Thoughts from President Phillips
Safety First: Commonsense Rules for New Medicine - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Americans are blessed to have exciting, relatively new, medicines called “biologics” that can treat, cure or help manage devastating diseases like diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis (MS), autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, as well as heart attacks and strokes. For older Americans, these are truly “miracle” drugs that extend and enhance our lives.

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Government Run Healthcare - Monday, June 23, 2014

The current controversy over the alleged secret waiting list at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix has caught everyone’s attention.  While what really happened has yet to be proven (and we need to have complete transparency as we look into these allegations) it is certainly no secret that healthcare for our veterans has been less than stellar before this happened

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Sometimes We Win! - Thursday, May 01, 2014

 As you know, I have been quite vocal and active as I battle to preserve your benefits. Often I find myself acting like the vaudeville plate spinner, running from one wobbly issue to another, trying to get there before the issue/regulation/legislation either is instituted or is defeated, depending on our stance.

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Unfullfilled Expectations - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today’s release of “Unfulfilled Expectations: An Analysis of Charity Care provided by 340B Hospitals”, highlights that many hospitals enrolled in the 340B program, established to support access to prescription drugs for the vulnerable uninsured, are not fulfilling this goal.

The report finds charity care represents 1% or less of the total cost of providing care to patients at approximately one-quarter of 340B hospitals.  RetireSafe believes that hospitals that receive substantial discounts on medications must support the mission of the 340B program and utilize those savings to care for the indigent . . .

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Access to New Technology in Kentucky - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

To stay connected with our families in the 21st century, many seniors have changed the way they communicate, but the new technology our seniors depend on is not available everywhere. This is why it is important that our legislative leaders should carefully consider every opportunity they have to take steps to better connect our communities by encouraging private investment in our communications infrastructure.

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If You Can't Follow the Rules - Change the Rules - Thursday, December 05, 2013

The checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution have done a pretty good job over the years of preserving and protecting the majority rights and the minority rights of both our population and the governing bodies of our government.

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COLA – Telling Seniors to Tighten Their Belt, One More Time - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The government announced today that the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is going to be a small 1.5 percent for 2014.   Our government has once again asked older Americans to tighten their belts and reduce their standard of living, all because Washington can’t take care of the finances of our country.
 

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A grand Bargain May Be a Bad Bargain for Seniors - Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The politicians in Washington have shut down our government and it remains stymied as they search for a solution for our budget and our debt ceiling problems.  As they search for a way out, we are starting to hear that maybe the solution is a “grand bargain,” a solution that will fund our government, deal with the debt ceiling, and, it is rumored, may also involve tax reform and entitlement reform.

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Aging in Place, Better for You and Our Health Care System - Friday, October 04, 2013

Over the summer I've been traveling to conferences and expos that have focused primarily on the benefits of aging in place.  With all the advances in technology, you’d think we could easily delay the move to institutional care like assisted living or a nursing home.  We should be able to stay in our homes much longer than we used to, but that’s not always the case.  It seems that Washington is working against aging in place.

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Medicare Doctor Payments Set by Doctors – Can This be True? - Monday, August 26, 2013

One of the problems with America’s healthcare system is the disconnect between the patient and the cost of their services.  Medicare patients know what their supplemental insurance monthly costs are, and they know their co-pay costs for doctor visits, prescription medicine and hospital stays, but they usually have no idea what the actual costs of services or drugs really are.  This disconnect removes one of the basic drivers of the free market-- that customers can search for the best service for the best price. This artificial environment leads to the question, how are these prices set?

 

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The Immigration Bill...It’s about the Rule of Law - Monday, August 26, 2013

The Senate has passed an immigration bill that deserves some discussion, especially as we approach this Fourth of July and reflect on the foresight of our wise founding fathers.  The Senate version of the immigration bill allows illegal immigrants, people who broke our laws, to eventually gain access to Social Security and Medicare benefits.  I think this basic point deserves some discussion.

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Don’t Let Chained COLA Chain Seniors! - Monday, August 05, 2013

The sudden re-introduction of the chained Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) into the “fiscal cliff” discussions is more evidence that politicians will throw anyone under the bus as it careens down the road toward revenue city.  Washington can talk about complicated things like chained COLAs, market baskets, propensity to consume and CPI-E but older Americans know one thing, year after year, their Social Security check buys less and less.

