FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


ProtectSeniors.Org Hires Washington Lobbyist

To get something done on Capitol Hill it takes a lot of skill and experience on the ground in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC -- March 27,2006

Help is on the way for beleaguered retirees who are trying to deal with rising costs and shrinking healthcare coverage.

Last month, a group of former telephone company employees, all Association of BellTel Retirees leaders, banded together to form ProtectSeniors.Org.  This new organization is dedicated to push for passage of legislation friendly to retirees.  Specifically, ProtectSeniors.Org will focus on H.R. 1322, the Emergency Retiree Health Benefits Protection Act of 2005.

ProtectSeniors.Org took a second major step forward in their efforts to activate the more than 111,500 former fellow employees around the country, who have been deeply impacted by the cuts or out right loss to healthcare once promised them by their former employer. They hired long time Washington lobbyist Paul A. Miller to represent them and act as Chief Lobbyist for the organization.

Paul was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin. He received a BS in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Paul served as an aide to Les Aspin former U.S. Congressman.

In addition to his work for ProtectSeniors.Org, Paul serves as President of the American League of Lobbyists, an association representing the lobbying community.  Paul is very involved in the current debate in Washington on lobbying reform and has testified before Congress on the issue of Lobbying reform.

Paul also is the co-founder of the Hoops for Hope charity basketball event that pits members of Congress vs. lobbyists each year in an effort to raise money for children's charities in the Washington, D.C. area. And most recently Paul was invited by the U.S. State Department to travel to Peru to speak and work with the Peruvian government on drafting and implementing a lobbying disclosure law similar to that of the United States.

“I am very excited about the opportunity this offers me and the members of ProtectSeniors.Org,” stated Paul Miller.  “The leadership of the organization should be commended for their efforts to create an organization for the over 20 million former corporate employees who were promised healthcare and now risk having it pulled out from underneath them,” Miller added.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the organization plans to aggressively educate members of Congress as to the critical problems facing people who, at the time they need it the most, are watching their coverage shrink and their premiums soar.   “This is a national crisis of huge proportions,” said ProtectSeniors.Org President, James E. Casey,  “Corporate America is trying to solve its financial problems by shifting healthcare costs to retirees, who can least afford the additional burden and with Paul on board we believe we are in great shape to move this legislation forward,” added Casey.

H.R. 1322 would put in place protections on retiree’s company-sponsored healthcare insurance similar to those that ERISA has provided for pensions for the past 34 years.  The bill would make it illegal for companies to reduce or terminate healthcare plans or to pass additional costs on to employees once they retire.

“People worked for companies for 20, 30, 40 or more years with the promise that certain benefits would be there through their working years and into retirement.  These benefits were an integral part of the employee’s compensation package – something that they earned, just like their salary, during their careers.  “It is unconscionable to renege on those commitments,” said Casey.  “We plan to do something about this through ProtectSeniors.Org.”

“This legislation is extremely important to millions of American retirees and our job with ProtectSeniors.Org is to energize those who stand to lose or have lost portions of their healthcare benefits.  Rallying these people to understand that together we can make a difference whereas individuals we don’t have that same voice.  I would encourage everyone out there who has earned healthcare benefits and been promised them in retirement by their former company  to call us and become a part of the solution – ProtectSeniors.Org,” Miller concluded.

 


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