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NOW Action Alert

Want to Work Until You Die?

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Take Action: Rally on April 27 & 28

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:

  1. 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 OR,
  2. Watch a short video that is 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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