Legislative Update Week Ending July 1 2016
As prices increase, those who depend on Social Security benefits experience a decline in the buying power. In fact, according to my research, Social Security benefits have lost 30% of buying power over the past 20 years. For some retirees, that means a decline in their standard of living. ."We are saying you need to be doing more inspections," Verma told reporters, explaining her message to states. "We called on states in early March to go into every single nursing home and to do a focused inspection around infection control." .In particular, the expert witnesses at last week's hearing focused on isolation from the community, Medicare penalties for late enrollment, and a lack of funding for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs), which help older Americans navigate Medicare enrollment. … Continued
H R 1553 Fair Cola For Seniors Act
Seniors have lost almost one-third of their buying power since 2000, according to the 2013 Annual Survey of Senior Costs, conducted by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). TSCL's latest report adds fuel to the heated debate over controversial budget proposals to cut Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). .Senate Committee Discusses Social Security Benefit Maximization .Congress was out of session this week because of the Presidents' Day holiday. Nearly all of those up for re-election (all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate) were back in their home states and districts, most likely meeting with constituents and/or raising money for their campaigns. So although there was not a lot of news coming out of Congress, news was being made by the Trump administration. … Continued
Finally, one new cosponsor – Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL-20) – signed on to the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (H.R. 574) this week bringing the total up to thirty-seven. If signed into law, H.R. 574 would repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR), which is the flawed formula that is currently used to determine reimbursements for physicians who treat Medicare patients. Adopting H.R. 574 would bring increased stability to the Medicare program for both physicians and beneficiaries. .TSCL is registered as a 501(c)(4) citizens action organization. Open to anyone concerned about protecting earned benefits, TSCL is registered to conduct grass roots lobbying, public education, and fundraising activities in nearly every state. No government moneys are accepted or utilized by TSCL. .The Medicare portion of spending, officials say, grew 6.2 percent in 2011, after growing just 4.3 percent in 20A major factor holding down costs was the recession. As tens of thousands of working seniors lost jobs, and their healthcare coverage, other seniors were hit by the crash of retirement savings and real estate values. This was followed by two years without any cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2010 or 2011. .Don't delay. To learn more, find a local Social Security office or to apply online, visit the Social Security website at SocialSecurity.gov or call the Social Security Administration toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 .Chairman Johnson said: "I know that fixing Social Security will require tough choices that will affect the lives of millions of Americans. Congress has a responsibility to the American people to make these choices. And the longer we wait, the harder it gets. If we wait until the Trust Funds are exhausted, some options won't even be available anymore. We must take this responsibility seriously. Americans want, need, and deserve nothing less." .Alexandria, VA (June 17, 2013) Seniors are closely following the debate over Social Security, and a new survey indicates strong support for two major changes that could restore Social Security's long-term solvency. The survey, conducted by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups, found that 52% of seniors strongly favor, and another 30% somewhat favor, raising the Social Security maximum taxable wage base. In addition, 87% support banning the use of earnings from jobs worked under invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers by unauthorized immigrant workers to determine entitlement to Social Security and other federal benefits. .Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, private and public sector large employers are responsible for providing health insurance for employees and contributing toward the cost of insurance. Generally, the federal health insurance exchange is only available for people who can't otherwise afford to purchase the insurance offered by their employer (according to thresholds set by law). But the fight to pass the 2010 Affordable Care Act was so contentious and controversial that some Members of Congress insisted that their colleagues set an example and be required to have the same coverage as all other Americans. .Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-4) introduced H.R. 1170 on February 13, 201It has since been referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. .As a result of the inadequate funding, both the both the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI) programs have been struggling to serve the public. More than one million applicants are currently waiting to hear whether they qualify for DI benefits, and those who have appealed recent rejections must wait 600 days or longer for their cases to be re-heard. In 2017, 10,000 individuals died while waiting on their DI eligibility decisions. While waiting, they had no access to DI benefits or Medicare coverage, which recipients with long-term disabilities can receive after they are enrolled in the program for two years.