Published: January 16, 2007
Washington, D.C. – Today, three of the nation's leading consumer, business and labor organizations announced that they will work together to urge action from political leaders in a partnership called Divided We Fail. AARP, Business Roundtable and SEIU will use the influence of their over 50 million combined memberships to amplify the message that attaining health and long-term financial security is vital for all Americans and these issues must be included in the national political debate.
Divided We Fail is a national effort designed to engage the American people, elected officials and the business community to find broad-based, bi-partisan solutions to the most compelling domestic issues facing the nation – health care and the long-term financial security of Americans. The partnership will encompass traditional grassroots work, advertising in national outlets and in the primary states, and online activities which will engage the public, business and elected officials in the debate, encouraging public leaders to offer solutions.
"We are here today to put political leaders on notice that Divided We Fail's joint membership--representing over 50 million Americans--are demanding action on critical domestic issues," said Bill Novelli, AARP's CEO. "We all agree that the health and long-term financial security crisis in America needs to be addressed by our political leaders and these individuals need to be held accountable for taking these issues on."
"High health care costs threaten the long-term prosperity of America's consumers, the economy and businesses," said John J. Castellani, Business Roundtable President, "They are a top concern of America's business leaders, and we're pleased to join AARP and SEIU today to catalyze new thinking, and to urge our nation's leaders to help find solutions."
"The winds of change are blowing," said Andy Stern, International President of SEIU. "The rising cost of health care is not just a problem – it's a crisis; and this partnership is evidence that Americans from all backgrounds are ready for fundamental, not incremental change."
Novelli summed the efforts up by saying, "Congress and the President must act soon before our options become too few and the costs prohibitive. None of us can do this alone – this partnership is vital to the success of realized real change. United we succeed, divided we fail."
More information about these efforts can be found at the newly launched website, http://www.dividedwefail.org/.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50 + educators; and our website, www.aarp.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Business Roundtable (www.businessroundtable.org) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with $4.5 trillion in annual revenues and more than 10 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and represent over 40 percent of all corporate income taxes paid. Collectively, they returned $112 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy in 2005. Roundtable companies give more than $7 billion a year in combined charitable contributions, representing nearly 60 percent of total corporate giving. They are technology innovation leaders, with $90 billion in annual research and development spending - nearly half of the total private R&D spending in the U.S.
With 1.8 million members, SEIU (www.seiu.org) is the fastest-growing union in North America. Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest health care union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union.