SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER
Published Monthly except July and August
21 – 07 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees September 2021
SEPTEMBER CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY SEPT. 13, 2021 - 11:30 AM Darcy’s Restaurant 10512 E Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley, WA 99206 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson
I’m hoping everyone had a good summer despite the HEAT and smoke, which leads me to my first topic of sharing. Have you prepared an Evacuation Plan for your house in the event of a fire or other natural disaster coming your way? Tami and I prepared ours. I counsel you to write it in bullet format and be no longer than one page. You want to take only the essentials with you at the last minute. You don’t want to think about this or that when the Deputy Sheriff comes knocking at your door and says, “You MUST leave now.” We also prepared a 3-ring binder that holds all our essential papers, including passports, in one place. We call it the Grab and Go binder.
Share item number two is for those of you who subscribe to BlueCross BlueShield Basic Plan. Have you requested reimbursement for your Medicare Part B premiums? You are entitled to $800 for yourself and $800 for spouse if both of you pay Part B premiums. Tami and I received our reimbursements this summer. We also subscribe to FEDVIP’s Delta Dental and VSP Vision Care, which works well for us.
The Coeur d’Alene NARFE chapter recently closed their doors, and four of their members transferred to the Spokane chapter. I welcome you aboard and hope you can participate with our regular meetings. Our chapter will return to regular in-person meetings beginning in September. If you are reading this newsletter, then you also have the time and place to join us. This decision remains fluid because COVID may force us to return to Zoom meetings. I hope to see you there.
Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding Spokane Chapter 32.
SPOKANE SERVICE CENTER Narfe0032@gmail.com 509-624-9465
DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
SEPTEMBER CHAPTER MEETING
MONDAY SEPT. 13, 2021 - 11:30 AM
10512 E Sprague Ave.
Spokane Valley, WA 99206
LEGISLATION Roger Bosky
With Congress dealing with so many issues like infrastructure, voting rights, COVID, Afghanistan and the January 6, 2021, raid on the Capital, etc., there hasn’t been much energy left to deal with the issues affecting Federal employees and retirees.
The Government Pension Offset/ Windfall Elimination Provision (HR82) has gathered a lot of co-sponsors (213). But there is only a slight chance of passage. The same is true of the Equal COLA bill (HR304). Another bill, Fair COLA for Seniors (HR4315) would revise how our COLA’s are computed. It would stop using the CPI-W, and instead use the CPI-E which gives a greater weight to items affecting seniors, like medical care costs.
The Postal Reform Bill has a much greater chance of passage, but it contains a provision which includes Medicare eligible employees and retirees who do not elect to receive Medicare with a new postal health plan. This would likely increase the cost of our Federal Health Plans. NARFE is opposed to this provision.
Every now and again a story comes along that reminds me of why I am proud to have been a Federal Employee. The New York Times published an excellent account of how career employees of the Census Bureau resisted an effort of politicize the accuracy of the Census Bureau’s data. The article can be found HERE.
PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch
Can’t wait to meet in person, although the Delta variant has spoiled the celebration a bit. September’s meeting will be an informal one with a three-prong focus. We’ll be asking those who attend:
1) What did you learn from the pandemic? How have you navigated the last 16-18 months? What were the worst and best aspects of the pandemic?
2) It has been many years since we did a survey of members regarding topics for future programs. What topics are of interest to you?
3) Part of the mission of NARFE is supporting our membership and other federal employees. How can the chapter help our membership and other federal employees in our community? Do you know someone in need of periodic transportation, medical supplies (walkers, wheelchairs, etc.), or other assistance? Our members may be able to help.
Kathy Brooks has agreed to facilitate addressing these three questions during our September meeting, so please think about them and come prepared to reconnect with fellow members.
Ann Ozuna, Federal Retirement Counseling, will be joining us for our November
meeting to talk about federal health benefits and the new “Washington Long Term Care Act.” Stay tuned for news of October’s speaker.
