Legislative Update February 2014
Lawmakers from both the House and Senate remained in their home states and districts for the last week of the month-long August recess. They are expected to return to Washington on September 5th, where they will face many important challenges including lifting the debt ceiling and passing a spending bill to continue funding the government. .This is precisely what happened to Notch Babies. In 1977, Congress did not have the same benefit of computer software that so quickly does the projections and estimates that we have today. But even if Congress had developed examples illustrating benefit differentials among different categories of receipients "they would not have shown as great differentials as actually developed," said a paper written by James W. Kelly and Joseph R. Humphreys, that appeared in the 1994 report of The Social Security Notch Commission. Some reductions of 10% to 14% would have been anticipated at the time, but because inflation grew much more quickly than estimated, and wages grew much more slowly, benefits were reduced 13% — 30% for Notch Babies under actual conditions. ."Income-Relating Medicare Part B and Part D Premiums: How Many Medicare Beneficiaries Will Be Affected?" Kaiser Family Foundation, Publication No. 8126, December 2010. … Continued
Ask The Advisor April 2012
If adopted, the Social Security Administration Fairness Act would accomplish the following: .Discussion on the bill will likely continue into the summer, and TSCL will continue to monitor the ongoing debate. We remain hopeful that lawmakers will address any loopholes that would allow immigrants to claim Social Security credits based on work done illegally. In addition, TSCL is concerned that those with provisional status could have access to Social Security and Medicare benefits before they are granted citizenship. Both of these issues would put an unnecessary and unspecified strain on the Trust Funds, and we will continue to inform Members of Congress about potential issues in the coming weeks. .To learn more about your enrollment deadlines for Medicare visit www.Medicare.gov. … Continued
"Because earnings are used to determine entitlement, the portion of earnings from jobs worked prior to legal authorization poses a substantial long-term liability to the Social Security Trust Fund," Cates says. In order to improve Social Security solvency, Congress is expected to consider cutting Social Security benefits, perhaps significantly, at some point in the future. "This policy that ‘pays benefits based on work while in the country illegally raises questions as to whether individuals who worked without authorization and committed document fraud will benefit at the expense of others who paid in under valid SSNs," Cates notes. .While the policy will mean that Medicare would spend less, patients will spend more— often, a lot more, and the charges would broadside most beneficiaries, coming as a complete surprise. TSCL is strongly opposed to this type of backdoor benefit cut, and has written a letter to President Biden urging him to rescind this CMS rule. Please sign our petition! .House Passes Prescription Drug Legislation .Most analysts believe that switching to a more – stingy measure of inflation to determine annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) will form a key provision to larger government-wide deficit reduction legislation. The idea received the blessing of President Obama who offered the change last December during fiscal cliff negotiations and continues to float the idea as Congress works on the government's fiscal year 2014 legislation. .A new healthcare cost survey conducted in October 2011 by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) — one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups — found that the majority of seniors spent a very significant portion of their Social Security benefits in order to pay for healthcare. The survey asked for information about the out-of-pocket costs that respondents paid in the first six months of 2011, and for comments about how they were managing after two years of receiving no annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). .Trump's administration "has decided to pursue a radical and dangerous policy to set prices based on rates paid in countries that he has labeled as socialist, which will harm patients today and into the future," Stephen Ubl, the head of PhRMA, said in a statement. .Social Security defines an overpayment as "any time beneficiaries receive more than they should have." This occurs for a number for reasons, but most frequently when Social Security isn't notified of changes, such as a death of a beneficiary or excess earnings when working. Overpayments can also be due to errors by the Social Security Administration, but even when the overpayments are Social Security's own fault, the beneficiary must prove he or she is not at fault. .It is bad enough that non-medical professionals are involved in criminal activity like this but for a doctor to be part of it is outrageous. .This week, lawmakers released the text of legislation that will comprehensively reform the tax code if adopted, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) delivered letters to Capitol Hill outlining three tax-related changes that would strengthen the Social Security program. In addition, TSCL endorsed two new bills that would reduce prescription drug costs, and several key bills gained support.