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From MoveOn.org:

Top 5 Social Security Myths

Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis.  By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T').  It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2  Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut. 

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security. 

Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share.  If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6  But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible!  By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8

Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts.  Can you share this list now?

Sources:

1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22234-6174154-xJzO1Tx&t=4

2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89704&id=22234-6174154-xJzO1Tx&t=5

3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89705&id=22234-6174154-xJzO1Tx&t=6

4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89706&id=22234-6174154-xJzO1Tx&t=7

5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89707&id=22234-6174154-xJzO1Tx&t=8

6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010
 http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/240

7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010
 http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html

8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22234-6174154-xJzO1Tx&t=9

The Danger of Declining Balance Control

Lack of balance control leads to falls. Falls lead to emergency rooms, hospitalization, nursing homes and death. One out of three people over 65 years of age fall every year, many averaging three or more per year. Maintaining good balance control is a deadly serious business.

Here is the entire article on the subject from this CDC website:
www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html

Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview

How big is the problem?

  • More than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States (Hornbrook et al. 1994; Hausdorff et al. 2001).
  • Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma (CDC 2005).
  • In 2005, 15,800 people 65 and older died from injuries related to unintentional falls; about 1.8 million people 65 and older were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries from falls, and more than 433,000 of these patients were hospitalized (CDC 2005).
  • The rates of fall-related deaths among older adults rose significantly over the past decade (Stevens 2006).

What outcomes are linked to falls?

  • Twenty percent to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to get around and limit independent living. They also can increase the risk of early death (Alexander et al. 1992; Sterling et al. 2001).
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, or TBI (Jager et al. 2000). In 2000, TBI accounted for 46% of fatal falls among older adults (Stevens et al. 2006).
  • Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls (Bell et al. 2000).
  • The most common fractures are of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand (Scott 1990).
  • Many people who fall, even those who are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, leading to reduced mobility and physical fitness, and increasing their actual risk of falling (Vellas et al. 1997).
  • In 2000, direct medical costs totaled $0.2 billion ($179 million) for fatal falls and $19 billion for nonfatal fall injuries (Stevens et al. 2006).

Who is at risk?

  • Men are more likely to die from a fall. After adjusting for age, the fall fatality rate in 2004 was 49% higher for men than for women (CDC 2005).
  • Women are 67% more likely than men to have a nonfatal fall injury (CDC 2005).
  • Rates of fall-related fractures among older adults are more than twice as high for women as for men (Stevens et al. 2005).
  • In 2003, about 72% of older adults admitted to the hospital for hip fractures were women (CDC 2005).
  • The risk of being seriously injured in a fall increases with age. In 2001, the rates of fall injuries for adults 85 and older were four to five times that of adults 65 to 74 (Stevens et al. 2005)
  • Nearly 85% of deaths from falls in 2004 were among people 75 and older (CDC 2005).
  • People 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer (Donald et al. 1999).
  • There is little difference in fatal fall rates between whites and blacks, ages 65 to 74 (CDC 2006).
  • After age 75, white men have the highest fatality rates, followed by white women, black men, and black women (CDC 2005).
  • White women have significantly higher rates of fall–related hip fractures than black women (Stevens 2005).
  • Among older adults, non–Hispanics have higher fatal fall rates than Hispanics (Stevens et al. 2002).

How can older adults prevent falls?

Older adults can take several steps to protect their independence and reduce their risk of falling. They can:

    • Exercise regularly; exercise programs like Tai Chi that increase strength and improve balance are especially good.
    • Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines–both prescription and over-the counter–to reduce side effects and interactions.
    • Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.
    • Improve the lighting in their home.
    • Reduce hazards in their home that can lead to falls.

There are many other articles on the subject such as this one from WebMD: "Seniors' Falling Injuries Are Preventable"

News about Helicopter Ambulance Services

There has been a great amount of change in the helicopter services over the past year. The two private services, Reach and Calstar, have merged and now go under the name AirMedCare. This is a benefit for us for a number of reasons such as simplified dispatching and reduced cost for two services. All of our members should avail themselves of the household membership. The following is the "About Us" page from their website.

We are proud providers in the AirMedCare Network, America’s largest air medical membership program. The AirMedCare Network is an alliance among REACH Medical Holdings (REACH Air Medical Services, Cal-Ore Life Flight, CALSTAR Air Medical Services and Sierra Lifeflight), Med-Trans Corporation, Air Evac Lifeteam, and EagleMed. Become a member of our growing community—the largest membership program of its kind in the United States. Membership costs just $65 a year for an entire household and covers out-of-pocket expenses for a medically-necessary flight by any AirMedCare Network provider. We work on our member’s behalf to secure payment for the flight from their insurance provider. Whatever benefits the insurance benefits pays will be considered payment in full. This allows patients and their families to focus on what is most important–recovery.

New memberships start 15 days after your completed application with full payment is received; however, the waiting period will be waived for unforeseen events occurring during such time.

AirMedCare Network’s providers have the most Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS) accredited providers in any membership network.