OWL ALERT AUGUST 4: THE FOURTH AMENDMENT IS NOT FOR SALE

SITUATION: Data from apps most of us routinely use can be warrantlessly examined by the government, allowing agencies—such as the IRS, the FBI and ICE—to identify and track people without users’ knowledge.

They do this:

  • By purchasing information about individuals from commercial data brokers.
  • Without having to provide probable cause, because the laws regarding this matter were written before commercial data brokers existed, therefore not including them.

ACTION: S1265/HR2738, The Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act, has been introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D, OR), which, among other actions:

  • Ensures that intelligence agencies acquiring data on Americans do so within the framework of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
  • Requires the government to get a court order to compel data brokers to disclose data.
  • Takes away the Attorney General’s authority to grant civil immunity to providers and other third parties for assistance with surveillance not required or permitted by statute.

ACTION: The Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act is being considered by both Houses of Congress. Contact your Senators and Representatives (info below) and urge them end this massive privacy invasion by passing S1265/HR2738.

ACTION: Share this email with friends, family and colleagues.

Click HERE to find contact information for members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

OWL ALERT JULY 26: STOP THE DANGEROUS TRANSFER OF RESIDENTS OF LAGUNA HONDA

SITUATION: San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital—the largest skilled nursing home in California, and the largest publicly owned nursing home in the entire country—has been mandated to relocate more than 600 patients by mid-September, while recertification is in process.

SITUATION: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) unreasonable and inhumane demand does not take into account that:

  • Laguna Honda cares for especially fragile people;
  • When nursing home patients are forced to change location, the death rate from “transfer trauma” is high; and
  • Four people recently died shortly after being transferred!

ACTION: While efforts at recertification are underway, closure and discharges out of Laguna Honda must stop!

ACTION: Please contact federal HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and California Governor Gavin Newsom, who must be made aware that there is wide objection in the community to the removal of Laguna Honda residents from their home.

Xavier Becerra:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C.  20201
Toll free call: (877) 696 6775
Email: xavier.becerra@hhs.gov

Governor Gavin Newsom:
1021 O Street, Suite 9000
Sacramento, CA  95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Click HERE to email Gavin Newsom.

 

 

 

 

OWL ALERT JULY 22: URGE SENATE TO CONFIRM FEDERAL JUDGES BEFORE RECESS

SITUATION: The Supreme Court and conservative federal judges are waging war on our fundamental rights. 

SITUATION: We need the Senate to prioritize filling federal court vacancies, except the Senate is about to go into its month-long August recess.

It’s imperative that the U.S. Senate prioritize action on as many judicial nominations as possible while there are the votes to confirm federal judicial nominees who are diverse, qualified, and committed to the judiciary’s role in vindicating our fundamental rights.

ACTION: Please call our CA Senators and ask for the Senate to stay in session this August long enough to confirm as many judicial nominees as possible. 

MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD!

Senator Dianne Feinstein:   (415) 393 0707

Senator Alex Padilla:   (415) 981-9369

OWLSF ALERT JULY 13: BUILD SUPPORT FOR SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE IN CALIFORNIA

SITUATION: In January, lawmakers chose to delay a vote on AB 1400—the California State bill that would establish CalCare, a guaranteed, single-payer health care system for all California residents—which caused the bill to miss its legislative deadline this year.

SITUATION: We will have another chance to pass CalCAre in 2023 when the legislature reconvenes.

We need to build the necessary support to win,

AND WE NEED TO START NOW.

ACTION: Tell state lawmakers to fight the for-profit health care industry and PASS AB 1400 (see link below to identify your State Assembly Member).

ACTION: Join the CalCare Statewide Strategy call on July 14 at 6 p.m. Click HERE to register (with apologies for the extremely late notice).

ACTION: SHARE THIS ALERT with friends and family in California.

Click HERE to find your State Assembly Member and HERE to find their contact info.

OWL ALERT JUNE 29: TURNING UP THE HEAT ON MEDICARE PRIVATIZATION

SITUATION: The ACO-REACH program moves Medicare beneficiaries who are currently signed up for Medigap/Fee-for-Service Medicare into private plans with limited networks, run by investment groups (not even health care plans), and in many cases without approval or notification to the beneficiaries.

