SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER
Published Monthly except July and August
22 – 02 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees February 2022
FEBRUARY CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY FEB. 14, 2022 - 11:30 AM ZOOM MEETING information below under “Dates for your Calendar” PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson
Results of the first government-wide pulse survey, which provided a quick snapshot of how federal employees feel about their workplace, were recently released. The Biden administration sent ten questions to two million employees across 24 agencies. According to Pam Coleman at the Office of Management and Budget, this first survey focused on three topics: (1) navigating the ongoing pandemic and safe return to physical workplaces; (2) equity and inclusion; and (3) employee engagement and burnout. Answers to most questions ranged from “neutral” to “somewhat agree.” You can go to NARFE.org and follow the links to find the survey results.
The Office of Personnel Management recently instructed all Federal Employees Health Benefits plan carriers to cover at-home, over the counter COVID-19 tests in accordance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This coverage must be provided without imposing any cost-sharing requirements, prior authorization, or other medical management requirements. However, FEHB plans are not responsible for tests necessary for employment purposes. National Public Radio reported (01/24/2022) that original Medicare cannot pay for at-home tests through this program.
Because of current COVID numbers in Spokane County, your Chapter Board recently decided that our membership meetings will return to zoom until further notice. We are more concerned about maintaining your health than comingling with friends in a public space. You will find information within this newsletter about joining our meeting. I hope to see you then.
Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at email@example.com if you have any questions regarding Spokane Chapter 32.
LEGISLATION Roger Bosky
A bill (H.R. 6398) was just introduced to provide a 5.1% raise to Federal employees for 2023. This year the raise was only 2.7% (with locality) which hardly keeps up with inflation.
This is another positive note. Beginning on January 1, 2022, there will be no “surprise” billing. Consumers now receive protection against these surprises when getting emergency care, out of network care, and emergency services.
In the meantime, the bills that NARFE fought for last year are still on the Congressional back burner. The WEP / GPO bill (HR 82) has picked up 247 co-sponsors. HR 4315, which would provide for the use of the CPI-E in computing retiree COLAs, is awaiting action. Postal Reform legislation (HR 3076) has been in committee since May 2021. These bills affect us all, and we need to tell Congress to move along on these issues.
More and more Federal employees are returning to the workplace. Once again, they must balance the demands of public service and the health of themselves and their families. We hope for a safe return.
ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg
How an Unproven Alzheimer’s Drug Got Approved -
NY Times July 19,2021
Though some of its own senior officials said there was LITTLE evidence of benefit for patients, the F.D.A. nonetheless greenlighted Biogen’s Aduhelm, or aducanumab.
Two months before the Food and Drug Administration’s deadline to decide whether to approve Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab, a council of senior agency officials resoundingly agreed that there wasn’t enough evidence it worked.
January 23, 2022, Wall Street Journal
This month along came The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ unprecedented proposal to restrict Medicare payment for a class of novel Alzheimer’s treatments. Under CMS’s proposal, Medicare will only pay for Alzheimer treatment with monoclonal’s if patients enroll in duplicative trials in which they could get assigned a placebo instead of the drug. Yet Alzheimer’s patients won’t be able to enroll in these trials unless they live near large health-care centers that have the resources to conduct them. Tough luck for seniors in Fargo. (For copies of these two articles, send request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or Google the two separate articles.)
PAST VICE PRESIDENT Arlene Patton
F-100 Be Prepared for Life’s Events
While one’s death is a difficult topic to discuss, reviewing this information your family will help them to understand the steps they will need to take. You should ensure that your family member review the F-100 guide with you and know where it is located. You also should review the guide periodically to ensure that the information is up to date.
The F-100 guide is available on the NARFE.org website.
PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch
In February, Professor Candace Correiaof Whitworth University, an expert in taxes and bankruptcy. She has her Juris Doctorate and Masters in Taxation Degrees from Gonzaga University. Candice will be offering some insights into the history of taxes, changes for filling out your 2021 income tax, the fate of social security, and the financial health of our nation since Covid. Come with your questions about taxes, why Washington doesn’t require state income tax, and whether the rich should be taxed higher than they presently are.
Future programs include Zoom presentations from People’s Memorial Association about funeral choice, education and advocacy, a report from the Sleep Lab at WSU, and a look at the integrity and security of Washington state’s elections, including vote-by-mail. Stay tuned.
NARFE is more than just a great magazine. Let them know.
Promote NARFE anytime you can. The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits and retirement.
NARFE = YOUR BEST BET FOR THE FUTURE
SUNSHINE Susan Harvey
Today is Day 7 of the Lunar New Year celebration for the Year of the Water Tiger!
REMINDER, spouses can be members OR can take over the membership of a deceased member. If you are interested in continuing this very valuable membership, please contact Scott Robinson. He is currently recruiting for a Membership Chair. If you are interested, please contact him.
The Chapter is sending birthday and anniversary wishes to all who celebrate in February 2022.
The year has started with much sadness.
Anne Kush, immediate Past Federation Treasurer, passed on January 19. Her obituary is viewable at yahnandson.com, services will be held on February 12 in Auburn.
Past Regional Vice President, Lanny Ross, lost his wife, Jean, on January 12. They reside in Bremerton.
Chris Boettger and Jo Steiger recently lost Chris’ brother, George. He resided in Hawaii.
Gary and Mary Rohner recently lost Gary’s sister-in-law, Michele Rohner. She and her family reside in the Spokane Valley.
If you become aware of good news, illnesses, surgeries, or a death of a member or family member, please contact me at 509-953-6828.
NARFE-PAC MaryAnn Bosky
You can contribute to NARFE-PAC contribution form in the NARFE magazine or by sending a check, made out to NARFE-PAC to our post office box. The address is: NARFE, PO Box 4592, Spokane, WA 99220.
The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits/retirement. We are speaking to all members not just those retired.
PROGRAM IDEAS If you any ideas as to topics for future chapter meetings, be sure to write or call Chris and Joanne at email@example.com or (907) 350-9866. We want to remain responsive to members’ interests.
DATE FOR YOUR CALENDAR
FEBRUARY CHAPTER MEETING | MONDAY FEB. 14, 2022- 11:30 AM
To Join the Zoom Meeting: https://bit.ly/NARFEZoomLink
SPOKANE SERVICE CENTER Narfe0032@gmail.com 509-624-9465 Meeting ID: 839 6653 2738
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SERVICE & OUTREACH Kathy Brooks
We are holding our plans for the 2022 Pre-Retirement Seminar for a few months. The class will depend on the pandemic schedule. Keep checking in with us, for the schedule.
The Chapter is looking for a Membership Chair. If you are interested, please contact any of the Officers or Directors. Come be a part of a great group of people fighting for your benefits.
Spokane Washington Chapter 32 SPOKANE SERVICE CENTER Narfe0032@gmail.com 509-624-9465
PO Box 4592
Spokane, WA 99220
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 32
ELECTED OFFICIALS President Joseph R Biden Jr. 202-456-1414 www.whitehouse.gov Senator Patty Murray 10 N. Post, Suite 600 Spokane, WA 99201 509-624-9515 www.murray.senate.gov Senator Maria Cantwell 920 W. Riverside Ave., Suite 697 Spokane, WA 99201 509-353-2507 www.cantwell.senate.gov Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers 10 N. Post, 6th Floor Spokane, WA 99201 509-353-2374 www.mcmorris.house.gov