Category Issues Cola Articles Page 12
This week, TSCL's legislative consultants, Former Congressman David Funderburk and Mrs. Betty Funderburk, along with TSCL's legislative assistant, Jarrad Hensley, were on Capitol Hill for meetings with Members of Congress and their top staff. .The decision on when to start benefits is complicated and you should get counseling. The Social Security Administration website has a great deal of information on survivor's benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov as well as contact numbers to reach counselors. For more information about working after starting benefits see How Work Affects Your Benefits Publication Number 05-10069. .That's why I'm excited and proud to announce TSCL's endorsement of The Guaranteed 3% COLA for Seniors Act (H.R. 3389) introduced in the House by Representative Eliot Engel (NY-16) and its companion bill in the Senate (S. 1923) introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI). TSCL believes this bill will go a long way toward stopping the erosion in the buying power of your Social Security benefits. Now it's your turn. You can help draw attention to this legislation by contacting your Members of Congress and asking them to co-sponsor The Guaranteed 3% COLA for Seniors Act. For contact info or to send an email to your elected lawmakers visit the TSCL at . … Continued
Legislative Update July 2020
Lawmakers Adjourn for Holiday Recess .The first new rule affects Medicare Part B drug costs, which are typically infused or injected drugs used mainly in the treatment of cancer. The intent is to cap the cost of those drugs at the lowest price that drug manufacturers receive in other countries and to pay doctors a flat fee for each dose of a drug, instead of a percentage of each drug's cost. .Seventy-eight percent of older voters participating in TSCL's survey say they support raising payroll taxes, eliminating the taxable maximum wage cap so that everyone pays Social Security taxes on all earnings over 8,500. Unlike low - and middle - income wage earners, the highest earners today only pay taxes on the first 8,500 in earnings and enjoy a huge Social Security tax break on all on wages over that amount. A clear majority — 62% of survey participants — also favors very gradually increasing the payroll tax rate by 1% each for workers and employers. Taken together, both changes would provide enough financing to keep the program solvent for more than 50 years. … Continued
This past week the House of Representatives remained out of session, but committees continued to work remotely, holding briefings and forums over videoconferencing technology and conference calls. The House will hold votes next week on several issues that have come out of committees and are ready for a vote by the full body. .It's unlikely that Congress will move forward on this plan or any Medicare reform proposals before a critical election, but The Senior Citizens League will keep a close eye on the negotiations. .These higher Medicare Part B premiums, in turn, contributed to ongoing flat growth in Social Security benefits in subsequent years — even when a 2 percent COLA became payable two years later in 201The Medicare Part B premium took the entire 2 percent COLA of about half of all beneficiaries — the half with lower benefits. Many beneficiaries did not see any growth in their net Social Security benefits until they received a 2.8% COLA in 2019. ."But Democrats arguing for the change are pointing to rising costs of brand-name drugs and insurance plans that increasingly require patients pay more money toward their own care, forcing them to ration insulin and other drugs. They also note that H.R. 3 includes billion for biomedical research." .Seniors Support Medicare Coverage Expansion .Last year, my office received reports of people coming up to the doors of our elders, posing as census takers or COVID testers, and requesting sensitive information like Social Security numbers and other forms of identification -- something that real census takers or health workers would never do. .The four stated that their proposal – The Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act – would "provide Medicare patients with the best healthcare in America," and that it would "forever protect seniors' interests by aligning them with self-interested politicians." But the plan is risky for two key reasons. First, it would eliminate Medicare completely, and second, it would do so beginning in 2014, affecting even current beneficiaries. Other proposals, including the plan released by House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (WI-1) in his fiscal 2013 budget, would offer traditional fee-for-service Medicare as an option to seniors, and would delay implementation to protect current enrollees from any drastic or sudden changes. In addition to phasing out traditional Medicare, The Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act would gradually increase the eligibility age to seventy, and it would increase means-testing measures so that wealthier seniors would pay a greater percentage of their healthcare costs. .Under current law, the Medicare program excludes coverage of most routine and emergency dental care, leaving around 70 percent of seniors without comprehensive dental insurance coverage. Will you support the Medicare Dental Benefit Act (S. 22) to ensure that seniors have access to essential health care? .Unlike AARP, The Senior Citizens League is a true grassroots organization. Almost one hundred percent of our revenue comes from individual donations, and we do not sell any products to our members. We even refuse outside advertising in our materials. Our sole focus is on education and protection of the Social Security and Medicare benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for.