Benefit Bulletin November 2017
TSCL strongly supports legislation that would provide a minimum COLA in years when inflation is below average — such as the Guaranteed 3% COLA Act (H.R. 991) sponsored by Representative Eliot Engel (NY-16). How are low COLAs and higher costs affecting you? Let your Members of Congress know! Call 1-844-455-0045. .TSCL Endorses Social Security Administration Fairness Act .While the other two rulings went against the Trump Administration, this one was a win on a key piece of Trump's health-care agenda at the end of his administration. … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending April 21 2017
"The idea that we would allow ourselves to be held hostage in an emergency is mind-boggling," said David Mitchell, head of Patients for Affordable Drugs, an advocacy group. .SSA Implements New Security Policy .Supporters of the move claim the chained CPI is "more accurate" because the current inflation measures don't take into account how consumers substitute lower costing items when prices increase. When beef goes up consumers might buy more chicken they argue. "But if accuracy was the real reason for making such a change to the COLA then why aren't policy makers and Congress more interested in what seniors and disabled people really spend their money on?" asks TSCL Chairman Larry Hyland. … Continued
People frequently say they are "not ready" to move into a senior living facility, but the thoughtful solo adults who cherish their independence might be convinced that, by making decisions ahead of time when they are still healthy, is how one preserves that autonomy. Waiting until a health crisis could mean winding up where someone else decides she or he needs to be. .Forty-five percent (45%) say their retirement savings dropped significantly in value and that they have cut back on spending. Another 13 percent (13%) say their retirement savings have dropped, but they are unable to cut back any further. .The Senate amended and passed the bill 90-2 on March 25, with two Republican Senators voting against it. .To learn more about President Obama's Executive Action On Immigration, see TSCL's F.A.Q.: "What Does "Executive Action" On Immigration Have To Do With Social Security and Medicare?" .A powerful Congressional deficit reduction "super committee" is working on a plan, due by Thanksgiving, to lower the federal deficit by at least .2 trillion. "TSCL is deeply concerned that a change to a more slowly-growing 'chained' consumer price index (CPI) which is used to calculate the annual COLA boost may be part of the plan," says Larry Hyland, Chairman of TSCL. The proposal to switch to the chained CPI was given serious consideration in the closed-door debt limit meetings by Congressional leaders and President Obama earlier this summer. Switching to the chained COLA was proposed by two prominent deficit reduction commissions and has received support from both Republicans and Democrats. .TSCL supports several bills that would lead to lower prices for Medicare Part D beneficiaries, and we will continue to seek out innovative solutions that would increase access to lifesaving prescription drugs. The goal remains to ensure safe and affordable medicines for older Americans. .Sources: "Cost, Logistics Of Obama Immigration Plan Raise Concerns Before Launch," Doug McKelway, Fox News, February 13, 201Testimony of Eileen O'Connor, Esq., Before The Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Government Affairs, February 4, 201"How Changes In Immigration Policy Might Affect The Federal Budget," The Congressional Budget Office, January 2015. .Some Seniors to Pay More for Drugs Under New Rule .Grassley's proposal has long been seen as the most likely major drug pricing legislation to reach Trump's desk. However, conservative groups dislike the bill's cap on drug pricing increases and the legislation's main Democratic sponsor, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), recently withdrew from negotiations on the package.