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Mission: RetireSafe is a grassroots organization that advocates and educates on behalf of America's seniors on issues regarding Social Security, Medicare, health and financial well-being. RetireSafe expects its government to keep its promises, protect our nation, and maintain the safety and personal freedoms of its citizens* This organization profile has been set up by POPVOX.
February 2, 2012 – Representing 400,000 senior citizen supporters across America, RetireSafe welcomes the introduction of the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales (PARTS) Act by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), two members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
The bill, which protects competition in the automotive aftermarket, would continue to provide seniors with affordable alternative collision repair parts when repairing their cars after an accident. Without this legislative fix, consumers would absorb $1.5 billion in additional repair costs. Those who cannot afford to pay those costs may be forced to forgo repairing their vehicles, resulting in both a personal and a public safety risk. In some cases, the higher costs would lead insurers to declare more damaged vehicles as “total wrecks.” This will force consumers to buy newer vehicles and pay higher insurance premiums.
“Most seniors live on fixed incomes,” said RetireSafe President Thair Phillips. “If they can’t afford to fix their cars when they get into an accident, they may have to quit driving and thus lose their independence.” “This is an important issue for older Americans,” he continued.
“This legislation disproportionately affects any seniors on the road. Any increase in repair costs is a major burden as Social Security makes up about 41 percent of their income,” added Phillips. He concluded, “RetireSafe supports this legislation and urges seniors and all consumers who oppose car companies having a crash parts monopoly to voice their support at www.KeepAutoPartsAffordable.org ”
This critical House legislation, introduced by U.S. Representatives John “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (TN-2) and Daniel Lipinski (IL-3), along with six of their House colleagues, will finally end the use of the admittedly flawed Consumer Price Index (CPI) now used to set Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), and directs the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to create a “CPI for Seniors” that is accurate, honest, and beyond reproach. Introduced Tuesday, March 15th, H.R.1086 would mandate a broader, better, fairer CPI that would accurately measure the costs of inflation impacting older Americans everywhere.
RetireSafe President Thair Phillips called the two lead sponsors, Representatives Duncan and Lipinski, “true heroes for America’s seniors.” He noted that “Social Security beneficiaries and Military Retirees have been frozen in place with a zero COLA for two years running. While we all know health care costs have increased, food, energy, and clothing costs have also climbed.”
RetireSafe, representing 400,000 senior citizen supporters across America, called on the United States House Judiciary Committee to take swift action to pass H.R. 3059, the "Access to Repair Parts Act" sponsored by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and several of her House colleagues. "This important legislation would provide great benefit to older Americans," said RetireSafe President Thair Phillips. "We urge the House Judiciary Committee to take swift action to move H.R. 3059 towards passage," Phillips added.
Phillips cited a new Senior Center for Health and Security study (Warning! Consumers at Risk! Will America's Seniors Lose the Right to Repair Their Cars and Buy Affordable Repair Parts) in noting the critical nature of the legislation for seniors. The study (available at http://www.seniorsf...10_autowarning.asp) cites the monetary damage a growing collision repair parts monopoly could inflict on older drivers, drivers dependent on their cars to maintain their independence. While all consumers would suffer such a monopoly, seniors would be hit the hardest.
Phillips noted the study included this excerpt regarding common collision repair parts:
"Today the automakers control about 72 percent of the market for replacement parts, with aftermarket companies getting some 11 percent and recycled and remanufactured parts the rest. One spokesman for the Consumer Federation of America estimates alternative parts to be, on average, anywhere from 34 to 83 percent less costly than the branded parts. According to one aftermarket industry study, their replacement parts save consumers an estimated $1.5 billion each year. A repair parts patent waiver would allow these savings to continue."
Phillips continued, "Congresswoman Lofgren's Access to Repair Parts Act, H.R. 3059, would guarantee that consumers can continue to choose high-quality, low-cost alternative collision replacement parts when repairing their vehicles." "We commend the Congresswoman and her colleagues for sponsoring this outstanding legislation, and we salute the House Judiciary Committee for giving it their utmost consideration," he said.
"While car companies and car dealers have been bailed out with billions and billions of taxpayer dollars, motoring consumers are simply looking for fair treatment," Phillips stressed. "H.R. 3059 would ensure that, especially for America's seniors, and it should be passed," he concluded.