about 65 gallons of waste oil into the environment. So, what’s the proper schedule for your car? Today’s higher-quality lubricants have allowed automakers to stretch out their recommended oil-change intervals to at least 5,000 miles and often much greater. The best thing to do is to simply check your owner’s manual, ask your dealer or visit www.checkyournumber.org, and enter your car’s year, make, and model and you’re all set.


Money

If it sounds too good to be true… Remember when a 5% or 6% return on your money was thought to be conservative? Well, that was then and this is now, and if you can find a CD paying above 1%, grab it! And most financial experts aren’t expecting any real improvement for quite some time.

T

he financial crisis of 2007-2008 is sort of behind us, but the effects are still with us. Like many others, you’re probably scrambling to find the best investments…those that will give you the best return on whatever money you have set aside. Unfortunately, a recent scan of five-year CD rates showed a meager average return of 1.6%, while one-year returns were bogged down at 1%. So, if you’re troubled about your financial future, what do you do? An unfortunate fact of life is that financial desperation is just the path that unscrupulous operators and scam artists look for. And one of the more common ways these villains attack is through the “Ponzi Scheme”—an investment conspiracy in which people are enticed, with promises of exorbitant returns, to invest their money with an individual who turns out to be a fraudster. The “returns” are paid through new funds solicited, and there are usually no legitimate earnings. So, as long as new money is flowing in, payments can be made, but when the original investors want out or when it gets too hard to draw new money in, the pyramid of cards collapses. Even though we’re in an age of information overload, Ponzi Schemes continue

by Gerry Hafer 46 | www.amac.us

to surface. In fact, despite their diligence in investigating reported Ponzi schemes, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports that more than 100 enforcement actions have been taken since 2010. In 2012 alone, ten of these actions have involved an average of $149 million in investor funds, and often there is little chance of recovery for the victims. Ponzi Schemes can take many forms, and they’re often marketed with savvy. As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) explains in their report on How Scam Artists Are Ripping Off America, “Smooth talking masters of illusion are out there, twisting and turning their stories to convince would-be investors to hand over their funds.” It happens all the time…it could happen to you! So, what should you look out for when you’re approached by someone seeking to attract you to invest your money? The CFTC suggests that the most common signs of a Ponzi Scheme are: ■ An investment that sounds too good to be true, offers little or no risk, or promises that you can’t lose ■ Excessive reliance on “reserve funds” (they usually don’t exist) ■ An atmosphere of secrecy or a reluctance to provide documentation ■ An investment strategy that is difficult to comprehend or overly complex ■ Situations where Independent evaluations are discouraged

An unfortunate fact of life is that financial desperation is just the path that unscrupulous operators and scam artists look for. And one of the more common ways these villains attack is through the “Ponzi Scheme”

The seller is unregistered or claims to be exempt from registration ■ There is pressure to make an immediate decision ■ Unsolicited investment offers , testimonials you can’t confirm, or an absence of information available in the financial community about the source. These are just a few of the signals that should be heeded. Beyond these, though, it’s always a good idea to fall back on the advice you heard as you grew up. Things like “Don’t take candy from a stranger,” or “Don’t do it just because others are doing it.” And, like most things in life, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t. ■


©2013 Media Services S-9567 OF26756R-1

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Travel

Marvelous Memphis photo: C. Ammerma n

Fashioned by the winding river of the Mighty Mississippi, Memphis is a place you’ll love to explore. Known as the legendary birthplace of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, it’s where greats like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding and others impacted music, the city and the world. Discover this southern-souled city and enjoy all that Memphis has to offer. Sample tasty barbecue, relax in fabulous hotels and enjoy unique shopping. Top the experience off with great music and cultural entertainment. It’s impossible to list everything that’s pleasurable to do in Memphis, which is why visitors return time and time again.

