About the Pacific-Mountain State Chapter Officers:
Regional Vice President
Regional Grassroots Director
Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington
The Pacific Mountain West Region was established to serve the interests of retirees and seniors of the states of Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Oregon, Utah and Washington have individual Chapters and how to reach them is below:
Idaho and Montana Chapters had been named, but they do not have webpages. If you have an interest in working on a Chapter, please contact Judy Stenberg at VP-NRLN@NRLN.org.
If you are Century Link retiree or have a vested pension interest in Century Link you can go to the Oregon, Utah, or Washington Chapters listed above for Century Link information.
Anyone can join any of the Chapters or the Pacific Mountain West Region regardless of where they live, what company they work for, or retired from, or are an interested individual.
Click here to join one the Chapters. Scroll down in the “Name of Retiree Association or Chapter” window and select NRLN Oregon, Washington, Utah. Idaho, Montana Chapter. If you are in Alaska or Hawaii, identify your state.
Following is important information.
Emails from the NRLN-if you are not receiving Chapter and NRLN emails, send an email to email@example.com or call toll free 866-360-7197
Alerts needing your action now (If you have taken action—Thank you!) Click here to access NRLN Action Alerts.
NRLN Facebook Page will tell you about the work the NRLN is doing on your behalf. If you have a Facebook account, click here to access the page.
Reduced Drug Cost—Check GoodRx (That is all you have to type in your browser.) to obtain a coupon for a reduced price if the drug is available. Click here to access the NRLN Useful Links webpage for other useful information for seniors.
You should know who represents you in Congress (for Oregon, Utah, and Washington go to the Chapters websites listed above). Below are their names and Washington D. C. phone numbers for Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii and Montana.
Type in your street address and zip and click GO. The names and phone numbers of your members of Congress will appear.
|Idaho||Russ Fulcher (District 1)||202-225-6611|
|Mike Simpson(District 2)||202-225-5531|
|Hawaii||Ed Case (District 1)||202-225-2726|
|Tulsi Gabbard (District 2)||202-225-4906|
Judy Stenberg’s Report To You
Judy had meetings on Capitol Hill on September 24 and 25, 2019 during the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) fall Fly-In to Washington, DC. She met with the lead staff for Senators Jeff Merkley (OR), Patty Murray (WA), and Ron Wyden (OR). She also met with the lead staff for Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Adam Smith (WA-09), Pramila Jayapal (WA-09) and Suzan DelBene (WA-01). There were four issues discussed.
Medicare Advantage Plans
There are concerns about these MA Plans. Since from 1997 to 2018 the government has paid out $380 in subsidies. In the years 2019-2020 Congress passed the 2018 Bipartisan Balance Budge Act authorizing Health and Human Services to add Medicare Advantage benefits costing $16.5 billion a year. This spending was for chronic care products and services such as changing air filters and shampooing carpets for at-home Asthma patients and much more. Whether these kinds of services will truly make a difference for people is up for debate. None of these added benefits are given to the 38.2 million seniors that are on Original Medicare A and B plans. It is only going to the 21.3 million in Medicare Advantage Plans. It is discriminatory.
The NRLN asks the following of Congress and the President to do the following.
Grandfather the 21.3 million seniors in MA plans, because the plans were purchased in good faith.
Ask for a government review to investigate the financials of MA and Original Medicare with and without subsidies.
Make all 2019 to 2020 subsidies (air filters, meals, etc.) available to the 38.2 million in Original Medicare to eliminate discrimination.
Reduce the annual $85 billion in Medicare and Medicaid wrong and improper payments (use the savings to eliminate the 75 year deficits of Medicare A and B).
NRLN Supports Bills to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices
Again Judy stressed, in no uncertain terms, how angry their constituents are about the drug crisis. She pointed out to each person she met with, whether the Representative or Senator had co-sponsored the drug bills that the NRLN urges Congress to pass. Judy told them again about the NRLN Report Card for each member of Congress and that these report cards are on the NRLN website for all to see.
Competitive Bidding on Prescription Drugs
The meetings included statements that Congress must enact a policy that mandates Health and Human Services to implement a competitive bidding model that will permit direct purchasing of prescription drugs from manufacturers. This does not create a bigger government, it will make HHS more efficient and saves Medicare billions annually. We noted that our members retired from over 300 U. S. companies and public entities with hands-on business experience in developing, producing, and delivering American goods and services at high quality world class standards. The NRLN applies this expertise to recommending public policies that protect senior income and healthcare (Medicare and Drugs).
Passage of Social Security 2100 Act
The Social Security Trustees’ report in April, 2019 states that beginning in 2020 Social Security will pay more in benefits than it takes in from taxes and interest income. Social Security will deplete its reserve fund in 2035. The projections are that there will only be enough revenue to cover 77% to 79% of benefits.
The NRLN did an extensive review of the Social Security bills that have been introduced in Congress and determined we should support the passage of H.R. 860 / S. 269 (the Social Security 2100 Act). Passage of this Act will ensure solvency of the program for 75 years, provide an increase of about 2% across the board and cut income taxes on Social Security benefits for about 12 million middle–income Americans.
To pay for the Act there would be a raise in the payroll tax rate starting 2020 so that by 2043 workers and employers each would pay 7.4% instead of the 6.2% they pay today. And a payroll tax rate would be imposed to a current earnings amount above $400,000.
Please go to http://nrlndev.org/action-alert/#/home/ to take action in telling your Representative and Senator to support the pass H.R. 860 and S. 269 to save Social Security.
Pension Plan De-Risking
Judy chose to bring up corporate de-risking again. As reported before, many companies are planning to sell their pensions to insurance companies for annuities in the near future. If companies makes this move you will become a single annuitant and you will lose all of your government protections through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
The NRLN advocates that when a full plan termination takes place retirees should have 90 days’ notice prior to a plan termination, the option of rejecting an annuity buyout individually, and the NRLN has outlined safe harbors, which must be put in place to protect those that take annuities.