Want to Work Until You Die?

Watch the video http://strengthensocialsecurity.org/
I’ts a humorous parody of the Twilight Zone TV show depicting our future if politicians raise the Social Security retirement age and turn Medicare over to insurance companies.

Take Action: Rally on April 27 & 28
Contact NOW’s Field Organizer, Anita Lederer at fieldorg@now.org or 202-628-8669 ext. 134.

Are you ready to work until age 69 or even longer before you can receive Social Security benefits? That could easily happen if an effort underway in Congress succeeds — Republicans are pushing for it, and some Democrats are reported to be ready to support it. But NOW is fighting back.

On Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 and 28, NOW activists and allies from across the country will demonstrate that “working until we die” is NOT ACCEPTABLE — neither are the deep benefit cuts to Social Security proposed by Republicans. Please join NOW activists and allies at one of these important Don’t Make Us Work ‘Til We Die actions to ensure that women get the benefits they have earned and don’t have to work until they drop.

Find a rally in your area. Activities are taking place in at least 18 states and more than 50 cities. And please call or email us at
fieldorg@now.org to let us know your plans; take pictures of yourself and friends at the rallies and send these in to NOW (or post them online and send us the link). A vote on this could happen in just a few weeks — we must stop this crazy idea in its tracks, and we need thousands of NOW activists to help!

Low-Income Women’s Life Expectancy Decreased:
Republicans — and some Democrats — think there is nothing wrong with raising the retirement age, because they have the mistaken view that life expectancy for everyone has increased. In fact, life expectancy for women has stagnated, with lower-income women seeing declines in life expectancy. Millions of working women cannot lift tons of weight (as nurses do each day), wait tables, and clean houses all day, every day throughout their 60s. Continuing to undergo the serious health risks associated
with this work will impact the rest of their lives.

Benefit Cuts Would Hurt Many Women: Women in low-income occupations depend upon Social Security for the majority of their retirement income, and working longer before you are able to retire is, in fact, a deep benefit cut. This would disproportionately affect women of color, who often have a negative net worth before the age of 50; many low- and moderate-income women depend on their Social Security checks as their only source of income in retirement. Without Social Security, or with significantly-reduced Social Security benefits, many women would fall below the poverty line. If the retirement age is raised, these women will have no other choice than to work until they drop.

Destroying Medicare, Limiting Medicaid Funding: If this news isn’t bad enough, Republican extremists who control the House have passed a budget that would convert Medicare to a voucher system with limited medical expenses (no matter what a person’s health conditions required), and the vouchers would go straight to insurers. This radical Republican plan, proposed by House Budget Chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would also raise the Medicare eligibility age from its current 65 to 67.

And, they plan to convert Medicaid to a block grant program, which would result in far less federal funding available to states to
provide health care services to the poor. Medicaid is the single most important program providing reproductive health care for low-income women.

Benefits Need to be Improved, Not Cut: Our leaders ought to be working to strengthen Social Security by improving benefits, not cutting them. Many women in retirement depend upon a Social Security check of little over $1,000 per month. Many do not have sufficient savings,investments, or pension income. This is a cruel and needless plan that would punish most seniors, low- and moderate-income workers, persons with disabilities, and older workers who may develop health conditions related to working longer years. Please take up this fight with us.

To Do

NOW activists and allies are working hard to create Don’t Make Us Work ‘Til We Die actions across the U.S. to show lawmakers that we simply CANNOT — and should not be asked to — work until we die. They plan to show up at rallies with walkers, wheelchairs, white wigs and even coffins — anything to demonstrate the point.

Here’s what you can do:
Plan to attend a rally — or if there isn’t one in your city, organize one. Check online to see where rallies are being held. http://strengthensocialsecurity.org

Need help? Contact NOW’s Field Organizer, Anita Lederer at fieldorg@now.org or 202-628-8669 ext. 134. Send Anita photos of you
and your friends at the rally.
Please note, if you cannot participate in a rally on April 27 or 28 Join in on the Virtual Rally to submit your photo and take a stand against raising the retirement age.

Eleanor Smeal Keynoter for State Conference!!

More Information: Diana Egozcue, vanowpresident@hotmail.com
Contact on Friday & Saturday: 202-341-5559

New Start Time for Conference: 10 am
Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, will keynote the Virginia NOW State Conference on “The Past and Future of the ERA in Virginia.”
Saturday, April 16th, 2011
Harris Hall Auditorium at
Grace E. Harris Hall
1015 Floyd Avenue
Virginia Commonwealth University
Monroe Park Campus
Richmond, Virginia

Everyone is invited to a casual reception with Virginia NOW officers Friday, April 15, 6 pm – 10 pm, Lobby Bar, Doubletree Hotel, 301 W. Franklin Street, Richmond. Food and beverages available for purchase.

Agenda (times are approximate)
10 am – Business Meeting
10:45 am – Keynote: Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, &
Alice Cohan, Political Director of the Feminist Majority
12:15 pm – Lunch on your own
1:30 pm – Feminist Majority film on rape, followed by discussion
2:30 pm – “Turning Virginia Around in the Next Election” – Eleanor Smeal

This is a very special opportunity to strategize about passing the Equal Rights Amendment with Ellie – the nation’s leading feminist activist and leader of the movement to ratify the ERA – and Alice Cohan, legendary feminist organizer and activist.

On-site registration
Check made out to Virginia NOW or cash; no credit cards.
NOW members:$40. Sliding scale available.
Students: $10. Sliding scale available.
Non-members: $40 (can apply to one-year membership).
VA NOW policy: We are committed to equality. No one is ever turned away for financial reasons!

The Doubletree Hotel is the conference hotel.
(804) 644-9871

Gov. McDonnell’s 11th-Hour Attack on Reproductive Health Care in Virginia

Gov. McDonnell has just added a sweeping anti-abortion amendment to a bill that will create a health insurance exchange (marketplace) as part of health care reform. We have until “veto day” – Wednesday April 6 – to stop it.
Check out the Washington Post story on this

The provision will ban coverage of abortion (except in very limited cases) on the Virginia exchange. It will affect women of all income levels who obtain insurance on the exchange: it will ban coverage of abortion in government policies, subsidized policies, policies that women get from their employers, policies that women purchase with their own money, and riders to policies. In short, it will eliminate insurance coverage of abortion for millions of Virginia women who will use the exchange (when it begins to operate in 2014).

Please take action – contact your state Senator, whether or not he/she is pro-choice.

Tell him/her you oppose Gov. McDonnell’s amendment to ban coverage of abortion on the state insurance exchange.
Women do not want or need to be told how to spend their private insurance dollars.
Private insurance companies do not need to be told what they can and cannot offer.
Click here for contact information for your Senator.

Check the Virginia NOW facebook page for updates.

We need to put pressure on Senators NOW – especially the Democrats!! Remember, we only have until Wednesday April 6 – “veto day” – to stop this.

Background: A majority must vote to accept the amendment for it to become part of a new law. The anti-choice GOP majority in the House of Delegates supports it. But we have a chance in the Senate. Democrats – who hold a narrow majority in the Senate – will likely fight the amendment if we demand they do so! The problem: two Democrats in the Senate generally vote for abortion restrictions. If both vote to accept the amendment, the chamber would be split 20 to 20 and Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling would break the tie by voting for the amendment.

This is what happened with the vote that resulted in the passage this year of the medically unnecessary TRAP bill (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers), which is intended to shut down clinics. Don’t let this happen again! Act now!

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