ACTION: We will never kick profiteers out of Medicare unless we ALL take action, and soon!

WE MUST TELL THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION
TO END THIS PROGRAM!

Here are five actions you can take toward this crucial goal:

ACTION 1: Call President Biden at (202) 456-1111 and demand he use executive action to end Direct Contracting and REACH today. (Note that the White House switchboard is only open from 11 am to 3 pm ET, Tuesdays through Thursdays.)

ACTION 2: Call your U.S. representative and senators using the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and demand they join the fight against Direct Contracting and REACH and stop the privatization of Medicare.

ACTION 3: Click HERE to sign and share the petition to end Direct Contracting and REACH.

ACTION 4: Celebrate Medicare’s 57th Anniversary on July 29th (actual birthday is July 30th). For those in the Bay Area, CARA will have an in-person event in front of the CMS office in San Francisco (5th and Market) on July 29th at 11am. Urge your organization to sponsor the event and CARA will send fact sheets to distribute. OWLSF is a sponsor!

ACTION 5: SHARE THIS ALERT!

OWL ALERT JUNE 10: THE THREAT OF MEDICARE PRIVATIZATION—SDA PANEL JUNE 20

SITUATION: Medicare’s ACO REACH is a major threat to this crucial service for older Americans. It allows corporations to buy medical practices, keeping profits for themselves, limiting service and excluding people without their knowledge.

ACTION: Because it is such a core issue to the values of OWLSF (in addition to our Member meeting on Saturday, June 25th at 11 a.m.), we encourage everyone to attend a Teach-In Panel Discussion on Monday, June 20th from 5 to 6:30 p.m., hosted by close San Francisco organizational ally, Senior and Disability Action.

Moderated by Dr. Ana Manilow, panelists include:

  • Barbara Commins, who will give a simple introduction to Medicare and Medicare Advantage
  • Melanie Grossman, who will offer an overview of Medicare Direct Contracting and ACO REACH
  • Claire Cohen, who will speak about what seniors and people living with disabilities can do to fight this dangerous trend.

This issue could not be more important to us, and all are encouraged to participate. Click HERE to register and receive a Zoom link. AND INVITE FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

OWL ALERT MAY 26: STOPPING GUN VIOLENCE

SITUATION:  Recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas cry out for action!  We should not be deterred from taking action by the powerful gun lobby, the unwillingness of our leaders to pass legislation, or the current atmosphere of devisiveness in the US.

Even small steps will help.

ACTION: Ask Speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi to encourage and support legislation reducing access to guns. Call, email or write to ask her to support all efforts to make our children and all of America safer from guns.

WHAT TO SAY: It is time for Congress to take action and reduce gun violence wherever possible.  Here are a number of steps Congress could take now:

  • Serious and stringent background checks with no loopholes and including “straw” purchaces and guns bought privately or at gun shows
  • Federal mandatory waiting period on all gun purchases
  • End immunity for firearm companies
  • Ban gun sales to anyone under age 21

Contact Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

San Francisco:                          Washington DC:

90 7th Street, Suite 2-800         1236 Longworth H.O.B.
San Francisco, CA 94103         Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 415-556-4862                Phone: 202-225-4965

Click HERE to email Nancy Pelosi

OWL ALERT MAY 19: STOP PRIVITIZATION OF MEDICARE

SITUATION: Seniors and the disabled continue to be moved out of traditional Medicare into Direct Contracting, now called ACO REACH.  Private medical practices are being bought up by investors who then enroll older and disabled Medicare patients from these practices into REACH without their knowledge or permission. Patients must then leave their doctors and find another practice to continue in traditional Medicare.

SITUATION: President Biden could put an end to this practice with the stroke
of a pen.

ACTION: Call, write, or email President Biden at the White House!

WHAT TO SAY:  Please preserve the right of seniors and the disabled to choose what kind of Medicare they are enrolled in.  Stop ACO/REACH and keep Wall Street out of Medicare!

Phone: 

202-456-1111 TTY/TTD 202-456-6213

Write:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Click HERE to email the White House

OWL ALERT MAY 10: END VISITATION LOCKOUTS IN SENIOR CARE

ALLOWING ACCESS TO LOVED ONES IN NURSING HOMES

SITUATION:  During the medical emergency of Covid 19, assisted living facilities and nursing homes enforced strict lockdown rules to protect residents’ health.  With careful screening and proper precautions, designated loved ones could be allowed visits, preventing loneliness and harmful isolation.

