Congressional Corner Two Social Security Provisions That Need To Be Fixed
Congress has a number of options to pay for the higher benefits that drew strong support in our 2020 Senior Survey: .Second, six new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (S. 521, H.R. 141), bringing the cosponsor total up to thirty in the Senate and 163 in the House of Representatives. The new cosponsors are: Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Representative Colin Allred (TX-32), Representative Elaine Luria (VA-2), Representative Susan Davis (CA-53), and Representative Sean Casten (IL-6). .Why should seniors be saddled with the ripple effect of things they don't even buy? That just doesn't make sense. … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending February 27 2015
I've heard a lot of confusing advice on when to start Social Security. I'm divorced, single, and I turn 63 this year. I know that by waiting, my benefit will grow, but I'm not sure how much longer I will have my job. I need to augment my income now, especially to afford my health insurance costs. I don't have much in retirement savings. What are my best options? .League believes that tax reform is an opportunity to bring greater equity to the funding going into Social Security and to ensure that everyone pays fairly. .We are happy to see that the Trump administration is preparing an executive order that would require certain essential drugs and medical treatments for a variety of conditions be made in the U.S. The order comes in light of drug and device shortages during the pandemic. … Continued
This week, Members of Congress returned to their home states and districts for a week-long recess to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Monday, November 28th, to resume the lame-duck session. .In a statement that was released on Thursday, Mary Johnson – Policy Analyst for The Senior Citizens League – said: "The bottom line is that Medicare Part B premiums rise several times faster than COLAs, and those premiums are now high enough to cause the net Social Security benefits of millions of people to remain flat for years at a time … This would make the fourth year in a row that this particular group has not seen a boost in their net Social Security benefits." ."We should not allow health insurers to limit how much cost-sharing assistance can help patients at the pharmacy counter," the spokesperson said. .New research, however, suggests that Medigap substantially increases Medicare spending, because seniors with the policies are insulated from costs. Those with polices tend to receive more medical care than people who are required to pay some or all of the costs of their care out-of-pocket. According to the CBO, a 2010 study found that Medicare beneficiaries responded to increases in their cost sharing by reducing visits to physicians and use of prescription drugs. "Making seniors pay higher initial Medigap cost-sharing affects both senior budgets, and senior health — especially if seniors forego necessary care," Cates notes. .The agreement appears ambiguous on this issue, and TSCL has filed four Freedom of Information Act requests in order to obtain copies of estimates of the cost to Social Security. After receiving the first known copy of the agreement in December of 2006, which apparently had never been made public, even to Members of Congress, the battle to obtain key documents in federal court has continued for TSCL. According to the State Department, public disclosure of the withheld information would risk undermining U.S. efforts in important areas of U.S. foreign policy. TSCL rejects this and will ask the judge to look at documents to see if they have been properly withheld. Although current U.S. law forbids the payment of Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants, there are loopholes and exceptions. .Please take time to participate in TSCL's much anticipated Senior Survey. TSCL's surveys have helped burst the all too common perception that Social Security benefit cuts are inevitable in order to achieve program solvency. TSCL surveys indicate that there is little support among older adults for proposals that would cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, or to replace these programs with private versions. TSCL will fight attempts to cut benefits, and that includes cutting COLAs reducing Social Security benefits or increasing Medicare costs. .On Tuesday evening, President Obama gave his fifth State of the Union Address before both chambers of Congress. To The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL's) surprise, the sixty-five minute speech included no mention of Social Security or Medicare, but the President did speak briefly about immigration reform and a new retirement savings plan called "myRA." .First, one new cosponsor, Representative Dean Phillips (MN-3), signed on to Congressman Larson's Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860), bringing the total up to 20If adopted, this critical bill would strengthen and reform the Social Security program responsibly, without enacting benefit cuts for current or future retirees. It would also cut taxes for millions of seniors and create a new Special Minimum Benefit set at 125 percent of the poverty line. .The fact is no one can know ahead of time what healthcare will be needed in the future, let alone the actual costs of the services that providers charge. Doctors frequently refer patients to expensive specialists, and order endless expensive tests without spending adequate time to explain why the tests are necessary, how much they cost, or the chances of improving treatments through their use.