• No Deficit Reduction Plan What Happens Now

    Things aren't likely to improve next year. The Social Security Chief Actuary recently estimated that the COLA in 2017 would be just 0.4 percent, which would be the lowest COLA ever paid. That would raise benefits just .00 per ,000 in benefits. .What Kind Of Health Insurance Do Members of Congress Get? .While you may hear a lot of shouting about the payroll tax cut over the next few months, don't let it distract you from the real threat to Social Security – namely, radical plans to convert Social Security from the current guaranteed retirement benefit for everyone to a risky gamble on Wall Street that would benefit only a select few at best. … Continued

  • Is Congress Putting Profits Ahead Of Patients Feed

    The ongoing problem of extremely low COLAs, and double digit Part B premiums could be eliminated entirely if Congress were to focus instead on ensuring a higher net Social Security benefit. This could be done by enacting a one - time benefit boost or an emergency COLA. Either approach would satisfy the Social Security Act's hold harmless requirement that an individual's net benefit will not decrease from one year to the next as a result of an increase in the Part B premium, as specifically stated in section (§1839[f]). To prevent the triggering of hold harmless it would be very important that an emergency COLA payable in January 2021 is structured as an actual boost to the net benefits of Social Security recipients, rather than simply providing a flat emergency payment by check. .A Word of Warning .Last year, prescription drug prices grew by 12% nationwide. A rate that high hasn't occurred since 200What do you believe should be done to manage the growing cost increases of prescription drugs? … Continued

Five Key Bills Gain Support .Example: Let's say Sally had a Social Security benefit of ,000 in 201The Part B premium that year was 4.90. In 2016 there was no COLA, and Sally continued to receive ,000. But the Medicare Part B premium in 2016 increased to 1.80 per month. Sally's Part B premium was adjusted downward and she continued to pay the same 4.90 Medicare Part B premium that she paid the previous year, to prevent a reduction in her Social Security benefits in 2016. .Second, six new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (S. 521, H.R. 141), bringing the cosponsor total up to thirty in the Senate and 163 in the House of Representatives. The new cosponsors are: Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Representative Colin Allred (TX-32), Representative Elaine Luria (VA-2), Representative Susan Davis (CA-53), and Representative Sean Casten (IL-6). .Having a plan that covers Part D deductible generally is the better choice if you must take a lot of monthly prescriptions or if you have high drug costs. If you only require a few prescriptions or low cost generics, you might find that by going ahead and paying the deductible you recover that cost in much lower premiums. The only way to tell is by using Medicare's Drug Plan Finder to compare plan costs based on the prescriptions you take. .The Additional Child Tax Credit currently amounts to ,000 per child and a filer can receive a refund even if no income tax was withheld or paid. According to the Treasury Inspector General, the average amount per return in 2010 was ,800, but 9,000 taxpayers claimed a total of ,000 or more by filing for previous year tax periods. The following table illustrates the huge growth in payments to illegals. .Members of Congress returned to their home states and districts this week for a holiday recess that will last for two weeks. Members of the House are expected to return to Washington on Tuesday, April 9th, and Members of the Senate are expected to return on Monday, April 8th. Budget negotiations will likely resume at that time, as President Obama is slated to release his own plan for 2014 on April 8th. .Surveys by The Senior Citizens League find that older voters are strongly opposed to proposals that would cut benefits. For example, 73 percent support raising the amount of wages subject to Social Security payroll taxes by applying the full 12.4% payroll tax to wages above the taxable maximum —8,700 in 201Currently the highest earners — some 18 percent of all workers, pay no Social Security taxes on wages over the 8,700 maximum — that includes Members of Congress who receive an annual salary 4,000. Surveys have also found 90 percent strongly support allowing Medicare to negotiate drug costs. .Some Medicare Advantage plans offer low cost dental insurance as an additional benefit. Before adding the coverage, always look into the details. Coverage can be very skimpy for the money, and you might be able to find better coverage for the same amount of money from a stand-alone dental plan. .The federal government negotiates prescription drug prices for Medicaid and for veterans, but it is barred from negotiating lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries. As a result, senior citizens enrolled in Part D often pay much higher prices for their prescriptions. What are you doing to correct this unfair policy?