SITUATION: California State Assembly bill AB 2546 ensures procedures are set up so designated family members or loved ones can offer in-person support and care in future times of crisis.

ACTION: Call or write your Assembly Member and tell them to support Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian’s AB 2546 to prevent lockouts of important family and support persons in senior facilities during future medical emergencies.

Say, “No lockouts of vital loved ones when they are most needed!

ACTION: Tell friends and family around the State about this important issue!

Cick HERE to find contact information for all State Assembly Members, alphabetically by last name.

Click HERE to identify your California State Assembly Member.

OWL ALERT MAY 3: SUPPORT AND STRENGTHEN SOCIAL SECURITY

SITUATION:  Supporting Social Security was a key issue for the founders of OWL, and it is still important today.  Social Security needs to be updated to:

  • increase benefits,
  • clean up the many inequities in the program, and
  • put the system on a firm financial footing by increasing FICA for workers with incomes exceeding $400,000.

SITUATIONHR 5723 addresses these issues and is currently in several committees, including Ways and Means and needs to be moved forward.

ACTION:  Call or write speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in California or D.C. and tell her to immediately bring HR 5723 to a vote.  Let her know you are a member of OWL and think this is the best opportunity to bring this bill to a vote!

San Francisco: 90 7th Street, Suite 2-800,  San Francisco, CA 94103, Phone: 415-556-4862

Washington DC: 1236 Longworth H.O.B, Washington, DC 20515, Phone: 202-225-4965

Click HERE to email Nancy Pelosi
.

 

 

OWL ALERT APRIL 3: STOP SF CITY COLLEGE CUTS!

SITUATION: City College of San Francisco is preparing to lay off 50 full-time and hundreds of part-time faculty, which will lead to:

  • Cuts in classes
  • Reduced enrollment
  • Reduced state funding, and
  • A new round of cuts

SITUATION: This deadly cycle must stop. City College must be restored as a community asset serving tens of thousands of people here. 

ACTION: Sign the petition against City College layoffs and class cuts:

click HERE to sign the petition

ACTION: Pass this on to your friends.

OWL ALERT MARCH 10: POLICE MUST BE TRAINED TO HELP PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA

SITUATION: California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) penal code currently does not include training on how to effectively interact with persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, or dementia.

SITUATION: Assembly Member Kevin Mullin has introduced AB 2583, which will amend current protocol to include this missing—crucial–training.

SITUATION: AB 2583 is currently before the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee for consideration on March 21st, and, without enough support, may not make it out of committee for a vote by the full Assembly.

ACTION: Contact Public Safety Committee Chair Byron Jones Sawyer:
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0059
Tel: (916) 319-2059
Click HERE to email Byron Jones Sawyer

ACTION: Contact Public Safety Committee Vice-Chair Tom Lackey:
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA  94249-0036
Tel: (916) 319-2036
Click HERE to email Tom Lackey

ACTION: Share this message with friends and family statewide.

OWL ALERT MARCH 4: EXPAND AND PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY

Expanding Social Security is essential to keeping millions of Americans out of poverty—including hundreds of thousands of Californians.

SITUATION: U.S. Representative John Larson, (D-CT), has introduced the Social Security 2100 Act: A Sacred Trust, which will increase benefits and lower taxes of SS recipients, while ensuring that Social Security remains solvent for the rest of this century.

SITUATION: California State Senator Nancy Skinner has introduced State Joint Resolution 11, which requests California Representatives in Congress to call for a vote supporting the Social Security 2100 Act, which is crucial because:

  • A message from California—the most populous state in the nation—will be heard loud and clear, and other states will follow
  • California is home to a major percentage of U.S. citizens age 65 years and over

ACTION:  Send a letter of support for this resolution to State Senator Nancy Skinner:

1515 Clay Street, Suite 2202
Oakland, CA  94612
Phone: (510) 286-1333
Click HERE to email State Senator Skinner.
 
ACTION: Share this Alert with friends and family
 
ACTION: Contact your California State Senators and Assemblymembers:
Click HERE to find your Cal State legislators
 
ACTION: Contact your U.S. Representative:
Click HERE to find your U.S. House member

OWL ALERT FEBRUARY 20: FIGHT BACK AGAINST PREDATORY JUNK FEES

“Junk fees” are predatory. They hurt consumers.
They hit the most vulnerable hardest. And they lead to spiraling debt.

