A message from PEF Retirees President Steve Muscarella
Retirees to hone in on health care issues
Why is the U.S. the only industrialized nation lacking a national system that guarantees affordable health care for its citizens?

American health care is an expensive, wasteful, consumes one-sixth of the American economy and is unsustainable.

Medicare, the primary insurer of the elderly, is predicted to go bankrupt by 2049 if radical changes are not forthcoming.

In 2007, 57 million Americans had difficulty paying medical bills. This affects everyone in the form of higher medical costs. Medical expenses are the primary cause of bankruptcy in our country.

Besides the moral and ethical questions of health care as a human right, this dreadful drain on our economy hurts us all. The wasted capital could fund greater research, home health care initiatives and humanitarian programs that would markedly improve senior living.

This July, the PEF Retirees will host its third annual Summer Leadership Conference, a two-day event in Binghamton. We have commitments from national and state experts to discuss health care issues.

PEF President Ken Brynien will be the keynote speaker at our opening reception and dinner July 21. We also expect U.S. Rep. Eric Massa to speak that evening.

The conference will present a series of six workshops July 22 covering a wide range of health issues. John Glaser from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare will apprise us of the latest information on those programs.

A representative from the state Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) will present current news on our health insurance coverage.

Marcus Harazin from the state Office for the Aging will discuss health care alternatives and other initiatives that would benefit the elderly population in our state.

Frank Stella from the American Federation of Teachers and John Murphy from the PEF Legislative Department will address national and state actions that affect seniors.

Blair Horner, with the New York Public Interest Research Group, will discuss ways the state could save tax dollars, including spending for prescription drugs.

All the PEF Retiree chapter presidents are expected to attend the conference along with key activists from their chapters.
For more information, contact your regional chapter president or call 1-800-342-4306, ext. 289.

Send your e-mail address to rmango@pef.org to get PEF Retirees news alerts.

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