Food For The Soul Considered one of America’s greatest barbecue towns, Memphis is famous for its hickory smoked ribs. The Pig on Beale was established in 2002 and is considered a local favorite. The barbecue is prepared fresh daily and is smoked out back on an old Memphis style hickory smoker. The Rum Boogie Café is a favorite club in the area. Specializing in Cajun and barbecue food, with great music from groups like the Boogie Blues Band, the café comes alive with energy and the big, bold taste of Memphis. photo: Adam Jones PhD

48 | www.amac.us

by D.J. Wilson


Enjoy Great Accommodations And Shopping

photo: Thomas R. Machnitzki

Keepin’ Soul Music History Alive

photo: Adam Jones PhD

African-American gospel music and rhythm and blues led the way for Memphis soul, a sultry style of soul music produced in the 1960s and 70s featuring horns, organ, bass and drums. Musicians sometimes played with a harder-edge or surging soul style, creating unique sounds. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, located at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis, honors soul music and showcases over 2,000 interactive exhibits. Watch films, see rare music artifacts and learn the triumphs of great musicians. The Memphis Rock ‘N’ Soul Museum, on Beale Street, is another must-see music destination. Experience the history of rock and soul through Smithsonian created exhibitions. You’ll love the audio tour, with over 300 minutes of information and over 100 songs.

photo: DB King

photo: Roger Schultz

There are many wonderful hotels in downtown Memphis, making walking to attractions fast and easy. The Westin Memphis Beale Street sits across from the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. Offering the best in modern day amenities and concierge services, the hotel features an on premises restaurant and lounge. In the heart of the city is one of Memphis’ most popular attractions, the Peabody Hotel. Watch the famous Peabody ducks march to and from the Grand Lobby, in a time-honored tradition dating back to 1933. Considered charming and elegant, the Peabody is one of the finest examples of hotels offering Southern hospitality. Downtown Memphis offers a shopping experience unlike any other city. Check out Memphis Music Records Tapes and Souvenirs, with an amazing collection of vintage recordings of Memphis music, books, T-shirts and more. Step back in time at an oldfashioned specialty store like The Peanut Shoppe, rich in the aroma of fresh roasted nuts and popcorn.

photo: Adam Jones PhD

The Vibe That Makes The City Unique photo: Thomas R. Machnitzki

Beale Street, in the heart of downtown Memphis, consists of three blocks of exciting restaurants, unique retail shops and lively night clubs. This entertainment district creates an energetic vibe enhanced by the spirit of the music of Memphis. Declared a National Historic Landmark and Home of the Blues in 1977, Beale Street is a city icon and major tourist attraction. In May of each year, The Beale Street Music Festival hosts major musicians. During this month-long citywide festival, visitors enjoy spectacular outdoor concerts and are immersed in the animated atmosphere of Memphis.

Complete The Trip

photo: H Michael Miley

The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, led a controversial lifestyle, but his contribution to the music industry is part of American history. Therefore, no trip to Memphis is complete without a tour of his beloved 14 acre estate, Graceland, including the trophy building which houses Elvis’ record collection and career memorabilia. Just a few minutes from Beale Street is one of history’s most famous recording studios. Sun Studio was opened in the 1950s by rock pioneer, Sam Phillips. The studio recorded the first rock and roll single, “Rocket 88,” performed by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats with Ike Turner on keyboard.

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CALLING ALL

Patriots... The AMAC Delegate Program Has Launched

T

he election is long over and you’re wondering “Now what?” You did your part. You voted against the policies of the Obama Administration. You may have volunteered knocking on doors and distributing literature. You may have made a financial contribution or made phone calls on behalf of your candidate. All of your time, talent and perhaps some treasure wasted, you might be thinking. But was it really? Is this fight over? Do you just give up? All is NOT lost. Americans who are age 50 + made up a commanding 44% of the electorate in 2012 and 54% voted AGAINST President Obama. No other age group came close to this share of voice in the 2012 election. You see, your voice is loud and growing louder every day. You can still make a difference and AMAC wants to help.

