Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Alliance of Retired Americans Endorses John Kerry

HENDERSON, Nev., Aug. 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- John Kerry was today formally pledged the political clout of 3 million retirees when he received the endorsement of the Alliance for Retired Americans at a seniors' town hall meeting in Nevada.

Alliance President George J. Kourpias praised Kerry's leadership on behalf of seniors and the issues important to older Americans, and pledged that seniors across the country will work to elect Kerry president "because their lives depend on it."

The Alliance for Retired Americans, which lobbied against passage of the 2003 Medicare law, is a nationwide, grassroots organization that advocates on behalf of seniors. Kerry accepted the Alliance endorsement in Henderson, NV, at a town hall meeting of Alliance members.

"It's time America's seniors have a president who cares about them and fights to protect and preserve programs important to them," said Kourpias, who noted that Kerry received a 100 percent Lifetime Voting Record from the Alliance. "We need a leader who understands our needs and will protect the rights seniors worked a lifetime to earn."

"John Kerry stands with seniors and will be a 'people over profits' President. He has earned our respect and support and we will pull out all the stops to elect him the next President of the United States."

Kourpias said that the Alliance's state chapters are all geared to mobilizing their membership and will be implementing full-court election strategies that include voter registration, member education and GOTV tactics. In key senior battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada, the Alliance has on-the-ground field staff coordinating its education and mobilization plans. Kourpias noted that roughly 7 million Americans over 65 live in these five states; the same states total 83 electoral votes.

"Seniors are a formidable political force and will decide who is the next President of the United States," said Kourpias. "Not only are more seniors registered to vote than any other voting group, but they vote in greater numbers than any other of the voting-age populations."

"Seniors cast one out of every four votes cast for president in 2000. Alliance members are a powerful voting bloc to reckon with and plan to flex our political muscle come November 2. George Bush had better watch out."

Kourpias said that Bush's flawed Medicare drug benefit and the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs are energizing Alliance members and seniors throughout the U.S. this election season. He said older Americans believe Bush cares more about the needs and wants of drug companies and special interests than he does about the struggles facing middle class seniors. Older Americans know they got a raw deal from George Bush and it's their turn to give it back, he said.

"Seniors don't have a lot of time to waste and know that four more years of George Bush would be a disaster for them as well as for the future of their children and their grandchildren," Kourpias said. "We are focused, we are energized and we will put the Kerry-Edwards team in the White House."

See an interview conducted by the Alliance of Retired Americans in the comments section.


Blogger Ron Chusid said...

Alliance for Retired Americans interviews John Kerry:

Candidate John Kerry's Promise to the 'Greatest Generation'

Q. Why would you have a compact with America's seniors?

A. My father was a member of the Greatest Generation that achieved victory in World War II. This was the generation that saved the world from fascism, came home and built the great American middle class, protected our environment and created great programs like Medicare. And now, in return for their service, it is the responsibility of all Americans to make sure we do our part for America's seniors. My "Compact with the Greatest Generation" says that seniors should be able to count on Medicare and Social Security, on affordable prescription drugs and on quality options for long-term care.

Q. Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Seniors need and use prescription drugs more than any other age group. What will you do as president to make prescription drugs affordable?

A. Not only do we need a real Medicare drug benefit that offers seniors safe, low-cost prescription drugs, but we also need to cut the cost of prescription drugs. That means allowing the federal government to negotiate better prices with the drug companies and allowing seniors to get the better prices available in Canada. I'll also require pharmaceutical middlemen that do business with the federal government to clearly show what extra dollars they are receiving from the industry. As president, helping all seniors afford prescription drugs will be among my top priorities.

Q. The Alliance believes the 2003 Medicare law favors the pharmaceutical and insurance companies at the expense of older Americans. What are your concrete proposals to make it work for, and not against, beneficiaries?

A. The Bush administration's prescription drug card does not provide the kind of real discounts seniors need to afford their medications. Seniors deserve a prescription drug benefit that offers real savings instead of confusion and frustration. As president, I'll create a benefit that favors seniors - instead of the insurance and drug companies. A real drug benefit must allow the federal government to negotiate cheaper prices with drug companies, as well as require transparency in price-setting by drug companies doing business with the federal government. Also, a real drug benefit shouldn't force seniors into HMOs, as the Bush administration's drug benefit does, and it should be run by Medicare - not private insurance companies that are free to charge seniors whatever they want, all while receiving billions of dollars in federal giveaways.

Q. During the last three years, millions of older Americans have lost their retirement savings through corporate greed and schemes. What do you propose to stop these abuses?

A. I believe that we will only be able to fully revive our economy if we restore investor confidence in the markets and protect millions of Americans from the injustice they faced in the last few years at the hands of corporate greed. It is wrong for corporate greed and mismanagement to destroy the deferred wages of a lifetime of work in the form of pension savings. As president, I will require that these retirement savings are fully protected to ensure that all investors are treated fairly. I will curb late-trading and market-timing abuses by fully prosecuting Wall Street insiders that steal from American investors. And I will require more oversight to protect shareholders and increase penalties for those companies that abuse shareholders' rights.

Q. Social Security is the bedrock of economic security for retired Americans. How will you address the coming retirement of the baby boom generation and its effects on the Social Security system?

A. As president, I will defend and strengthen fundamental guarantees made to America's seniors by protecting and strengthening Social Security. I'll work to jump-start economic growth today so we'll be in a better position to pay for an increasing number of retirees. And, I will restore the basic rules of fiscal discipline and end the practice of simply passing on debt and deficits to the next generation - as this president has done by squandering the enormous surplus we had.

Q. Retirees have acquired great skills and abilities after a lifetime of work. How can they use them in service to their communities and country?

A. To help strengthen future generations of Americans, we need our seniors' help. As part of my "Compact with the Greatest Generation," I'll create more opportunities for seniors to serve their communities - from tutoring in schools to helping provide care for other seniors. When seniors spend time tutoring they free up over-strained teachers to teach, and children get extra help learning. Older Americans have the credibility and compassion to help their infirmed peers in ways that no one else can. By contributing their time and wisdom, America's seniors can and will help build a stronger America for all of us, for generations to come.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry is this bigest liar ever to grace our presents.

9:33 AM  

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