• S 567 Strengthening Social Security Act

    Currently doctors are paid for every service they provide, giving a big incentive for wasteful duplication. Patients wind up getting repeated tests, X-rays, CT scans and procedures involving expensive computerized equipment. .Nine prominent physician groups recently released lists of 45 common tests and treatments they say are often unnecessary. The problem is costing you dearly — as much as one third of every healthcare dollar, researchers say. As someone supposed to be giving you tips on how to save money, I'm embarrassed to admit that earlier this year I was a victim of overzealous medical testing. I'm not on Medicare yet, but what happened to me is happening to millions of those of you who are. .In a recent survey of TSCL's supporters, as many as one-third of respondents said they postponed filling their prescriptions or took less than prescribed due to high costs. They question why Congress hasn't taken action to improve the system and to protect the American public from rising drug costs. … Continued

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    The message here isn't "work till you drop." Working even a few additional years can boost retirement security substantially when you finally do retire. There's a "triple whammy" effect -- delayed Social Security filings means higher monthly benefits; you have more years of contributions to retirement accounts; and you have fewer net years of drawing down those accounts. Working with financial planning experts, we estimated that these factors can boost income in retirement by one-third or more. .The annual COLA increased Social Security benefits in January of 2021 by just 1.3 percent. While the lack of inflation in 2020 did somewhat improve the buying power of Social Security benefits by 2 percentage points by the month of January 2021 — from a loss in buying power of 30 percent to a loss of 28 percent — that improvement was completely wiped out by soaring inflation in February and March of this year. .Generally, you pay higher premiums for plans that have no deductibles. All too often, though, Medicare consumers pay premiums that far exceed the cost of the deductible because they don't do the math. Having a plan that pays the Part A (hospital) deductible of 2 makes sense, because just one trip to the hospital could take your entire month's Social Security benefit. … Continued

Many observers believe the plan will likely include a combination of tax increases and benefit cuts for Social Security. Some of the most commonly mentioned proposals are: (1) switching to the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) to calculate Social Security COLAs; (2) lifting or raising the cap on income which is subject to Social Security taxes; and (3) raising the Social Security retirement age. Switching to the chained CPI alone would both reduce initial benefits and cut lifetime Social Security benefits by more than 10%. .What you can do: Contact your Members of Congress and tell them to enact legislation that would ensure you get an emergency COLA in 202Let's tell our Members of Congress that you are asking to receive the 2.5% COLA which was already estimated in the January 2020 Social Security budget baseline by the Congressional Budget Office. You can send an email to your Congressman at www . .Impose new Medicare deductibles and impose new coverage restrictions on Medigap plans: Impose a new 0 deductible for both Medicare Part A and Part B that Medigap plans would be restricted from covering. Would also limit the co-insurance or co-pays that Medigap plans could cover to 50 percent of the next ,000 in Medicare cost-sharing. Currently plans pay most, or all, of the Medicare cost sharing. .In his testimony, Mr. Goss explained that the Social Security DI Trust Fund will be fully solvent until 2032 – four years later than was projected in last year's report. In addition, the OASI Trust Fund will be fully solvent until late 2034 – just a few months earlier than was projected in last year's report. For the combined Trust Funds, the outlook is very similar to last year's and only minor changes will be needed to ensure the program's solvency. .Democrats want to be able to pass President Biden's economic stimulus/COVID-19 relief bill, but it is highly unlikely they could get 10 Republicans to vote for the bill. .As we begin a new year, we hope you had the best holiday season possible under the conditions we all continue to face because of the coronavirus pandemic. We know the past ten months have been extremely hard for many Americans, especially for senior citizens and their families. .TSCL strongly supports quick passage of the urgently needed legislation to stop the cuts. .The Senior Citizens League is pleased that lawmakers successfully advanced legislation that will result in lower out-of-pocket costs at pharmacies, but we believe Congress can and must do more to reduce prescription drug prices. In the months ahead, we will continue to advocate for comprehensive legislation like the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drug Prices Act (S. 771, H.R. 1776), which would lead to significantly lower costs for seniors if adopted. For progress updates, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter or visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin said, "I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law." But a week after the announcement The Washington Post reported that "many taxpayers say the government is still seizing refunds." The Social Security Administration said letters to those taxpayers went out before the announcement, but it remains unclear whether they will get their money back.