RPEC Weekly ACTION Newsletter – 1-19-2018
In This Edition
- Plan 1 COLA ACTION ALERT
- WA State Legislative Bill Summary
- Hearing Aid Bill Passes WA Senate
- UnitedHealthcare Profits Double in 2017, Will Increase in 2018
- Capitol Construction Budget Passed
Plan 1 COLA ACTION ALERT
We have good news! Bills on a Plan 1 COLA are moving in both chambers of the state legislature, but to keep this momentum, we need your help. Retirees need to turn out for the hearings next week to remind lawmakers that we need a COLA now.
The first meeting is the House Appropriations committee on Monday, January 22nd at 3:30pm. The meeting will be held in House Hearing room A in the John O’Brien Building on the Capitol campus. On the agenda is HB 2511, a one-time, 3% PERS/TRS Plan 1 COLA (capped at $750/yr).
The second meeting in the Senate Ways & Means committee on Tuesday, January 23rd at 3:30pm. The meeting will be held in Senate Hearing room 4 in the JA Cherberg building on the Capitol campus. On the agenda is SB 6290, a one-time, 3% PERS/TRS Plan 1 COLA(No cap); SB 6305, a one-time, 3% PERS/TRS Plan 1 COLA(capped at $750/yr) & PEBB Increase; and SB 6340, a one-time, 3% PERS/TRS Plan 1 COLA (capped at $750/yr).
If you have an RPEC shirt, please wear it to show our solidarity, if you don’t, stop by the RPEC Council Office on your way. We look forward to seeing you next week!
WA State Legislative Bill Summary
Here is a link to the list of bills currently of focus to RPEC: http://www.rpecwa.org/bill-summary-1-19-2018/
Hearing Aid Bill Passes WA Senate
SB 5179 – Requiring coverage for hearing instruments under public employee and medicaid programs, passed the Senate yesterday with 48 votes in favor and one excused vote. The bill now moves onto the House
UnitedHealthcare Profits Double in 2017, Will Increase in 2018
UnitedHealthcare, a for-profit health insurer and provider for AARP’s Medicare Advantage option, doubled its profit for 2017, surpassing $200 billion for the first time. It has also noted that the tax cuts for 2018 made by Congress will boost its profits by $1.7 billion due to the corporate tax rates being reduced from 37% to 24%.
UnitedHealthcare commented that “the savings will allow for investments in everything from data analytics and digital health to the application of artificial intelligence in delivering health insurance benefits,” with no mention, of course, of the possibility of lowering premiums for its subscribers.
Capitol Construction Budget Passed
The state Legislature on Jan. 18th passed the long-delayed Capital Construction Budget (SSB 6090) which contains several items that will positively impact retirees including:
Funding towards the construction of several new senior centers, upgrades to kitchen facilities for Meals on Wheels program sites, grants to build low-income housing for seniors.
Your Voice for Retirement Security!