2015 Legislative Update Week Ending March 20 2015
That spells trouble for people living on fixed incomes. "When COLAs fall down on the job of protecting benefit buying power, seniors face working longer, digging deeper into retirement savings, or falling into debt and poverty," says Ed Cates, Chairman of TSCL. .TSCL was first established as a special project of TREThe Enlisted Association. On January 1, 1995, TSCL became an independent 501[c] citizens' action organization and therefore donations are not tax-deductible. .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
Immigration Action Planned Behind Closed Doors
As we have written recently, Grassley's main problem in getting his bill passed in the Senate is opposition from his fellow Republicans. Grassley said he needs at least 25 Republican co-sponsors to get his bill (S. 2543) to the floor of the Senate for a vote. Ten Republicans other than Grassley have so far made public shows of support for the legislation. .Source: "Audits Of Some Medicare Advantage Plans Reveal Pervasive Overcharging," Fred Schulte, Center For Public Integrity," NPR, August 29, 201"Medicare Advantage: Fundamental Improvements Needed in CMS's Effort to Recover Substantial Amounts of Improper Payments, Government Accountability Office, April 2016. .If you have questions about your coverage, Medicare beneficiaries can get free one-on-one counseling from State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) counselors by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging or senior center. The programs go by different names depending on your location, but SHIP contact info can be found at https://www.shiptacenter.org. … Continued
This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for two key bills that would strengthen the Social Security program. First, one new cosponsor – Representative Peter Visclosky (IN-1) – signed on to the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act (H.R. 2302), bringing the total up to eight cosponsors. .The study found that a person who retired in 2000 — with an average Social Security benefit of 6 per month — would have ,246.20 per month by 2020. However, because retiree costs are rising at a substantially faster pace than the COLA, that individual would require a Social Security benefit of 0.00 more per month, or a total of ,626.20 in 2020, just to maintain his or her 2000 level of buying power. .Oxford's study, however, found that the vaccine not only prevented severe disease but appeared to cut transmission of the virus by two-thirds. The study has not been peer-reviewed yet. .Impose new Medicare deductibles and impose new coverage restrictions on Medigap plans: Impose a new 0 deductible for both Medicare Part A and Part B that Medigap plans would be restricted from covering. Would also limit the co-insurance or co-pays that Medigap plans could cover to 50 percent of the next ,000 in Medicare cost-sharing. Currently plans pay most, or all, of the Medicare cost sharing. .Federal agencies shut down this week as Members of Congress failed to adopt a stopgap funding measure before the October 1st deadline. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw one key bill gain support. .What Was I Thinking? .To address this issue, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (AZ), suggested that the Committee focus on waste, fraud, and abuse, since it's a topic that generally has bipartisan support. He stated, "Some people fear the solution has to be a cut in benefits. There may be very substantial savings that can be achieved through efficiencies." Most at the hearing seemed to agree with him. .Two Cosponsors Sign on to Key Bill .For example, you may want to suggest that your sister put a simple plan into writing. The plan should outline how she wants to live. It's important for your sister to consider who is going to take care of her, if there's an emergency, or, if she needs someone to drive her to or from doctors' appointments. Do you have such a plan for your own long-term care? Perhaps this is something the two of you can do together. Your sister is not too young to start her plan. In fact, age 78 is an ideal age to put a plan in place, and, even to consider moving into a senior living community.