SITUATION: Credit card companies, banks, ticket vendors and other entities are charging customers myriad hidden fees related to their purchases. In 2019 alone, banks and credit card companies charged Americans almost $30 billion in late fees and overdraft charges.

SITUATION: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), headed by Rohit Chopra, is now accepting comments about the billions of dollars in junk fees that Americans pay on credit cards, bank accounts, and loans.

ACTION: Submit a public comment to CFPB if you have ever been charged unexpected fees by banks, credit card companies or other corporations. You can also help by leaving comments on Twitter or Facebook. See below for links to CFPB comments, Twitter and Facebook.

Your feedback will inform their use of rulemaking,
guidance, and enforcement tools to combat junk fees.

ACTION: Encourage friends and family to add their voices to this fight.

Click HERE to leave comments for the CFPB.
Click HERE to leave comments on Twitter.
Click HERE to leave comments on Facebook.

URGENT OWL ALERT February 9, 2022: DEMAND TRANSPARENCY IN SOCIAL SECURITY

SITUATION: MEDICARE is increasingly moving seniors and disabled people into Direct Contracting Entities (DCEs), which are private, for-profit corporations.  The President and Congress have been silent.  Even the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services administering Medicare, has not objected. 

SITUATION: We need to know the facts behind this movement and STOP it if it does not serve those Medicare is supposed to help.

ACTION:  Contact Speaker Pelosi and insist she call a halt to this process and hold fully open and transparent hearings on this important issue:

90 7th Street, Suite 2-800
San Francisco, CA 94103
phone: (415) 556-4862
https://www.speaker.gov/contact

NOTE: California Alliance for Retired Americans is holding a Valentine’s Day campaign to generate a storm of letters, emails, Facebook posts and tweets to Speaker Pelosi, demanding she stop DCEs, and hold Congressional hearings on this dangerous plan. Click here and scroll down to find out more about this campaign. OWL needs you to be a part of that campaign, but DO contact Senator Pelosi about holding open hearings, even if you miss the Feb. 14 date!

TIME TO ELECT NEW OWLSF BOARD MEMBERS–WITH YOUR HELP

OCCASIONAL PIECE – February 2022

GUIDE FOR NOMINATING AND ELECTING OWL 2022 BOARD MEMBERS.

Serving on the OWL Board is a fun and stimulating experience of real community. OWL needs new Board members to give their wisdom to the Board. There are 7 returning Board members. The current Board wants to be sure all Members understand the Election process and are urged to participate. Those for whom we have email addresses will receive this online.  All others via snail mail.

RESPONSIBILITIES FOR INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS

  • ATTEND monthly Board meetings either in person or via Zoom.
  • PARTICIPATE in 1 OWL Committee – usually a monthly meeting with perhaps some tasks for which person volunteers – might chair a committee.
  • IDENTIFY topic for OWL ALERTS for one month of each year, put in reasonable shape and send to OWLSF Office Administrator for formatting and sending out.
  • ASSUME responsibility for one or more monthly meetings according to topic chosen by the Board. This is often done by working with someone else.

NOMINATING PEOPLE FOR BOARD MEMBERSHIP

  • BE SURE ANYONE YOU NOMINATE is willing to serve on the Board.
  • DO nominate yourself if you wish.
  • EMAIL YOUR NOMINEES to Betty Traynor: btraynor@att.net, or
  • PHONE the OWL number: (415) 712-1695.

DEADLINE for Nominations is Feb 28th, 2022. List of nominees will be sent to all members after that.  Others can be nominated from the floor on 3/26/22. ELECTION OF BOARD MEMBERS will be held at the very beginning of the March meeting on March 26th, 2022.  Up to 8 people may be elected.

OWL ALERT FEBURARY 8: TAKE ACTION FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

Congress must remove the ratification deadline of the Equal Rights Amendment to get it across the finish line and added to the Constitution. 

