Benefits For Illegal Work A Growing Liability To Social Security Feed
Upon introducing the Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries Act, Sen. Wyden said, "Today's fix will protect over 370,000 Oregonians and millions of seniors across the country from an abrupt and dramatic increase in Medicare costs. It is urgent that Congress take decisive action to ensure vulnerable Americans aren't harmed by this archaic policy." ."The group of Democrats blocked one committee from advancing their party's drug-pricing legislation, with two members arguing it was too far-reaching and could stymie innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. Some of those Democrats also want to rein in a proposal to expand Medicare to include dental coverage, a high priority for progressives such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)." .This week, members of The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL) legislative staff were in attendance at two committee hearings – one held by the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, and one held by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. In addition, TSCL saw support grow for a key piece of legislation. … Continued
Legislative Update January 2015
Social Security beneficiaries received a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 2 percent this year, but most are seeing their benefit increases completely offset by higher Medicare Part B premiums. Do you support legislation that would give older Americans a more fair and adequate Social Security COLA? .Do COLAs overpay seniors? Ask TSCL Chairman, Larry Hyland. "The idea is hogwash," he says. "There's simply no evidence that the CPI has overpaid the people who depend on those COLAs to protect the buying power of their benefits. The Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) that surveys the market basket more typical of the majority of Social Security recipients, has shown a significantly greater rise over the CPI used to calculate COLAs through 201The CPI-E would provide a more accurate, and adequate COLA, one more in line with the costs experienced by seniors," Hyland says. .TSCL Gears Up For Busy New Year … Continued
To make the Social Security COLA more adequate, The Senior Citizens League believes Congress must adopt the CPI-E Act (H.R. 1251). This bipartisan bill would base Social Security COLAs on the spending patterns of older Americans – not the spending patterns of young, working Americans – using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). .The savings to the government for switching to the more slowly-growing CPI compound over time, and are substantial. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the change would cut COLAs by 2 billion from 2012021 alone and, if used in other federal retirement programs and for indexing taxes as well, would reduce deficits by about 0 billion over the next decade, including reduced interest on the debt. .In addition, when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill on Monday to begin the lame-duck session, TSCL will keep a close eye on the evolving budget negotiations. Lawmakers have until December 9th to negotiate legislation to keep the federal government operating. Should they fail to miss the looming deadline, the federal government will shut down like it did back in 2013, and Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries could see negative impacts. For progress updates from Capitol Hill, visit the Legislative News section of our website, or follow TSCL on Twitter. .In February, after lawmakers allowed two government shutdowns to briefly take effect, Members of Congress finally passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 201The massive budget deal set spending levels for two years and lifted the debt ceiling through March of next year. It came as a surprise to many in Washington – including The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) – and the agreement put an end to cycles of funding extensions that temporarily and irresponsibly funded the federal government for years. .Did Members of Congress receive a COLA this year? If so did they get more than the 3.6% that seniors received? Is it true they don't pay into Social Security? .The gap between prices was even higher for brand-name drugs, with U.S. prices 3.44 times more than those in the other countries. Meanwhile, prices for generic drugs are slightly lower in the U.S. than in most other countries. Unbranded generic drugs account for 84% of drugs sold in the U.S. by volume, the researchers found, but only 12% of U.S. spending. .In addition, two new cosponsors – Reps. Alan Grayson (FL-9) and Lee Terry (NE-2) – signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795). The cosponsor total is now up to one hundred and thirty-three. If signed into law, the Social Security Fairness Act 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 teachers, fire fighters, peace officers, and other state or local government employees each year. .The Social Security Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing to discuss the problems facing seniors and the vital roll Social Security plays in the well-being of America's seniors. .Includes new and stronger penalties for Social Security fraud by attorneys, physicians, and others who receive fees for advising disability applicants.