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Affiliated with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO “Fighting for the future of our members.” “NOW, more than ever!!!” Publication 2018 Issue 16 Published in house by the RI ARA

April 22, 2018 E-Newsletter

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Action Alert #100 Is Social Security Too Broke for Repeal? Here’s the story. Originally Social Security had its own lock box. The money was just sitting there. During the Reagan administration, it was decided to let the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury borrow the funds from SS and then pay interest on what they borrowed. This was a win-win. The U.S. government had more money to spend, and Social Security would earn interest on the money it loaned out to the government. These funds are in the form of special bonds, which the government is required to pay back. They also earn interest for the Social Security Trust Fund. Currently, the combination of yearly employee contributions and the yearly interest on the money it has lent the government is more than what it spends on payments to retirees. There is a

Social Security Fairness Repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision

surplus.This will be true through 2021. At that time it will begin to spend the money from contributions that has built up in the Social Security Trust Fund. This extra money is projected to run out in 2034, at which time Social Security will only be able to pay out ¾ of an individual’s earned benefits. There are a number of ways to solve this problem. Raising the retirement age is one. Slowing the percent of inflationary increases in benefits is another. These measures will lower the total amount of money a contributor gets back. Another solution is to raise the income level at which a worker ceases to contribute to FICA. This year workers do not have to

current estimate, increasing the estimated cost of repeal by 50%, gives you only a cost to the Social Security Administration of about 2%. And that 2% is returning our money! Don’t let anyone tell you that Social Security can’t afford to repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision!

pay into FICA for the money they earn above the $128,400 taxable maximum. Some have suggested getting rid of this cap on contributions. Watch the news for proposed legislation which will strengthen or weaken the program. Learn more about Social Every year, Social Security Security Works and their pays out about $768.6 efforts to repeal the hardships Billion to beneficiaries through of the Government Pension the Old Age and Survivors’ Offset and Windfall Insurance (2016 data). Nearly Elimination Provision 60 million persons receive those Many people do not know benefits. about or understand The most recent estimates of these injustices. what it would cost to repeal the We must make our GPO/WEP, which affect about voices heard. 2.5 million people, have been about $10 Billion each year. We ……..Read More don’t have good recent figures for the cost, but a possible

A Rare Loss for U.S. Pharma Lobby Will Cost the Industry Billions Deep in a budget deal Congress passed earlier this year -- just 118 words in Section 53116, a little before passages on prison reporting data and payment yields for seed cotton - was a hit to pharmaceutical companies that will cost them billions, and could signal more losses to come. Despite an intense lobbying push, lawmakers changed a Medicare rule, putting manufacturers on the hook for more of seniors’ prescription costs. The companies will have to offer a much more generous discount to beneficiaries who

fall into the so-called donut hole coverage gap, marking down retail costs by 70 percent instead of the current 50 percent. It was a rare defeat for some of the biggest spenders in the political influence game and raised new questions about how they’ll fare in upcoming battles. Lawmakers have introduced bills that would squeeze the industry, and President Donald Trump has said he will roll out proposals this month to curb drug prices. “They’re in a defensive position,” said Kim Monk, an analyst at Capital Alpha Partners

in Washington. Investors are wondering, she said, if Big Pharma has lost its famed clout. That may be a stretch, but the pressure seems to be on. “I don’t see how they come out of this completely unscathed.” Trump has gone on the rhetorical attack before, accusing drugmakers of “getting away with murder” and railing against prices he has called unjust. Now, though, he has promised to offer explicit solutions. That could raise the stakes, said David Mitchell, president of the advocacy group Patients

for Affordable Drugs. He’s been critical of Trump for failing to take action despite a lot of talk. “If the president and administration threw its support behind a package of changes to prevent abuse it still will be a fight, but it would have a reasonable chance,” Mitchell said….Read More Read more: The debate over U.S. drug prices -- a QuickTake explainer

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RI ARA April 22, 2018 E-Newsletter


RI ARA April 22, 2018 E-Newsletter

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