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Action Center
April 13, 2012
Posted On: Apr 08, 2012

 

Kenosha Election Results
 
Congratulations to all of you who voted in the April 3, 2012 election. State wide vote totals were in the 25% area considerably less than the 35% that was predicted.
 
A hearty congratulation’s goes to Mayor Keith Bosman for winning his election with more than a 2 to 1 margin of victory. I’d have to say Kenosha has got a great mayor and all of you who live there ought to be proud. Mayor Bosman exemplifies everything you want in a mayor and more. I know he will continue to do a tremendous job and lead Kenosha forward. 
 
In the aldermanic races for the city of Kenosha our C.A.P. endorsed candidates got overwhelming support sweeping twelve out of fourteen districts. Congratulations to all of them with a special congratulations going to our own Tod Ohnstad from district #6. Tod was elected to his second term and he does a great job of representing us and the 6th district.
 
 Also, a very special congratulation’s is in order for Local 72 Retiree Chair Curt Wilson on his victory in district # 13. I’m sure Curt knocked on every door and talked with everyone in his district. Those who voted for him showed confidence in his ability to help everyone. For those who did not, Curt will do everything he can to make believers out of them. The people in district #13 are getting a seasoned veteran that can and will make things happen.  
 
Our C.A.P. endorsed candidates for county board supervisors in Kenosha were able to take five out of ten races, congratulations to all. The districts where we lost were very competitive. Congratulations to our own Mike Underhill from district #20. Mike was elected to his second term and I know he will do all he can for his district.    
 
Walker’s Botched Train Deal, Leads to More Job loss for Wisconsin
 
One year after Gov. Walker halted high-speed rail, train maker Talgo is laying off workers.  This job loss is a direct result of the actions of Gov. Walker and could have been avoided. 

Last year, despite protest from the citizens of Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker put politics before the people and refused federal funding for investment in Wisconsin’s high-speed rail.   Along with isolating Wisconsin from other parts of the Midwest and leaving the state behind in infrastructure development, the move will cost Wisconsin workers over 4,700 full-time jobs in the private sector.  

The move is also crippling to Talgo, a Spanish train manufacturer, who invested in Wisconsin expecting more from its Governor. 
 
“The high-speed rail debacle is another clear example of how Gov. Walker’s poor choices are costing the people of Wisconsin the family-supporting jobs that our communities need to thrive,” explained Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.  “Since Gov. Walker has taken office, Wisconsin has lost more jobs than any other state in the nation.  We need to recall Gov. Walker on June 5 in order to put an immediate stop to his backward, job-killing policies.” 
 
“Investment in high-speed rail would have brought needed jobs to Milwaukee, which faces devastating unemployment,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.  “Instead of allowing job growth to come to Wisconsin, Gov. Walker foolishly stopped the train, sending our jobs to neighboring states.  Walker’s political antics killed the train – one more reason people want him recalled.”
 
GOP-Budget plan reverses Health Care Reforms, destroys Medicare
By Ron Kind
 
We must continue to reform our health care system to provide higher quality care and a better price for all Americans. But what do you call a plan that denies health care to 300,000 Wisconsin children with pre-existing conditions? A plan that takes from 27,511 young adults in Wisconsin the coverage they've gained through their parents' plans? What do you call a plan that denies more than 60,000 Wisconsin seniors with Medicare the $53 million they saved in prescription drug expenses over the past two years? One that turns away the 2,142,000 Wisconsinites, including 791,000 women and 580,000 children, due to lifetime limits on coverage? A plan that allows insurance companies to deny coverage to individuals when they get sick or injured? Lastly, what do you call a plan that eliminates tax cuts for 4,200 small businesses in our state to help them afford coverage for their employees?
 
We would have to call it the Ryan/Romney plan. The Republican budget repeals the Affordable Care Act and the important provisions it includes. Furthermore, it "reforms" Medicare by destroying it. The Ryan plan replaces the current guaranteed Medicare benefit with a voucher for seniors to shop in the private health care market.
 
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that under the proposed budget, out-of-pocket costs for the average senior will be more than $1,200 higher by 2030 and $5,900 higher by 2050. AARP even said, "the proposal . . . would likely 'price out' traditional Medicare as a viable option, thus rendering the choice of traditional Medicare as a false promise." In addition, the plan endangers access to care for low-income beneficiaries and people with disabilities under BadgerCare, which would suffer cuts of up to 48% under the GOP budget.
 
