Government Issue New Medicare Cards
Uncovered healthcare costs — In planning your budget, include costs that Medicare doesn't cover — dental care, eye exams and eyeglasses, for example. When shopping health plans, some MA plans may offer extra benefits like these. .In addition to advocating for these three important issues, Legislative Liaison Joe Kluck delivered letters to lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee urging them to advance comprehensive proposals that would enhance Social Security benefits and strengthen the solvency of the Trust Funds past 203Both the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860) and the Social Security Expansion Act (H.R. 1170) would reform the program responsibly, without cutting benefits for current or future retirees. .The report goes on to say that "… the bill is fiercely opposed by Republicans and the powerful pharmaceutical industry, with executives warning it would harm innovation that leads to new drug development. The 50-50 split in the Senate is also raising questions about whether it could get through that chamber without losing any moderate Democrats." … Continued
Q September 2018
An abrupt jump in inflation in February and March of this year wiped out a short-lived improvement in the buying power of Social Security benefits in 2020, according to TSCL's latest study on rising senior costs. The study, which compares the growth in the Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLA)s with increases in the costs of goods and services typically used by retirees, found that, while consumer prices flatlined in 2020 through January 2021, costs are now sharply increasing. .TSCL is advocating for legislation that would provide a more fair and adequate COLA, by tying the annual adjustment to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI- E). Projections show that by using the CPI-E, Social Security benefits would be about 9 percent higher over 25 years. An average benefit of ,300 in 2017 would be about 2 per month more at the end of the 2year period using the CPI-E. .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. … Continued
On Tuesday, two Senate Committees – the Budget Committee and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee – held confirmation hearings to question Congressman Mick Mulvaney (SC-5), who was nominated by President Trump to serve as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. If confirmed, he would lead the office that develops the administration's federal budget and advises the White House on fiscal matters. .Payments for neurologist-prescribed brand name, but not generic, drugs in Medicare Part D increased consistently and well above inflation from 2013-2017. .The CBO said earlier this year that if the Congress did not take action to address the shortfalls, the balances in the two trust funds would be exhausted within the next 10 years: Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund (in fiscal year 2024), and Social Security's Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund (in fiscal year 2026) .The CPI-E Act of 2017 (H.R.1251) gained two new cosponsors in Representative Peter Welch (VT-01) and Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-08), bringing the new cosponsor total up to 4If signed into law, H.R. 1251 will base cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for Social Security benefits on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). .TSCL has serious concerns about several of the provisions in the AHCA, including the tax cut that would endanger the Medicare program. As discussions continue to advance the bill, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) will continue to monitor them, and we will advocate on Capitol Hill for policies that would protect the Medicare Trust Fund while reducing out-of-pocket costs for older Americans. For progress updates, follow TSCL on Facebook or Twitter. .The Social Security Administration also announced on Thursday that the Social Security payroll tax cap will rise from 8,400 in 2018 to 2,900 in 201Most American workers contribute 6.2 percent of every paycheck to the Social Security program, but high earners will stop contributing to the program once they reach 2,900 in income next year. That means the wealthiest American CEOs – many of whom are billionaires – will be finished paying into the Social Security program just a few hours or days into 2019. .He gradually gained backing from more of his fellow Republicans in the Senate, often persuading them one-by-one to make shows of support since last summer. Democrats in the Senate were essential to getting the legislation even out of the Finance Committee, which approved it with the support of 13 Democrats and six Republicans in July 2019. .The second issue is the COLA – specifically next year's COLA. .Many believe that Sen. Conrad's plan entails a fair balance of spending cuts and revenue increases, and they are pleased that he has revived the Fiscal Commission's recommendations. Others, however, have expressed concerns about some of the entitlement spending cuts that it calls for. TSCL in particular is concerned about the adoption of the Chained Consumer Price Index, which could significantly reduce the lifetime benefits collected by future Social Security recipients.