Legislative Update Week Ending November 10 2017
This week, four new cosponsors signed on to Rep. Schwartz's (PA-13) Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (H.R. 5707), bringing the total up to eighteen. The new cosponsors are: Reps. Ed Perlmutter (CO-7), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Mazie Hirono (HI-2), and Paul Tonko (NY-21). .On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed two bills – the Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553) and the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554) – into law that will protect Medicare beneficiaries and privately insured individuals from "gag clauses" at pharmacies. "Gag clauses" prevent pharmacists from telling consumers when it would be cheaper to purchase their prescriptions out-of-pocket than through their Medicare Part D or health insurance plans. .Democrats have delayed the start of the program in part because of its cost and an agreement to limit the overall spending in the Biden budget bill to .5 trillion. There is some talk on Capitol Hill of offering seniors limited vouchers to use toward dental benefits before 2028 as a compromise. … Continued
Category Legislative News Page 61
As with the start of any new Congress, TSCL is encouraging Senators and Representatives to reintroduce and cosponsor key legislation for seniors, like the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act, the Strengthening Social Security Act, the Notch Fairness Act, and the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act. In addition, with comprehensive Medicare and Social Security reform on the minds of many deficit hawks, TSCL is working diligently to prevent harmful cuts that would affect your benefits. .Key Bills Gain Support in the House and Senate .Sources: Earnings Suspense File Data For 2008 and 2009, Social Security Administration, March 2, 201"The Growing Cost Of Illegal Immigration To Social Security," Mary Johnson, TSCL, June 2010. … Continued
Because a high percentage of taxpayers were affected by under-withholdings due to the problematic tax tables, the IRS allowed a waiver of penalties for both 2009 and 2010 tax years. But taxpayers have to request the waiver of penalties in order to receive it. According to the Treasury Inspector General, last year virtually no taxpayer surveyed knew they could request a waiver. .The U.S. depends on China for thousands of chemicals needed to make prescription drugs. That's because it turns out that pharmaceutical companies have outsourced our generic medicine manufacturing to China. .As prices. Low COLA & 038; COVID-19 Costs Could Trigger A Medicare Premium Spike When the Social Security Administration announced that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2016 would be zero, a stunning thing occurred. The Medicare Trustees projected that the monthly Part B premium would increase by an unprecedented .50 (52%) between 2015 and 2016— from 4.90 to 9.30 per month. What does this have to do with the. Retirement Benefits Could Be Subject To "Inaccurate CPI Information" TSCL is forecasting a 1.3% Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 202Our forecast is based on the most recent consumer price data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (through August) and uses the same formula that the Social Security Administration uses to calculate the annual inflation boost. .The COLA also doesn't reflect cost increases in Medicare premiums and other rapidly growing Medicare costs. Research for The Senior Citizens League has found that Medicare Part B premiums are one of the fastest growing costs in retirement. Medicare Part B premiums, which are automatically deducted from Social Security checks, often consume most, or even all, of the COLA increase. .CMS said in a press release that this change is to provide patients and their doctors more options and to lower costs by promoting more competition among hospitals and independent surgical centers. But while these surgeries will be removed from the inpatient-only list, the government did not approve any of them to be performed anywhere else. Patients will still have to get care at hospitals but, because these services have been reclassified, they will be billed under Medicare Part B as outpatient services, instead of Medicare Part A for hospital services. Medicare beneficiaries pay a bigger share of the costs under Part B, than under Part A for an inpatient stay, and those costs would also drive up Medicare Part B premiums in the future. .Recent vaccines targeting more limited populations, such as a meningitis B vaccine for college students and the shingles vaccine for older adults, have a retail cost of 0 to 0 for a full course. .In making the 1977 changes, Congress, wanting to avoid an abrupt change, allowed persons born from 1917 through 1921 to use a special transitional benefit formula or the new 1977 formula, whichever would yield the higher of the two benefits. The transition benefit formula never delivered the promised benefit protection, however, because it did not yield a higher benefit amount. Instead, the new benefit formula most often yielded the higher amount. . My husband who is diabetic and has high blood pressure, underwent surgery for colon cancer in March of 2020. He recovered and returned to work last summer. Shortly thereafter he had a stroke. He's been unable to work and received short term disability benefits through his employer until coverage ended on December 31, 2020. Will he qualify for Social Security disability now? He will turn 63 in April 202 .Heating and cooling assistance, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).