AMAC is calling all Patriots to join our national grassroots outreach effort: The AMAC Delegate Program. AMAC Delegates will visit the local Congressional district office in your community to make contact with the staff and leave information on issues significant to your fellow AMAC members. Making one personal visit to a local Congressional office equates to that office receiving 20 telephone calls, e-mails or letters from local constituents. The visit is that impactful. Please take a few moments to learn about this important endeavor and consider completing an application. Call 888-262-2006 ext 1032 or visit www.amac.us/amac-delegates.

Thank you!

G E T I N V O LV E D . T A K E B A C K A M E R I C A !


AMAC in Action AMAC Sponsors Reception for 113th Congress

hometown businesses together. It’s a unique opportunity not only for local businesses to showcase special offers and discounts on products and services to loyal AMAC members, but also for AMAC members to support their Main Street Merchants.

AMAC in the Media AMAC Launches Speakers Bureau

AMAC Founder, Dan Weber, makes opening remarks at Reception for 113th Congress.

AMAC sponsored a Champagne Reception on March 5 to welcome the Members of the 113th Congress. AMAC Founder Dan Weber and Vice President of Government Relations, Andy Mangione had the opportunity to discuss the concerns of AMAC members with both returning Members of Congress as well as newly sworn in Representatives. The event also provided a platform for AMAC to introduce other conservative groups to the association’s mission - key concerns and top priorities in Washington, DC. The reception is held annually at the offices of Eagle Publishing, one of the most esteemed and well known political publishing houses in Washington, D.C.

AMAC Speakers Bureau provides volunteer speakers to address senior groups in various parts of the country. Topics range from describing the fundamental ideals of AMAC, AMAC’s involvement with the government, the various benefits that AMAC offers and the future direction of AMAC. If you are interested in helping to spread the word on AMAC’s accomplishments, mission and to help us grow, please contact Smokey Wist at 1-888-262-2006 x2012 or email at smokey@amac.us.

AMAC Attends CPAC 2013 AMAC attended CPAC 2013 with special guest Jedediah Bila The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, America’s largest gathering of conservative activists and conservative leaders, took place March 14 -16 in Washington, D.C.

AMAC Local Merchant Program Grows As advocates for free enterprise and small business owners, the Association of Mature American Citizens has developed a local discount program that brings AMAC members and their

AMAC’s Vice President of Government Relations, Andrew Mangione, made two appearances on FOX Business News with Gerri Willis to discuss the high cost of medications and pay to delay deals. The segments aired 1/30/13 and 3/27/13.

AMAC Appears On FreedomWorks Panel to Discuss Obamacare AMAC was invited to participate in a panel discussion in Washington, DC on Wednesday, March 20 sponsored by FreedomWorks regarding the third anniversary of the passing of Obamacare. AMAC associate Connor Martin joined other panelists including Representative Phil Gingrey (GA-11) to discuss Obamacare’s impact on Medicaid, Medicare and patient centered healthcare. The discussion was hosted by Dean Clancy who is the Legislative Affairs Manager at FreedomWorks. Visit www.amac.us/amac-freedomworkspanel-discussion-regarding-obamacare to view the discussion.

AMAC joined thousands of grassroots conservatives and conservative leaders together for three days of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities, all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional values.

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On a Stick! Grilling adds a spark to everyday cooking, but if you really want to light a creative fire, prepare your meal on a stick!

S

kewering provides a fun way to combine a medley of foods for healthy, delicious and colorful menus which are full of variety, easy to make and impressive to serve. They are the perfect backyard barbeque or party choice as they can be assembled ahead of time, cooked to perfection in minutes and need little clean up. Grilling and food on a stick go hand in hand, so use this technique to meet your culinary needs this summer. ■ Shish kebob skewers are available in both metal and wood. Metal skewers are reusable, sturdier and often longer than wooden ones. Wooden / bamboo skewers are plentiful, inexpensive and convenient – just throw away after using. ■ Soak wooden skewers ahead of time to prevent burning and splintering. Place them in water for 30 minutes or overnight before using. ■ Prepare wooden skewers ahead of time by soaking, then freezing in a zip-lock bag until ready to use. ■ Lightly oil or spritz skewers with cooking spray to prevent food from sticking. ■ Use wood or bamboo skewers when marinating pre-threaded kebobs; metal skewers may react with marinade ingredients. ■ An unlimited variety of kebobs can be created by combining cubes