Instead of reducing health care costs, the Republican budget merely shifts them onto seniors without making improvements to the health care system. It fails to change the way care is delivered, allowing the health care system to continue spending $800 billion a year in public and private health care plans on tests and procedures that don't work and don't improve patient care. And it does nothing to address the 50 million uninsured Americans whose costs when they get sick or injured are shifted to those who have insurance.
 
There is a better way to reduce health care spending. I'm working with our Wisconsin health care providers to reform our delivery system and change the way we pay for health care so it's more integrated, coordinated and patient-focused, improves quality and lowers costs. This is exactly what our providers in Wisconsin are calling for and exactly what the Affordable Care Act takes steps to do.
 
The act will lower Medicare spending by promoting value-based purchasing focused on high quality care; reducing preventable hospital readmissions; fighting waste, fraud and abuse; and promoting innovation. The Affordable Care Act makes historic reductions in health care spending while significantly improving patient care and strengthening Medicare.
 
As we debated health care reform, a mother introduced me to her 1-year-old son and shared their story. Her son had a seizure while he was in her womb. Therefore, upon his first breath, the parents were told he was uninsurable due to a pre-existing condition. We are better than that as a nation.
I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit our troops in the field, and I thought I'd met the bravest America has to offer. But if my Republican colleagues can tell children like the one I met, that not only do they choose not to do anything to help them but under their proposed budget they will take away health care coverage - they must be the bravest in the world.
 
There is no doubt that we need to slow health care spending, the fastest-growing area of local, state and federal budgets. But it shouldn't be done on the backs of seniors and the disadvantaged as the Ryan/Romney plan proposes. We must work together and continue steps taken through the Affordable Care Act to strengthen Medicare and improve our health care system so all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care.
 
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee and serves on the health subcommittee. He is also founder and co-chair of the Quality Care Coalition and member of the House Rural Health Care Caucus.
 
Social Security and Older Women
Why the program is an essential — and poverty-preventing — retirement resource
 
More than one in four older women rely on Social Security for nearly all of their family income. In addition, the PPI analysis shows that in 2010 alone, Social Security kept roughly 38 percent of women age 65 and older out of poverty. But even with Social Security income, almost 11 percent of older women — a full 2.4 million — lived in poverty.
 
Women typically earn less on average than men do (in 2010, women’s earnings for all occupations were 81 percent of men’s earnings), are more likely than men to work part time, and are more likely than men to have gaps in their employment. All of these factors result in lower lifetime earnings for women.
 
Since women tend to live longer than men do, they are more likely to outlive their savings. Social Security provides needed protection to women because the retirement benefits are guaranteed for life and are adjusted to keep pace with inflation.
 
Women are less likely than men to have additional sources of retirement income, such as pensions and savings. In 2010, 26.3 percent of older women — compared with 20.2 percent of older men — relied on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their family income.
 
More than one-third of widowed women ages 65-plus rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their family income. In 2010, Social Security kept 45 percent of widowed women out of poverty. Among divorced women that age, just under one-third depend on Social Security for almost all of their family income.
 
Watch Out for Social Security Scams
3 big ones try to separate benefit recipients from their money
 
With about 55 million people receiving Social Security benefits, it's no wonder there are lots of scams aimed at separating them from that money.
 
Here are three big ones:

1. "We're updating our records."
In a common ploy, identity thieves pose as Social Security Administration employees who are making sure files are accurate. By phone, email or letter, they ask for your personal data — Social Security number, birth date, mother's maiden name, bank account number — information that can be used to steal your identity and your money.
 
Reality: Legitimate SSA reps don't contact you by email, but may reply to you by phone or letter if you've applied for benefits. Before providing any information, call Social Security yourself at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) or visit your local SSA office to verify that the contact is real.
 
2. "We'll get you a bigger check."
Beware of anyone who offers to help you snag additional benefits for a "filing fee."

Reality: The SSA does not charge filing fees. If you feel you're due a higher benefit, you can file an appeal yourself, at no cost. It can be a complicated process, so you're allowed to hire someone to help you — but you should find that person yourself. Social Security regulates what these people can charge; representatives may face prosecution if they charge more.
 
3. "You've got a special tax refund coming."
Scammers say by filing a new income tax return, you can get a lump sum of about $3,000 to compensate you for the lack of Social Security COLA increases in the past two years.

Reality: You'll be charged $30 or more to file new tax forms, and you'll get no refund. But you'll have given away a trove of personal information

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