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A self-imposed emergency is not a reason for bad decisions - Monday, December 17, 2012

We’ve all watched the classic disaster movie where an asteroid is speeding toward the earth and our leaders and a few selected heroes (played by our favorite actors) band together and literally move heaven and earth to avert the disaster and save the world.  They didn’t care what resources they used, who they put in harm’s way or what measures they took as long as they had a chance to successfully avoid the impact and the resulting disaster of the approaching asteroid.

 

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We Can’t Survive the Status-Quo - Thursday, December 06, 2012

The elections are over. Billions have been spent and we’ve watched thousands of ads. We’ve been called by hundreds of pollsters and gotten tons of mail. Now we’ve finally voted and just what do we have? We have the status-quo.

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RetireSafe Praises COLA Increase As Needed - Thursday, October 20, 2011

Washington, DC (October 20, 2011) Today RetireSafe, the voice of 400,000 older Americans nationwide, called the announced Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase for 2012, desperately needed, but far too little, too late for seniors across the land.

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Smoke and Mirrors is Not the Answer - Wednesday, July 20, 2011
  The President revealed today that cuts to Medicare and Social Security are on the table in the debt ceiling negotiations. According to the Washington Post,  President Obama will propose significant reductions in Medicare spending along with changes to Social Security as possible solutions to the debt ceiling crisis. Once again Washington seems to have chosen older Americans as the solution to their years of out-of-control spending. It’s not right and it’s a breach of trust with all Americans.

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The “COLA” Wars - Friday, April 01, 2011

A long time ago the politicians in Washington made a promise to us, not one backed up by laws but one that has been understood from the very beginning of Social Security. They promised that when we retired, the money we received from Social Security would be protected from losing its purchasing power. 

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We Won’t Give Up - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Last week U.S. Representatives John “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (TN-2) and Daniel Lipinski (IL-3), along with six of their House colleagues introduced the CPI for Seniors Act, H.R. 1086. This critical House legislation, will finally end the use of the admittedly flawed Consumer Price Index (CPI) now used to set Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), and directs the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to create a “CPI for Seniors” that is accurate, honest, and beyond reproach. RetireSafe supports this important legislation and congratulates these heroes of older Americans.

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A Chance for Action - Monday, March 14, 2011

The citizens of this country delivered a loud and clear message to Washington last November – get our spending in line and reduce the size of government. Congress has an opportunity to deliver on both points of this citizen mandate right now.

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It’s Not a Gift if They Don’t Want It - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Last Friday Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post titled, “Health-care reform, the states’ wayHer opening paragraphs assert that Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) puts states in the driver’s seat…” and she further states that, “states aren’t just participating in implementation of the law; they’re leading it.”

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Law by Bureaucracy - Sunday, February 13, 2011

Late last year, in an op-ed, I outlined the danger of letting unelected bureaucracies control us. As I said then, “This is not what the Founding Fathers envisioned; this is what they were fighting against -- the ability of a government entity, one in which they had no representation and no power to elect, having the power to affect their finances and well-being.” It was the founders fear then and my fear now that through regulations the government will institute processes that would further reduce our freedoms.

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Rhetoric Meets Reality - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The President delivered his annual “State of the Union” address Tuesday evening. The House Chamber was different as many members chose to sit with “dates” from the other side of the aisle. The President’s speech was different as well. Rather than wading through a laundry list of accomplishments from last year, and goals for next year (an approach that historically had produced a standing ovation from one side of the chamber and a dour, sit on their hands, reaction from the other side), the President attempted to stay above the fray and used different words to express his goals. The bottom line, however, seemed to be the same – just let the government solve our problems.

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Is It Real or Is It Repeal - Monday, January 17, 2011

The House is scheduled this week to vote on repealing Obamacare. Many new and returning politicians promised during their campaign that they would work to repeal the law, and they understandably want to get right to it. Obamacare will have a huge impact on our lives and I feel it is especially important to outline RetireSafe’s position on the repeal of Obamacare.

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