52 | www.amac.us

or strips of meat (beef, pork, lamb, chicken, ham, sausage, kielbasa, small meatballs), firm-fleshed fish (salmon, cod, halibut, tuna, swordfish, shark) or shellfish (shrimp, scallops) with complimentary vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, peppers, squash, potatoes, eggplant) and fruits (pineapple, apricots, lemons, limes, oranges, peaches, apples). Cut kebab ingredients into equal, bite-size pieces to achieve uniform cooking. When serving ingredients that cook at different rates, separate and place each type of food on separate a skewer – meat on one, onions on another, tomatoes on a third etc. Leave some space between food pieces, especially meats, so that heat can circulate and ingredients cook more evenly. Prevent food from rotating by using two skewers side by side for each kebob, or wedge a spatula under the kebob and roll the whole thing away from you to its other side. If you enjoy your beef medium to rare, use bamboo skewers instead of metal. The heat won’t travel along the skewer and cook the interior of the meat. Let kebobs, especially metal skewered ones, cool for a few minutes before serving.

Skewering provides a fun way to combine a medley of foods for healthy, delicious and colorful menus which are full of variety, easy to make and impressive to serve.


Kathie’s Kitchen Teriyaki Beef Kebobs ❏ ½ cup ketchup ❏ ½ cup sugar ❏ ½ cup soy sauce ❏ 1 tsp. garlic powder ❏ 1 tsp. ground ginger ❏ 2 lbs. boneless beef sirloin – cut into 1 ½ inch cubes ❏ ½ fresh pineapple – trimmed and cut into 1 inch chunks ❏ 2 – 3 small zucchini – cut into 1 inch chunks ❏ ½ lb. whole medium-sized button mushrooms ❏ ½ lb. boiling onions – peeled ❏ 1 large green pepper – cut into 1 inch pieces In a bowl, combine ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder and ground ginger. Toss marinade with beef, cover and refrigerate overnight. Alternately thread beef, pineapple and vegetables on long skewers. Reserve marinade. Grill over medium-high heat, turning often and brushing frequently with marinade, for 15 - 20 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness and vegetables are tender. Serves 6 – 8.

Moroccan Chicken on a Stick Pork & Onion Kebobs

Grilled Marinated Shrimp

❏ ½ cup soy sauce ❏ ¼ cup chili sauce ❏ ¼ cup honey ❏ 2 Tbs. olive oil ❏ 2 tsps. curry powder ❏ 2 Tbs. finely chopped onion ❏ 2 lbs. boneless pork – cut into 1 inch cubes ❏ 3 medium onions – cut into wedges

❏ 1 cup olive oil ❏ ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley ❏ 1 lemon – juiced ❏ 2 Tbs. hot pepper sauce ❏ 3 cloves garlic – minced ❏ 1 Tbs. tomato paste ❏ 2 tsps. oregano ❏ 1 tsp. salt ❏ 1 tsp. pepper ❏ 2 lbs. large shrimp – peeled and deveined, tails attached

In a bowl, combine soy sauce, chili sauce, honey, olive oil, curry powder and chopped onion. Set aside half of the marinade for basting. Add pork to the remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Alternately thread pork cubes and onion wedges on skewers. Discard marinade. Grill over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn and baste with reserved marinade. Continue turning and basting for 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Serves 6.

In a bowl, combine olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Reserve a small amount of marinade for basting later. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add shrimp. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Pre-heat grill for medium-low heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes per side, or until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade. Serves 6.