SITUATION: This country has waited too long for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to become a part of the Constitution. More than 100 years after (some) women gained the right to vote, women and nonbinary people are still not guaranteed equality under the law.

SITUATION: First passed by Congress in 1972, in January 2020, the final state voted to ratify the ERA. Then, on March 17, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to remove the ratification timeline attached to the ERA.

ACTION: Now the Senate must act to remove its ratification timeline so it can pass once and for all.  S.J. Resolution 1 is the companion bill in the Senate that would remove the timeline. We need 60 votes to pass the resolution.

ACTION: Contact your senators and ask them to cosponsor S.J. Resolution 1 and ensure that the ERA is a part of our Constitution.

OWL ALERT JANUARY 16: SUPPORT SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE

ACTION NEEDED FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE

SITUATION: Today’s U.S. health care system is a complex, fragmented multi-payer system that leaves wide gaps of coverage and poses significant issues of affordability.

SITUATION:  AB 1400, the California Guaranteed HealthCare For All legislation—which sets in motion a single-payer health care coverage system in California—has passed the Assembly Health Committee and must pass the entire Assembly no later than January 22, 2022. 

With Medicare under attack on a national level,
it is especially urgent for California to lead the nation on behalf of healthcare.
OTHER STATES WILL FOLLOW.

ACTION: Urge Governor Newsom to support AB1400!

ACTION: Contact your Assemblymember and say urge full and vigorous support for AB 1400.

ACTION: TELL FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN CALIFORNIA

OWL ALERT JANUARY 8: MEDICARE UNDER ATTACK

SITUATION: The Trump administration launched a plan to move up to 30 million seniors and disabled people into Direct Contracting Entities without their knowledge or consent.  These DCEs are private, for-profit corporations which would be able to pocket up to 40% of what they charge Medicare, compared to 2% by Traditional Medicare providers.

SITUATION: The Biden administration is continuing this process!

 THIS IS EGREGIOUS FOR MANY REASONS! Here are just a few:

  • DCEs would generate profits by denying care and charging more.
  • They would have no Congressional oversight.
  • This is part of a movement to completely privatize Medicare by 2030.

ACTIONS:

CONTACT Speaker Pelosi at and insist she call for a halt to this process and hold hearings:

90 7th Street, Suite 2-800
San Francisco, CA 94103
phone: (415) 556-4862
https://www.speaker.gov/contact

CONTACT your own Representative and tell her/him to insist Pelosi hold hearings while forcing a pause in this process which is already underway:

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

CONTACT Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and thank him for pausing the process and sounding the alarm:

HHS Headquarters
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C.  20201
Phone: (877) 696-6775
xavier.becerra@hhs.gov

IMPORTANT:

Urge your friends across the country to
contact their own Representatives, and tell them to
STOP THE ATTACK ON MEDICARE!

ALERT DECEMBER 18: STOP DIRECT CONTRACTING ENTITIES (DCE’s) FROM TAKING OVER TRADITIONAL MEDICARE

SITUATION: In 2020, the Trump Administration launched a new policy “experiment” designed to privatize traditional Medicare. Under this model, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could move more than 30 million traditional Medicare beneficiaries into mostly commercial, for-profit plans called Direct Contracting Entities (DCE) without the enrollees’ understanding or consent.

In ways similar to commercial Medicare Advantage plans, DCEs have the potential to interfere with care decisions and waste taxpayer money when compared with the efficiency of traditional Medicare.

The Biden Administration is moving the DCE program forward, threatening the future of Medicare as we know it.

ACTIONS: 

DON’T PRIVATIZE MEDICARE, SUPERSIZE IT!

1. Call your member of Congress, Democrat or Republican: House Capital Switchboard 202-225-3121 and tell them to sign Representative Jayapal’s letter to Secretary Becerra. He has the power to end Direct Contracting Entities and protect Medicare for everyone!

2. Call the Secretary yourself: Comment line is (202) 205-5445. Put an end to Direct Contracting Entities and stop the privatization of Traditional Medicare.

3. Sign the petition to HHS Secretary Becerra:  https://pnhp.salsalabs.org/DCEpetitionSeptember2021/index.html

4. Please pass this on to your family and friends.