Public Opinion Can Sway Votes In Congress
TSCL Announces Support for PRIME Act .Congress recently enacted legislation that ended two so-called Social Security benefit "loopholes" — known as "file and suspend" and "restricted application." Details about the changes, which affect some married couples and took effect on April 30th, 2016 — can be found in the Social Security Q & A. .With it looking increasingly likely that Social Security beneficiaries will receive the highest COLA in seven years —about 3.3% in 2019 — proponents of "chaining" the COLA are likely to try to argue that the COLA under current law overpays recipients. Proponents of using the chained consumer price index to calculate the COLA claim that the chained consumer price index (CPI) is more "accurate" in calculating the COLA because it takes into account how people substitute other items when prices change. … Continued
Whats Stake Social Security Benefits Upcoming Election
Medicare has recently issued a proposed rule that would require, with some exceptions, patients who stay in the hospital two days or less to be classified as observation patients, and those who stay longer to be admitted as an inpatient. But the rule does not require hospitals to tell patients when they are in observation status or allow them to appeal the decision before they leave. Medicare recommends patients who are in the hospital for "more than a few hours" to learn their status. TSCL believes that the rules unfairly burden Medicare patients and their families, and believes that patients have a right to know their observation status and to be given an opportunity to appeal the determination. To learn more, see the publication "Are You a Hospital Inpatient Or Outpatient, If You Have Medicare — Ask!" (CMS No. 11435). .How did the coronavirus affect you? Your answer helps Congress understand the needs of older Americans. Please participate in TSCL's 2020 Senior Cost Survey at /2020-senior-cost-survey. .Finally, one new cosponsor – Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) – signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795) this week, bringing the total up to one hundred and fourteen. If signed into law, the bill would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – two federal provisions that unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of state and local government employees each year. … Continued
I heard that Medicare would be mailing new cards. When can I expect to get mine? .Low and middle-income earners pay taxes on all of their earnings. In recent years, however, the share of total wages earned in the U.S. and subject to Social Security payroll tax has declined because the earnings of the most highly paid workers have grown rapidly. Most of the proposals to increase the taxable maximum would also raise benefits of the affected workers by counting earnings above the old cap in the benefit formula. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that eliminating the taxable maximum would extend the Social Security solvency as much as 50 years. .There are immediate fixed annuities — the amount of the monthly payment does not change, and immediate variable annuities in which the monthly income is adjusted to the rate of return on stocks, bonds and cash investments held by the annuity. .TSCL is deeply concerned about the prospect of cuts to benefits and COLAs. Seniors can ill afford any reduction in benefits once they have already retired and are depending on them for their daily expenses. We urge you to learn how Congressional candidates stand on changes to Social Security and Medicare. To learn whether your U.S. Representative or Senators support legislation of interest to you, visit the TSCL website at or call toll free 1-800-333-8725. .A major study by two economists at the Social Security Administration found that the growth is mainly due to Baby Boomers moving into disability-prone ages, growth in the number of women covered for disability benefits, and ordinary population growth. But the researchers were unable to account for 10 percent of the growth that they attributed to what they dubbed the disability "incidence rate" — meaning the growth not attributable to something else. Some members of Congress and the public are beginning to question whether overly vague eligibility criteria, and too many applicants receiving benefits that they aren't entitled to, might be to blame. .The plan was blocked in lower courts after the state of Texas and 25 other states sued, saying that Obama had exceeded his authority. TSCL filed a "friend of the court" brief, in support of Texas and the other states, arguing concerns about costs to Social Security and Medicare. .Consider the difference it would have made if Congress had provided an emergency COLA of 2.5% during the four years when there was no, or almost no, COLA in 2010, 2011, 2016, and 201The benefits of people retired since 2009 would be about 10% higher per month today! For someone receiving about ,200 in 2009 that would be an extra 0 per month. .TSCL supports legislation that would repeal the WEP such as H.R. 3934, the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representative Kevin Brady (TX-8). .The bill would provide seniors with vision benefits in 2022, hearing benefits in 2023 and some dental benefits by 202Progressives are pushing for an earlier start to the dental benefits and that the government increase its share of the cost, which ramps up to 50% by 2032.