About the General Motors Retirees Chapter (GMRC)
The NRLN General Motors Retirees Chapter (GMRC) was launched on September 18, 2014 at a breakfast meeting in Troy, Michigan attended by 134 GM retirees and spouses. GMRC is reaching out to General Motors retirees and future retirees so it can increase Grassroots Network Members’ participation in advocating federal legislation to protect retirement income security and reduce health care costs. At the top of most GM retirees’ list of concerns are Social Security and Medicare protection and reducing the cost of prescription drugs. The Chapter brings together GM retirees and future retirees who want to unite their common interests in having a voice in Washington, D.C. by advancing the NRLN’s Legislative agenda to benefit GM retirees and all of America’s retirees.
The GMRC’s founding leadership team includes:
- Larry Hice (firstname.lastname@example.org), President
- Darla Freeman (email@example.com) VP – Communications
- Michael McDermit (firstname.lastname@example.org) GMRC Development Support
Why the NRLN / GMRC Is Relevant to GM Retirees
GM terminated health care at age 65 but added $300/month per retiree or surviving spouse to pensions, replaced pensions with lump sums or Prudential annuities, life insurance was reduced to $10,000 for retirees of record on 8/1/2009 and as of 1/1/2014 life insurance was terminated for all other current and future retirees. Here is what’s left to protect:
Social Security – The NRLN is lobbying for the passage the Social Security 2100 Act. It would ensure funding the program for the next 75 years and change the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) from the current CPI-W pegged to urban wage earners’ living expenses to CPI-E (Elderly) based on older Americans’ spending patterns, including medical costs.
Medicare – The NRLN is lobbying to add a low out-of-pocket cap to original Medicare. Far too many seniors in original Medicare are forced to go without critical health care because they cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs. With this additional benefit, original Medicare would be on a more level playing field with Medicare Advantage plans which are required to have an out-of-pocket cap. The NRLN is also advocating that vision, hearing and dental benefits be added to Medicare.
Immunizations for Seniors – The NRLN is supporting passage of the Protecting Seniors Through Immunizations Act that would provide Medicare beneficiaries access to all recommended vaccines at no additional cost. Some immunizations are covered under Medicare Part B without any out-of-pocket costs, while some vaccines covered under Medicare Part D require significant out-of-pocket costs.
Trust Act – The NRLN is opposing the TRUST Act which would create “rescue committees” for Social Security and Medicare that would operate outside of the regular order of Congress, behind closed doors, and the committees’ recommendations would be fast-tracked for votes without amendments on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Funding needs to be increased for the Social Security Trust and Medicare Trust, but the policies should not be made without public Congressional hearings and behind closed doors.
Inpatient Rule – The NRLN is lobbying for passage of the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act which would fix an arbitrary Medicare rule that patients who receive hospital care on “observation status” do not qualify for the benefit of skilled nursing care, even if their hospital stay lasts longer than three days and even if their care team prescribes it. Under current Medicare policy, a beneficiary must have an “inpatient” hospital stay of at least three days for Medicare to cover skilled nursing care. Patients on “observation status” are either forced to return home without the treatment they have been prescribed, or, as often happens, they believed they were an “inpatient” and are unexpectedly billed astronomical amounts after their stays in a skilled nursing facility.
Prescription Drugs – We are lobbying for bills to reduce the price of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to do competitive bidding, end pay-for-delay and other brand name drug makers’ tactics that keep generics off the market and support importation of less expensive drugs that meet FDA safety standards.
Telehealth – Telehealth has been a critical lifeline for millions of retirees who needed care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NRLN is lobbying to make sure that telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries is made permanent.
Taxes – The NRLN advocates legislation to amend the tax code to eliminate federal and state taxes on all Social Security income and/or allow a tax credit for taxes withheld
GM Retirees Chapter President’s Message
Volume 1, Number 4)
To: General Motors Retiree Chapter Members
From: Larry Hice, President, GMRC
Subject: Take Action After Viewing NRLN Report Card
In late November, “Regional Grassroots Vice President of the National Retiree Legislative and Bob Martina, NRLN Vice President – Grassroots, sent emails to NRLN grassroots advocates in the NRLN’s 11 Regions requesting that they review the NRLN Report Card for their state and take action. I want to encourage you to review the Report Card if you have not already done so and to use the information on the Report Card to communicate with your members of Congress.
Click here: Click on your state on the USA map to access the webpage for your members of Congress. (If this link doesn’t work, copy and paste it into your browser.)
Once at your state’s webpage choose your U.S. Representative or Senators to see his/her individual Report Card at the bottom of his/her webpage. If you want to see your whole state’s delegation click on the link below the state flag on the webpage for an EXCEL files download. The bills listed have links to more information on each bill on both individual reports and state summaries.
The NRLN reviews all bills being introduced in Congress for applicability to the NRLN‘s legislative goals. If a bill is relevant it is tracked as to who is co-sponsoring each bill. The Report Card shows how your members of Congress are doing on these bills.
If your Representative and/or Senators are not co-sponsoring these bills important to retirees, we urge you to contact them to request their support. Your communications with your legislators can be done in a variety of ways. To see the options the NRLN makes available to you click here.
Easy ways outlined on this webpage are to compose your own message and send it via the NRLN website or to use Facebook or Twitter. If you can, it is always recommended that you take a few minutes to call the local office or stop in there to make your views known – hand your Representative or Senators or their staffs copies of their Report Card.
Please use the option(s) you feel most comfortable in using. What is important is that you take action to communicate with your members of Congress. Also, share this email with your friends and invite them to sign up at www.nrln.org to receive NRLN emails.
Remember to watch for NRLN Action Alerts on retirement issues or bills introduced in Congress and always take action on these. This action is very important because it makes your voice heard.
Larry Hice, President, GMRC
Become an NRLN/GMRC Individual Member by making an annual contribution of $25, $50, $75 or more. Any amount you can contribute will be appreciated. You may make your check or money order payable to NRLN, Inc. and mail it with the Contribution Form below. Or, make your contribution with your credit card on the NRLN website at www.nrln.org. Click on the “Join Us” tab on the home page and select “Support the NRLN.” Or click here.
National Retiree Legislative Network – General Motors Retirees Chapter Contributions Form
The NRLN is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Contributions are not tax deductible.
Click here to access and print the contribution form.
Mail this form with your check or money order (no cash please) for $25, $50, $75 or more (any amount will be appreciated) payable to:
P.O. Box 18757
Washington, D.C. 20036-8757.