❏ 1 small onion – quartered ❏ ¼ cup lemon juice ❏ ¼ cup olive oil ❏ 2 Tbs. ground coriander ❏ 2 Tbs. cumin ❏ 1 Tbs. caraway seed ❏ 1 Tbs. paprika ❏ 4 cloves garlic – minced ❏ 2 inch piece of fresh ginger – peeled ❏ 1 tsp. salt ❏ 2 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken – cut into 1 inch wide strips ❏ Chopped parsley Combine onion, lemon juice, olive oil, coriander, cumin, caraway seed, paprika, garlic, ginger and salt in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Thread chicken onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers and place in a large, shallow glass casserole dish. Coat the chicken with pureed marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight. Pre-heat grill. Remove chicken skewers from marinade and grill, turning frequently, for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4 – 6.

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America is AMAC is

RISING

Spread the word and help us grow! AMAC is now THE Leading Conservative Senior Organization in America AMAC represents the Real America and stands for traditional values, fiscal responsibility and true financial security for those who have earned it.

★ AMAC fights for the values Americans hold dear ★ AMAC is the conservative alternative to AARP

We are totally committed to protecting the rights and needs of the 50+ population. We are a hands on organization designed to be the voice for seniors.

★ AMAC stands for the values on which our country is founded

• Protecting your healthcare from government control and destruction • Protecting you from reckless, runaway, government spending • Getting and keeping government out of your personal life • And maintaining the integrity of our greatest government document, the Constitution

★ AMAC is working to reaffirm America as a country of the people, by

the people and for the people • We are striving to see that America remains one nation under God • A nation free to pray for the safety of its athletes before they go out onto the field • A nation free to display the 10 commandments in its highest courts • A nation our loved ones fought and died for to keep free. If you are one of those heroes who fought to protect the sanctity of America and all she stands for, we humbly thank you from the bottom of our hearts

www.amac.us

Join the AMAC Army.

CHOOSE ONE OPTION: 1 Year/$16.00 3 Year/$42.00  5 Year/$59.95 (limited time offer)

Together we can make a difference. Tell the AARP, “No More!”

Name

Date of Birth

Yes, I want to become an AMAC Member!

Spouse’s Name

Date of Birth

Address

As an AMAC Member you will automatically receive our quarterly magazine, The Amac Advantage.

City Phone (

State )

Zip Code Email

MAIL TO: AMAC, 5 ORVILLE DRIVE, SUITE 400, BOHEMIA, NEW YORK 11716 WITH YOUR CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO “THE ASSOCIATION OF MATURE AMERICAN CITIZENS” CALL 1-888-262-2006 OR SIGN UP ONLINE AT: WWW.AMAC.US


Essay

Deliver Us From Evil When Jesus instructed the people to pray, part of His prayer said, “…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil.”

I

n the book of Genesis we read how the Lord destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the great sins the people were guilty of. The Lord rained down fire and brimstone and wiped out the cities and the people in them because of their wickedness. Their wickedness was their sin. And these sins, sexual immorality and perversion, sadly remain in this world today. God, in His Wisdom, who wants us to be happy, warns us that those practices will ultimately give us unhappiness and ruin. He gave us the Commandments to follow, knowing if we followed them our lives would be better. Western civilization has been constructed to a great extent on those teachings. Our legal system is based on those religious tenets, and as a result, we have created an orderly society. Now the very fabric of our way of life is threatened. Those traditional values of what is right and wrong are being torn apart to be replaced with a sinful society where experiencing pleasure is the goal and those who follow the ways of God are mocked. The good news is that God loves us and offers a wonderful plan for our lives. The reason that most people are not experiencing God’s wonderful plan is because man is sinful. When we are sinful, we are separated from God. It is impossible to experience God’s love when we are separated from him. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Jesus Christ died on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. In other words, he takes our place to pay the penalty for our sins! Jesus Christ tells us that “I am

