Weekly Update For Week Ending December 12 2020
TSCL enthusiastically supports H.R. 807, H.R. 1902, S. 1909, and H.R. 1205, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For progress updates on these and other TSCL-backed bills, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .When a zero COLA was announced for 2016, the Medicare Trustees projected that the Part B premium and deductible amounts would increase by an unprecedented 52 percent between 2015 and 2016 — from 4.90 to 9.30 per month. Passage of The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, however resulted in reducing the increase in Part B premiums from 9.30 per month to 1.80 per month, which was still an extremely high 16.1 percent increase. The premium included a repayment amount that was added to monthly premiums of all beneficiaries in future years to recover over time the cost of the reduced premium rate in 2016. .Supporters also stressed the fact that the IPAB has strict limitations. The Board cannot restrict Medicare benefits, raise taxes, increase beneficiaries' cost-sharing, modify eligibility criteria, cut payments to hospitals before 2020, or ration care. Instead, the IPAB will report on healthcare costs, access, quality, and utilization each year, and will make innovative cost-saving recommendations as it sees fit. … Continued
Health Care System Weaknesses Magnified During Pandemic
Which COVID-19 Vaccine Should You Take? .The income thresholds that subject benefits to taxation are based on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income, which includes half of your Social Security benefits and some tax - exempt income. The following chart illustrates the thresholds and the amount of tax on Social Security income. .Is the evidence really so clear? … Continued
Pressure is on Congress and President Obama to reach a deficit reduction agreement to address rising federal debt. Many analysts expect that cutting annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) will be a central part to any agreement. That would not only cut the benefits of more than 53 million Social Security recipients, but those of Railroad Retirement recipients, military and federal worker retirees as well. ."The bill has been fiercely opposed by Republicans and the branded pharmaceutical industry, which would likely lose revenue if the bill passed, leading to 40 fewer new drugs coming to the market in the U.S. over the next two decades, according to the CBO estimate. .Immigration Reform .First, one new cosponsor – Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8) – signed on to the CPI-E Act (H.R. 1251), bringing the total up to fifty-three. If adopted, H.R. 1251 would make the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) more adequate by basing it on the spending patterns of older Americans – not the spending patterns of young, urban workers. .The fourth article is quite lengthy, but it discusses the issue of how much a vaccine for the coronavirus will cost once it is available. Obviously, that is a concern for all of us because we all are anxiously awaiting its development. .Housing: (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture) .TSCL Endorses Social Security 2100 Act .This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its preliminary 2015 payment rate changes for the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw two key bills gain support. .For the last few weeks we have reported on President Trump's executive order to allow employers to defer payroll taxes owed by workers, which funds Social Security and Medicare. TSCL is opposed to payroll tax cuts of any kind because they seriously jeopardize the financial viability of both programs.