• Immigration Proposals Would Add Billions In New Costs

    "The Medicare Trustees already estimate that Medicare Part B and Part D premiums and out-of-pocket costs take about 27 percent of average Social Security benefits," states TSCL Chairman, Larry Hyland. "And that understates actual costs because it doesn't include what people pay for their supplements or Medicare Advantage plans," he notes. "These proposals simply shift a greater portion and more risk to seniors, making Medicare even less affordable for low- and middle-income beneficiaries," Hyland says. "We urge seniors to contact their lawmakers in Congress and let them know what you think of these ideas to cut the deficit," he adds. TSCL lobbies to keep Medicare affordable and protect seniors from cuts to Social Security benefits and reductions to the COLA. In addition TSCL supports legislation to provide a more fair and adequate COLA. .Several subcommittee members at Thursday's hearing spoke about the importance of stable and reliable funding for the administration in the coming years so that it can continue its efforts to modernize the program's IT system. The Senior Citizens League agrees that adequate administrative funding is critical, and we will continue to advocate for the Social Security Administration Fairness Act (S. 6251, H.R. 3147) in the months ahead. That bill, if adopted, would set SSA's funding level at 1.5 percent of overall benefit payments, and it would implement a moratorium on field office closures so that beneficiaries receive the service they have earned and deserve. .The new low comes as COLAs have flat-lined over the past seven years, averaging just 1.2% — less than half the 3% average over the two decades prior to 20The long-term financial impact on anticipated retirement benefits is significant and growing, says TSCL's Executive Director, Shannon Benton. "People lose the effect of compounding when benefit raises are at these extreme lows," she explains. "That reduces the Social Security income that retirees may have been counting on over their retirement." … Continued

  • Category Tips For Seniors Page 4

    We could, too, but would need to consider mechanisms outside of our current box — at least for this national emergency. .For years I've been getting the same unwanted robo call. "Hello seniors!" a voice bellows. "Stand by to learn how you can receive a free back brace covered by Medicare." .The Social Security Trustees estimated last year that SS payroll taxes in 2020 would be about 3.8 billion under average economic conditions. Thus the 6 billion cost of the payroll tax provision in the CARES Act appears to be as much as 42% of all anticipated Social Security revenues for 2020. … Continued

Many expected immigration reform to be a focal point of the President's speech, however, his remarks on the topic were vague and very brief. In one short paragraph, he said, "Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same … So let's get immigration reform done this year." TSCL has some serious concerns about comprehensive immigration reform, since it would further strain the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. We strongly feel that any efforts to reform the system should include loophole-closing legislation that would prevent immigrants from receiving benefits based on a history of illegal work. .On June 3, 2011, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security held a hearing on the Annual Trustees Report. The Subcommittee heard from the two Public Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Board: Charles Blahous III and Robert Reischauer. .Unlike income tax brackets that are adjusted for inflation, the income thresholds that subject Social Security benefits to taxation have never been adjusted since Social Security benefits became taxable in 198When the law was first passed, less than 10 percent of all Social Security recipients were estimated to have incomes high enough to be affected by the tax on benefits. But today, even retirees with very modest incomes can be affected by the tax. .I'm helping my brother who has cognitive problems. He's enrolled in a Humana Medicare Advantage plan that covers prescription drugs in addition to providing hospital and doctor benefits. The plan seems OK, but I'm annoyed by numerous (often weekly) phone calls from the plan asking for permission to send out a visiting nurse. They say the visit is provided at no charge to get his blood pressure, and a physical. That sounds good, but my brother doesn't want strangers coming to his home, and I'm getting suspicious. Is this request legitimate? .Last Friday, lawmakers in the House and Senate adjourned for a week-long recess. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Monday, May 9th. In the meantime, many Members of Congress will be attending local events and holding town hall meetings, presenting constituents with an excellent opportunity to have their most pressing questions answered. .Social Security Subcommittee Examines Information Technology .There are reports that the Senate is now targeting roughly Dec. 18 as its adjournment date, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is still looking to confirm judicial nominees this week while other members of the Senate work to find compromises on both the government funding legislation and a new coronavirus economic stimulus bill. .In addition, one new cosponsor – Rep. Diane Black (TN-6) – signed on to the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act (H.R. 1716). The total is now at twenty-seven. If signed into law, H.R. 1716 would prohibit unauthorized workers from receiving Social Security benefits based on work done while in the country illegally, using stolen, fake, or fraudulent Social Security Numbers. TSCL believes it would protect the integrity of the program while preventing an unnecessary and unspecified strain on the Social Security Trust Funds. ."'I don't anticipate that anything gets there before Election Day,' Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters Wednesday. ‘I think that was a concern that there might have been a look that this was done for a political motivation. That's not the case.'"