by Brother Juniper

the way, and the truth, and the life; no one can comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6) Today, the majority of marriages end in divorce causing emotional and economic misery to all members of the family, especially the children. Gang violence is a major killer of our youth. Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant, and more of our children are born out of wedlock every year. We have stopped following the ways of God. Abortion, which is the killing of the unborn child, is now the law of the land. Parts of our country encourage marriage between people of the same sex while organizations are formed to legalize sex between men and boys. Our nation needs our prayers. The people of our nation must pray! In receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we become children of God. “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12) I do not know if God will punish our nation. But I do believe our faith can save us! “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Receiving Jesus Christ by faith, not as an act of the will, involves turning to God from self and trusting God to make us what He wants us to be. Are we a nation directed by God? Or are we a nation directed by sin and self? Human nature has changed very little over the last 4,000 years. The people of this great nation need our love and prayers. Let us pray that God knocks at the doors of all those who suffer, of all of those who sin. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come to him” (Revelation 3:20). If you or a loved one is suffering from

God, in His Wisdom, who wants us to be happy, warns us that those practices will ultimately give us unhappiness and ruin. He gave us the Commandments to follow, knowing if we followed them our lives would be better.

sin, I invite you to say or share the following suggested prayer: “Lord Jesus, I accept you as my Savior and Lord. I need you in my life. You died on the cross in order so that my sins would be forgiven and I thank you! You give me eternal life and forgive my sins. Lord, please take control of my life. Teach me the ways of God. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” Let us pray for the courage to choose the right path and may God Save America.

www.amac.us | 55


“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” - Mother Teresa

we are pro-life! Please tell your friends about us!

if you are not a member… join now!

1.888.262.2006 visit us online: www.amac.us


Your Health

Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance You might be wondering why there are so many “gluten-free” products in supermarkets these days. The reason is simple: it’s due to an explosion in the number of people who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.

You might be wondering why there are so many “gluten-free” products in supermarkets these days. The reason is simple: it’s due to an explosion in the number of people who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. For Celiac Disease sufferers, even a tiny amount of gluten triggers a reaction that tramples the tiny, hair-like villi lining the small intestine, making it difficult for them to absorb nutrients. So, an individual with Celiac Disease could eat the healthiest diet in the world, but end up with malnutrition. No wonder there are between 250 and 300 different symptoms of Celiac Disease, ranging from digestive woes – like bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and

gas – to skin disorders, cancer, diabetes, neurological difficulties, early osteoporosis, fatigue, and bone or joint pain. Not surprisingly, in children, Celiac Disease is usually marked by developmental problems, such as failure to grow and/ or digestive issues, again due to malabsorption.

Gluten Sensitivity / Intolerance In addition to Celiac Disease, there’s gluten sensitivity and/or intolerance, usually indicated by an undesirable reaction to gluten. Instead of Celiac symptoms, it is possible for a sensitive individual to experience mood swings, depression, difficulty concentrating, or changes in behavior. Experts estimate that as many as 20 million Americans who do not have Celiac Disease are sensitive to gluten.

by Leigh Erin Connealy, MD

Although there’s no cure for Celiac Disease, it’s possible to avoid symptoms by eliminating all gluten from the diet. Like any major dietary shift, this may seem overwhelming at first. But it can be done. After some experimentation, people can learn how to avoid gluten. And the best part is that once they discover how much better they feel living glutenfree, they wish they’d done it long ago.

Is It Celiac or Something Else? The best way to determine if you have either full-blown Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance is a blood test that looks for specific antibodies. If the blood test is positive, your physician will want to do a biopsy of the small intestine to confirm the diagnosis. There are also genetic tests, but I’ve found that the blood tests and biopsy are usually sufficient. If you have no symptoms yourself, but have a first- or second-degree relative — child, parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin — who has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, it’s possible that you may have the symptom-free version. Even without symptoms, Celiac Disease damages the intestinal tract and steals nutricontinued on pg. 58

www.amac.us | 57


The

Dental Plan for AMAC Members!

Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance

continued from pg. 57

ents. Testing will tell you if you need to avoid gluten to prevent more serious problems from developing. The process of being tested for Celiac Disease is pretty straightforward, but it takes the average adult an estimated 11 years of living with symptoms before he or she is diagnosed. Oftentimes, this happens because they either ignore the warning signs or their doctor just isn’t aware of Celiac, and medical tests are not ordered to detect it.

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The process of being tested for Celiac Disease is pretty straightforward, but it takes the average adult an estimated 11 years of living with symptoms before he or she is diagnosed.

Gluten often goes incognito, hiding behind names like “hydrolyzed vegetable flavoring” or “textured vegetable protein.” That’s why I recommend sticking to the outer aisles of the supermarket, where naturally gluten-free produce and meat are located. The inner aisles, which usually contain processed and prepared foods, are much more likely to contain wheat or hidden gluten. Keep an open mind about alternative grains, too. Most patients think rice is the only complex carbohydrate option when products like salba, millet, and amaranth are available in health food stores and online. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how tasty these grains are. And there’s a definite benefit to looking beyond rice for whole grains. Researchers at New York’s Celiac Disease Center found that patients who consumed gluten-free grains improved their overall nutrient intake.

Supplement Support for Celiac Disease You may want to consider multivitamins if you suffer from gluten-/wheat-related ailments. First, since the nutrientabsorbing villi are not able to do their job, Celiac sufferers are often deficient in important nutrients. And ironically, many gluten-free foods have less vitamins and fiber than standard fare. Supplementing your diet with appropriate nutrients can make a dramatic difference in health. B vitamins, for example, were found to protect individuals with Celiac Disease against high levels of homocysteine, a substance that is a risk factor for heart disease. Homocysteine tends to be elevated in Celiac patients. If you suspect you or a loved one may be having problems with wheat and/or gluten, please get tested first and do everything you can to steer clear of these substances.


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Member Benefits Directory

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ne of the many advantages of AMAC membership is being able to save money on a vast array of products and services. Listed below are AMAC Member Benefits - travel, consumer products, insurance and financial services - AMAC has joined with the companies on these pages to provide significant discounts just for our members.

Health, Insurance & Financial › AMAC Medicare/Healthcare Insurance: 1-800-334-9330 Medicare Supplemental coverage for those enrolled in Medicare A&B. Turning 65? Call AMAC Senior Resources Network to find out your options. Medicare Advantage Plans, Prescription Drug Coverage also available. › AMAC Health Insurance Plans 50-64: 888-623-9595 AMAC offers a range of premier health plans that cover you and your family. Benefits include coverage for doctor visits, preventative care, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and more. › AMAC Long Term Care: 1-855-601-8361 Underwritten by Transamerica Helps cover home care, assisted living or nursing home care. › AMAC Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Insurance: 1-866-212-1985 Up to $25,000 coverage is available to you and your spouse. For ages 45-85. No physical exams or health questions to answer. Benefits that are never reduced because of age or health. › AMAC Life Insurance: 888-550-2622 Help protect your family with affordable coverage. › AMAC Dental Insurance: Visit amac.us - click on member benefits Get coverage for the most common dental procedures. You have the ability to choose your own Dentist, or work with a dental network. › Liberty Home Equity Solutions Inc. - Reverse Mortgage 888-568-5678

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www.amac.us | 63


Just for

Fun Crossword ACROSS 1 Fizzy drink 5 Excrete 10 Margarine 14 How old we are 15 Line up 16 Tablet 17 Tidy 18 Made without yeast 20 Beginning 22 Ancient Roman galley 23 Dashed 24 Point of greatest despair 25 Annual remembrance 32 Awaken 33 Dismay 34 25 in Roman numerals 37 Gone under 38 Personal journal 39 71 in Roman numerals 40 N N N N 41 Slowly, in music 42 Polite 43 Callous

