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(Washington, DC) – Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) would need to double their rate of growth and Medicare Part B premium increases would need to slow by half their historic rate to provide greater Social Security benefit adequacy, says a new report from The Senior Citizens League. Using the federal government's economic projections for the Social Security COLA and Medicare Part B premium estimates over the next decade, the study examined how well Social Security benefits would cover Part B premiums increases in coming years. .This week, Members of Congress remained in their home states and districts to continue the seven-week summer recess. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, September 6th. In the meantime, most Members of Congress will be holding town hall meetings in their home states and districts. TSCL encourages its members and supporters to attend these events and to voice their concerns about important Social Security and Medicare issues. .The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote for this coming Wednesday on a new CR that will last until Dec. 18, as well. … Continued
Category Legislative News Page 48
For decades, Medicare and Social Security have lifted millions of people out of poverty and provided seniors with affordable, high-quality healthcare and reliable financial support. In Congress, we have a responsibility to strengthen and modernize Medicare and Social Security for today's seniors and future generations. That's why, earlier this year, I worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to oppose proposals by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to cut Medicare Advantage and limit access to prescription drugs. Thanks to these bipartisan efforts, CMS reconsidered these proposals. .While the Social Security Trustees project that the program will remain solvent until 2033 and that the Medicare Trust Fund will be solvent until 2024, both programs are currently paying out more than received in cash revenues. Because the federal budget is in deficit, the government is borrowing the money to pay benefits. The cost of interest payments is increasing as a portion of the federal budget. The question is how long can the government continue to borrow the money. .Because COVID-19 has never been seen in humans before, there are currently no vaccines to prevent COVID-19 approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA recently approved the first treatment for COVID-19, the antiviral drug remdesivir. … Continued
Last year the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.), passed major drug legislation that would have allowed the government to negotiate directly with the drug companies, thus bringing the prices of drugs down. The major drug companies, and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), opposed the legislation and would not allow the House-passed legislation to even be considered. .Instead of using the CPI-W or the "chained" CPI, TSCL has been advocating for an inflation index that we believe would actually result in a more accurate Social Security COLA. We favor the CPI for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E), which the BLS has been tracking &ndah; but not utilizing – for decades. This index has shown that the spending inflation for seniors averages about two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the rate at which the CPI-W increases. We estimate that a senior who retired with average Social Security benefits in 1984 would have received ,496 more through 2013 had the CPI-E been used. .If adopted, H.R. 1553 would base annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E). .Welcome to the month of February! This week, President Donald Trump addressed the nation in his first State of the Union, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) monitored negotiations at one Senate hearing. In addition, four key bills gained new cosponsors in the House and Senate. .Efforts to lower the cost of prescription drugs have been taking place at the state level as well as at the national level. This week the New Mexico legislature sent a bill to their Governor that aims to make the state among the first to work with the federal government on wholesale drug importation from Canada. States including Vermont, Maine, Colorado, and Florida have passed similar bills. Backers said importing lower-cost drugs from Canada would help people who can't afford their prescriptions amid rising costs in the U.S. .While retirees won't be getting as much of an increase in their Social Security checks in 2020, the Part B premium, is expected to go up considerably more than it did this year. In 2019, most beneficiaries paid .50 per month more than in 201In 2020, however, the Medicare Trustees have forecast that Part B premiums will increase from 5.50 to 4.30 per month — .80 per month more—an increase of 6.5%. That's four times faster than the COLA. .I would like to know how, at this point, you project a Social Security COLA at 6.1%. Inflation would have to continue on an upward path through September for that to happen. — R.Q., NJ .About one in five older and disabled Medicare beneficiaries has income so low that their state Medicaid programs pay some or most of their Medicare costs. That includes Medicare Part B premiums and out-of-pocket costs, as well as services that aren't covered by Medicare, such as vision, dental and nursing home care. .Prescription Drug Re-Importation – Making safe, secure re-importation a reality.