• Legislative Update December 2014

    Fixing our dependence on China .Now that Congress has passed President Biden's Covid-19 relief bill it must turn its attention immediately to passing legislation to delay billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare. .(Washington, DC) – Medicare doesn't have the authority to negotiate drug prices, leaving millions of older Americans at risk of price gouging for their prescription drugs, according to a new comparison of drug plans by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). "Because Medicare isn't negotiating on our behalf, there's no consistency in drug pricing among drug plans," states TSCL's Medicare policy analyst, Mary Johnson, who performed the comparisons using the Medicare website's Drug Plan Finder. Costs vary enormously between plans. "The disparity in pricing for the same drug can be in the hundreds of dollars," says Johnson. … Continued

  • What To Do If You Drop Into The Part D Doughnut Hole

    Read all notices from the Social Security Administration and carefully check the deposit information. If it doesn't agree with your bank account, contact Social Security at once. .VA officials are talking to other agencies about expanding the availability of vaccines at VA facilities, Richard Stone, acting under secretary for health at the Veterans Health Administration, said. Limited supply has forced the department to prioritize veterans who are currently enrolled to receive vaccines, though in some cases they have managed to immediately enroll eligible veterans on the spot, Stone said. .TSCL Believes New Policy Would Add To Growing Social Security Woes … Continued

Senator Nelson also asked Congressman Price about his plans to privatize the Medicare program at Wednesday's hearing. A recent reform plan authored by the Congressman would transform the traditional Medicare program into a "premium support" model, where beneficiaries would be given vouchers from the federal government to purchase private insurance. In the past, Congressman Price has claimed that such plans would result in lower costs for both Medicare and its beneficiaries, but at Wednesday's hearing, Senator Nelson presented a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office that projected premium increases of at least 125 percent for seniors living in Florida and other heavily populated states. He expressed serious concerns about the privatization of Medicare since his constituents would see higher medical costs. .Our nation is in a hyper-partisan period as the November elections approach. In this environment it becomes tricky when reporting about issues that affect you and other TSCL supporters because the issues are so often intertwined with politics. .COLAs are intended to protect the buying power of Social Security benefits against rising inflation. A new study recently released by TSCL found, however, that the CPI used to calculate COLAs today only does an anemic job of protecting benefits as it is. Since 2000, the COLA has increased just 31 percent, while typical seniors' expenses jumped 73 percent, more than twice as fast. .The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports H.R. 2276, H.R. 4957, S. 2387, and S. 2671, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For more information about these and other TSCL-backed bills, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .Unfortunately, a long-time TSCL goal of reducing prescription drug prices did not make it into the newly introduced House bill. It appears that, as we have written before, legislation to reduce drug prices will not be dealt with until sometime in the fall. .It turns out that PhRMA "spreads that money around to political campaigns across the country as well as other trade groups like the American Action Network (AAN), a conservative dark money group that launched a million ad campaign to defeat the Democrats' H.R. 3 proposal, which would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs and cap out-of-pocket drug costs at ,000," again, according to the report. .It's up to us to see that they do. We must hold our elected lawmakers accountable. TSCL, our members and their families, friends, and supporters will not allow the Notch Issue to quietly die away, but continue to press for enactment of Notch Reform legislation. .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. .Other members, including Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), backed proposals that would lift the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. The cap currently sits at 8,500, which means that no earnings above that amount are subject to the 6.2 percent payroll tax. Senator Sanders said on Wednesday, "That is patently unfair. If we apply the Social Security payroll tax to income above 0,000, we could immediately bring in enough revenue to the Social Security trust fund to extend it for decades and also be able to increase benefits."