Sudoko

45 Spew 49 French for “Summer” 50 Withdraw 53 In general 57 Man’s lotion 59 Diva’s solo 60 Views 61 An essay 62 Back 63 Makes a mistake 64 Cubic mweter 65 36 inches DOWN 1 Warbled 2 Curved molding 3 University administrator 4 A star-shaped character 5 Resembling a horse 6 Weapons 7 Snake-like fish 8 Cooking fat 9 Rip 10 A drama set to music 11 Delineated 12 Lacquer ingredient

13 19 21 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Not younger A type of plastic Rescue Backside Person, place or thing Religious sisters Showers Sudden burst A cook might wear one Beam

34 26 in Roman numerals 35 24 in Roman numerals 36 Wicked 38 Lair 39 Bookish 41 About a US quart 42 Give as an example 44 Spartan 45 Delete 46 Cite

47 48 51 52 53 54 55 56 58

Express audibly Pepperwort Vipers Not this Not under Region Teller of untruths Piecrust ingredient Gorilla

Puzzle Solutions on pg. 63

Joke of the Month

Fill in the empty fields with the numbers from 1 through 9

Every row must contain the numbers from 1 through 9

Every column must contain the numbers from 1 through 9

3 friends die in a car accident and they go to an orientation in heaven. They are all asked, “When you are in your casket and friends and family are talking about you, what would you like them to say? The first guy says,”I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man.” The second guy says, “I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher which made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow.” The last guy replies, “I would like to hear them say ... Look, He’s Moving! Submitted by AMAC Member Jeff Reynolds, Dayton, OH

Every 3x3 square must contain the numbers from 1 through 9

Heard any good ones lately? Send them in!

How To Play:

64 | www.amac.us

Please submit your joke by emailing info@amac.us or mailing to Joke of the Month, c/o AMAC 5 Orville Drive, Suite 400, Bohemia, NY 11716. Your joke may be featured in our next magazine!


Parting Thought

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www.amac.us | 65


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NOW AVAILABLE - 2013 Gold & Silver American Eagles 2013 $5 GOLD AMERICAN EAGLE 1/10 oz Pure Gold

2013 $1 SILVER AMERICAN EAGLE 1oz .999 Fine Silver Gold & Silver are

UP OVER 430% and expected to climb even higher in 2013!

19

y Onl

$

00

Over Spot Price

at time of order is 00

$1600

x

1/10oz.

=

5 Gold Coin Your Price

$

Each coin would cost only $17900

firstfidelityreserve.com

IRA Eligible



Gem Brilliant Uncirculated



$16000 + $1900

(example price only)

Guaranteed by the U.S. Government

3

Coins enlarged to show exquisite detail

$ 00

t Jus

Plus Priority Shipping, Handling & Insurance

Gold: Price Guarantee Example If gold spot price



Check or Money Order

Over Spot Price

*After just 10 days of going on sale, Silver American Eagle bullion coins were temporarily sold out! Today, premiums are trending higher on 2013 Silver American Eagles and demand for Gold American Eagles is climbing! Secure your limit of (2) SAE & (2) $5 GAE before prices rise again on these bullion coins while our inventory remains. Due to high demand there is a strict limit of two of each coin per household, AMAC members only, availability is not guaranteed and price is subject to change. (No dealers please)

1-800-336-1630 Vault Verification: FAMACGS0413 • Offer Expires: 07/29/13

Please read important customer disclosures on our website or that accompany products purchased, including arbitration agreement. Texas residents add 8.25% sales tax to orders under $1000.

Member:

A+ Rating Since 2002

† Spot Price - the daily quoted market price of precious metals in bullion form. Spot price solely determined at time of transaction by First Fidelity Reserve.

COMPARE OUR LOW PRICES

GREAT QUANTITY PRICING

on rare gold coins for your portfolio or collection at firstfidelityreserve.com/compare

Call today for great quantity pricing, availability & payment terms on these and other popular investment-grade gold and silver bullion coins.

FREE

SHIPPING

AVAILABLE

Ask about free shipping on larger bullion coin orders.

Volume 7 Issue 2  
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