Deficit Reduction Proposal Would Clobber Seniors With Medigap Feed
Use the lowest price among other economically advanced countries – the so-called "favored nations rule" - to set what Medicare pays for certain drugs administered in a doctor's office, including many cancer medications. This would apply to the most expensive medications covered by Medicare's 'Part B,' which pays for outpatient care. .This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a week-long holiday recess. They have just one week to reach a deal to fund most of the federal government past Friday, December 7th. Should they fail to reach an agreement before then, part of the federal government will shut down like it did earlier this year. .The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) has concerns about a number of elements outlined in the revised Simpson-Bowles plan – namely the adoption of the "chained" CPI, since seniors are already being short changed by the COLAs they receive. The plan released this week is not likely to be adopted in its entirety, but it will serve as an important comparative tool in the coming weeks as leaders in Washington continue to search for sequester alternatives. The automatic cuts are scheduled to hit on Friday, March 1st, but leaders have said they believe the deadline is flexible and their best chance at redesigning it might come at the end of the month, when the continuing resolution to fund the government expires. Until then, TSCL will continue to monitor the negotiations, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. … Continued
Q A October 2020
This week, one new cosponsor – Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-1) – signed on to Rep. Peter DeFazio's (OR-4) No Loopholes in Social Security Taxes Act (H.R. 1029), bringing the total up to thirty-one. If signed into law, the bill would extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund by subjecting all income over 0,000 to the Social Security payroll tax. Currently, the payroll tax cap sits at 7,000, and no income over that amount is taxed. .It was during this time that TREA Senior Citizens League (TSCL) was founded, and of its primary goals became the representation of those affected by the Notch in Congress. Recognizing that Congress created the Notch by reducing Social Security benefits in the past, and that baby-boomers nearing retirement would provide continuing pressure to reduce benefits in the near future, TSCL's primary mission is to protect "earned" Social Security and Medicare benefits. .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. … Continued
On Thursday – seven years to the day that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law – lawmakers in the House were scheduled to vote on the AHCA. However, lacking the 218 votes needed to win passage, leaders postponed the vote. After last-minute changes were made to the text – including a repeal of the ACA's "essential health benefits" requirement – President Trump demanded a Friday vote. .Mary: What is the "anchor effect" and could you give an example? .Seventy-eight percent of the prescriptions ordered by one Florida physician were for Schedule II drugs. For one beneficiary, this physician prescribed a 605-day supply of morphine, a 52day supply of oxycodone, a 460 - day supply of fentanyl, and a 34day supply of hydromophone. .Their new estimate says that universal masking in the U.S. could save some 130,000 lives by the end of February. ."If the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Congress take no action to lower the Part B premium, most of those who were protected by "hold harmless" will need a hefty COLA in order to raise their benefit just to cover the cost of Medicare Part B premiums in 2018," Johnson says. . Four Key Bills Gain Support in Congress .When he first ran for office, candidate Trump promised he would not make any attempt to cut Social Security or Medicare while he is President. But in an interview this week with CNBC's Joe Kernan, and definitely something we will be keeping a close eye on, President Trump mentioned in a news conference that cutting entitlements (Social Security and Medicare) is not off the table. .This week, the Senate returned from break and President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address. New co-sponsors were also added to a pair of Social Security bills, and negotiations continue on how to fund the "doc fix." .Health care for seniors is also one of the top issues on our agenda at TSCL and we have been talking to Congressional offices about our concerns. That's why we were happy to see progress this week regarding the issue of surprise medical billing. Surprise billing has been a real problem for some seniors who have Medicare Advantage. It's an issue that TSCL has been discussing with Congress and that we've written about for the last few weeks.