Legislative Update Week Ending July 7 2017
The high cost of treatment is a frequently cited barrier by those who are not getting the dental care they need. Elizabeth H., a retiree living in Colorado told us "I do not have the ,000 I was told that I needed to get my teeth fixed. They need to either be pulled and a bridge put in, or root canaled. Being on a limited income, I do not see getting any of this done, and so it affects my health negatively. Without dental care, I'm not as healthy as I could be." .In the meantime, TSCL is advocating on Capitol Hill for legislation that would provide immediate assistance to those who fall into the coverage gap. Older Americans living on fixed incomes cannot wait until 2020 for coinsurance in the doughnut hole to drop to 25%. We enthusiastically support the Prescription Drug Affordability Act (S. 2023, H.R. 3513), a bill that would drop the coinsurance to 25% by 2017, three years earlier than current law would. In the months ahead, we will continue to work with its sponsors in the House and Senate to build support for it, and we hope to see it passed into law by the end of this year. .Source: "Analysis of Plan 2 of The President's Commission on Social Security," Congressional Budget Office, July 21, 2004. … Continued
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As prices. Low COLA & 038; COVID-19 Costs Could Trigger A Medicare Premium Spike When the Social Security Administration announced that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2016 would be zero, a stunning thing occurred. The Medicare Trustees projected that the monthly Part B premium would increase by an unprecedented .50 (52%) between 2015 and 2016— from 4.90 to 9.30 per month. What does this have to do with the. Retirement Benefits Could Be Subject To "Inaccurate CPI Information" TSCL is forecasting a 1.3% Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 202Our forecast is based on the most recent consumer price data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (through August) and uses the same formula that the Social Security Administration uses to calculate the annual inflation boost. .Call your plan's mail-order service and compare the prescription costs, including any shipping. Often you can get a three-month supply of your prescription by mail for less money than you would pay for a one-or two-month supply purchased at a standard retail pharmacy, and pay nothing for shipping. But using mail order requires advance planning on your part because you need to allow up to two weeks for delivery. .Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-4) introduced H.R. 1170 on February 13, 201It has since been referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. … Continued
Many Members of the Subcommittee focused on raising the retirement age, though Mr. Blahous assured them that this action could not fix the shortfall on its own, or seniors would be working well into their late seventies. .Demographics dictate that Medicare spending will climb in the future as more people become eligible and enroll, and as aging increases the need for more healthcare services. Cutting the growth of Medicare spending without cutting access to affordable care for seniors will be a monumental challenge for Congress. TSCL believes a great deal more can be done to find savings by making the system more efficient and to clamp down on fraud, waste and abuse. .The new low comes as COLAs have flat-lined over the past seven years, averaging just 1.2% — less than half the 3% average over the two decades prior to 20The long-term financial impact on anticipated retirement benefits is significant and growing, says TSCL's Executive Director, Shannon Benton. "People lose the effect of compounding when benefit raises are at these extreme lows," she explains. "That reduces the Social Security income that retirees may have been counting on over their retirement." .If adopted, it would provide beneficiaries with a 2 percent benefit boost, base cost-of-living adjustments on the more accurate Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, create a new minimum benefit set at 125 percent of the poverty line, and eliminate taxes on Social Security benefits for millions of seniors. It would also extend the solvency of the program through the year 2100 without cutting benefits for current or future retirees. .Did your husband work in 2020? If his earnings averaged more than ,260 per month, he generally would not be considered disabled. .In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (TX-3) said: "Although Social Security now has modern hardware and modern data centers, its employees are still using software that is decades out of date. About 30 percent of these legacy systems still use COBOL code, an ancient programming language that isn't even taught in schools anymore." He explained that maintaining the outdated system is costly, it requires extra training for employees, and it is difficult to update when needed. .This week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing on rising prescription drug costs. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw two key bills gain support in the House of Representatives. .For example, RMDs for retirees who turned 70 ½ in 2019 would have been based on the value of their retirement accounts on December 31, 201At that time the Dow was 28,462 compared to 24,101 on April 1, 2020, when their RMD was due. However, the CARES Act waiver applies to this group as well as people like you who turn 70 ½ in 2020. .As of yet the White House has not put out President Biden's plans for drug pricing legislation, or how strongly they will push for it.