VICE PRESIDENT Arlene Patton
The annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) runs from October 4, 2021, to January 15, 2022. Starting September 1st information is available on their website Cascadia CFC.org. You can click on the blue button to donate online. For information or assistance in making a CFC donation contact John Guilbeault @ email@example.com or call 509-710-6778.
Chapter 32 membership, as of August 31, 2021, is 274 Chapter members and National only membership 205 for a total of 479 members. The M-112 activity report, for the last two months (June 15th – August 15th) reports the following activity. 1 new Chapter member, 6 members dropped for non-renewal, 1 member passed away (Elinor A Johnson), 4 members transferred into Chapter 32 (Terry Harwood, Richard Patterson, Orval Paul Mortensen and Pamela Moser) all from the Coeur d’Alene Chapter. 2 new prospective members, 14 members renewed. New prospective members were sent information about NARFE and Chapter 32. Transfer Coeur D’Alene members were sent a welcome letter, copy of Chapter 32’s newsletter and encouraged to attend Chapter meetings.
The 2021 Spokane Health Fairs are being planned for the week of October 25 – 29, 2021. Eleven (11) health fairs are planned for the Spokane area. Health Insurance Reps. are hoping that this year’s fairs can be held in person. NARFE is welcome to set up a table at the 11 fairs. Will need volunteers to work each table and distribute NARFE information. Please let me know if you are interested in helping. Health Fairs are a great recruitment opportunity. I will have the NARFE information at the October 2021 Chapter meeting.
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.
We are looking for an energetic member willing to become the Membership Chairperson. Contact Scott Robinson if you are interested.
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
Okay folks, we have had a LOT of sunshine and very hot weather for summer. We are now in the throes of the seasons thinking about changing; the weather has cooled, the nights are pleasant, RAIN came, and the breezes are back.
Chapter 32 sends birthday and anniversary wishes to all who celebrate in July, August and September. Stay safe, wear sunscreen, enjoy the changing seasons, and take time to sniff the flowers.
We did receive word that Elinor Johnson has passed. Condolences have been sent to her family. The Rohner’s have again suffered a loss. Gary’s uncle, Jerry Fischer, recently passed.
REMINDER, spouses can be members OR can take over the membership of a deceased member. If you are interested in continuing this unbelievably valuable membership, please contact Scott Robinson. He is currently recruiting for a Membership Chair. If you are interested, please contact him.
If you become aware of good news, illnesses, surgeries, or a death of a member or family member, please contact me.
ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg
Cut Aducanumab Cost, Speed Confirmatory Research
Biogen, the manufacturer of the controversial drug for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) aducanumab (Aduhelm) needs to cut its $56,000 annual cost and speed the pace of research to determine whether the medication keeps the disease at bay.
These are among the key recommendations of a report released today by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).
ICER also warned against promotions for aducanumab that would increase public expectations for the medication that exceed what the existing body of evidence shows.
Medscape Medical News
Kerry Dooley Young
August 05, 2021
SERVICE & OUTREACH Kathy Brooks
As I write this article, we are holding our Yard Sale. There have been quite a few visitors and many sales. Here’s hoping we make a lot of money for the chapter. UPDATE – We had a successful sale. Thank you to everyone who donated items and especially those who helped with the sale. I have been able to donate many of the remaining items to the Catholic Charities Rapid Rehousing Unit. They assist people with settling into housing. Our kitchen, furniture and other household items are very much appreciated.
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.
Message from Linda Silverio, Region IX Vice President
This is to inform you that, for personal reasons, I will NOT be running for a second term as your Region IX Vice President, (representing Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) as I will be moving out of the region and therefore ineligible. My term will expire December 31, 2022. I will not be moving until after that date so that I can fulfill my duties to you and NARFE.
If you are interested in this position, please check the Spokane NARFE website for more information.
Spokane Washington Chapter 32
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