Cola Cuts Come Under Study Feed
While Part D and Medicare Advantage have proven popular with seniors, nobody is lining up at the doors during the fall Open Enrollment to shop for and compare plans. The vast majority of beneficiaries, more than 80% according to TSCL Senior Surveys, don't compare their Part D or Medicare Advantage plan, and consequently don't reap any savings from competition between plans. If Congress were to convert all of Medicare to premium support in the future, the devil will be in the funding details — finding the balance between saving the federal government money while still keeping the program affordable for beneficiaries. And so far premium support hasn't been any magic bullet for reducing federal spending on Medicare. .Federal prosecutors recently announced the biggest-ever one-day takedown of a phony Medicare billing scheme. One hundred seven people were charged, including doctors and nurses in seven U.S. cities, with taking part in a scheme to steal 2 million from Medicare. About the same time, the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services reported that federal investigators have uncovered questionable billings at 2,600 drugstores nationwide. A pharmacy in Kansas billed Medicare for more than 1,000 prescriptions each for just two patients. Medicare paid .6 billion to the drugstores whose billings are now being questioned. While those announcements generated great election year headlines, the fact is that seniors and taxpayers can only hope to see a tiny fraction of Medicare's money recovered. .For example, one Maine resident worked in the private sector, paying into Social Security for fifteen years before she returned to the teaching profession. Her earned Social Security benefits would have totaled 0 a month. However, due to the WEP, she receives only 0 each month from the program. She is also unable to collect Social Security spousal benefits due to the GPO, even though her spouse paid into the system throughout his entire career. In retirement, she must rely almost entirely upon her teaching pension, which is modest since she spent only a decade in the profession. She told the National Education Association, "If I had known the severe financial penalty I was to pay for returning to teaching, I don't think I would have done it." … Continued
Illegal Immigrants Received 4 2 Billion In Tax Refunds From Irs
TSCL is mounting a campaign that strongly urges seniors nationwide to speak out against benefit cuts. "We hope you'll sign and return the petitions we are mailing to supporters against the 'Chained COLA'," says TSCL's Executive Director, Shannon Benton. "Chaining the COLA is a 2 billion cut that will reduce your benefits by as much as 9% over the course of a retirement," Benton notes. .This week, the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act (S. 2011) from Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) gained one new cosponsor: Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT). If adopted, the bill would require the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Its cosponsor total is now up to seven in the Senate. .Finally, two new cosponsors – Senator John Hoeven (ND) and Senator Angus King (ME) – signed on to the Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer's Needs to Get to an End (CHANGE) Act (S. 2387). The cosponsor total is now up to twelve. If adopted, the bill would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create programs that would promote early identification, improve support for family caregivers, and provide continuous care for those battling many forms of dementia. … Continued
Britain, France, and Italy generally have the lowest prescription drug prices, while Canada, Germany and Japan tend to have higher prices, the data showed. .Computed tomography or CT scans are diagnostic tests that are covered by Medicare when medically necessary and ordered by your healthcare provider. Medicare most typically covers the tests under Part B when you are an outpatient, or the tests would be covered by Part A if you receive the CT scan as an inpatient during a hospital stay. .Forty-eight percent (48%) have gone without essentials including food, disinfecting products, face masks, due to shortages, rationing or high prices. .On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss the findings of the new 2018 Social Security Trustees Report. Those on the subcommittee heard from Stephen Goss, Chief Actuary at the Social Security Administration. .Now, it turns out, AbbVie is helping to fund ads attacking legislation that would lower prescription drug costs. .But TSCL's polls, surveys, and stories on the COLA in the media have played a key role in helping to change that debate from one in which benefit cuts are inevitable, to one which explains why benefits should be made more adequate and payroll taxes should be increased. We could not have accomplished this without the hundreds of you who take time to send in your comments and stories, and who take our annual Senior Surveys. .Consequently, Medicare spent billion in 2013 but paid out billion by 2017 for these treatments. In addition, neurology medicines, mostly those used to combat multiple sclerosis, accounted for more than 50% of total Medicare payments, despite representing just 4% of all claims filed. .Yet, millions of your fellow Americans, receive below poverty level checks adding to the wealth disparity and further eroding the middle-class. .The good news is that both issues tend to be non-partisan. However, the bad news is that both cost a considerable amount of money, which means more federal spending. That's why the bills we support that would fix those issues have been tied up in committee for so long and have not been able to move through either the House or Senate.