Social Security Medicare Questions
Source: "Senators Introduced Medicare Reform Plan: The Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act," Paul.Senate.Gov, March 15, 2012. .At any rate, what this means is the legislation that TSCL is fighting to pass which would safeguard and improve Social Security and Medicare still has the possibility of passing this year. Most of those bills will involve new spending, which means they will need to be included in new funding legislation. .TSCL recently asked their members and supporters how no COLA in 2016 would impact their budgets. "They told us they will struggle to cover the costs of prescription drugs, car repairs, property taxes, rising food costs, and even their most basic needs next year," Cates says. "Simply put, Americans living on a fixed income cannot afford to go without a COLA, and we are concerned about the impact recent years of record - low COLAs will have on the long-term adequacy of benefits for millions of people who depend on COLAs," Cates explains. … Continued
2016 Legislative Update For Week Ending February 5 2016
The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated in their September budget outlook that Medicare outlays for 2020 would rise about 12 percent — roughly double the rate forecast by the Medicare Trustees in their April 2020 report. This suggests that the Medicare Part B premium increase for 2021 could be about .40 per month higher in 2021, rising from 4.60 to 2.00. But even this estimate does not include the impact of cost shifting due to protecting people with low Social Security benefits from reductions due to the high Medicare Part B increase. .According to the report, CMS has not expanded the recovery audit program to Medicare Advantage by the end of 2010 as was required by the Patient Protection Act. Recovery audits have been used for years in other Medicare programs to recover improper payments. TSCL believes Congress must provide stronger oversight to ensure that scarce Medicare dollars are spent appropriately and to prevent private insurers from boosting profits by gauging both taxpayers and older Americans. .This week, TSCL announced its support for legislation that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) recently re-introduced: the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act (H.R. 2745). Each year, millions of unauthorized workers use invalid, stolen, or fraudulent Social Security numbers to get jobs in the United States. Later, if they receive "green cards" or work authorization, they may file a claim for Social Security benefits based on those illegal earnings. TSCL feels that Congress should put an end to this practice in order to protect the integrity of the Social Security program and to prevent further strains on the Trust Fund. Rep. Rohrabacher's bill – which was introduced with twenty cosponsors last week – would do just that, and we look forward to working with him throughout the 113th Congress to help build support for it. … Continued
On Wednesday, Senate Budget Chair Kent Conrad laid out a long-term plan to reduce the deficit. His proposal, called the Fiscal Commission Budget Plan, nearly mirrors the recommendations made in 2010 by President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. According to Sen. Conrad, it would reduce the deficit by .4 trillion over ten years. .Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (AL) told reporters this week that a government shutdown later this month is a real possibility. He said: "This could make us all come together or it could drive us further apart. We don't know yet … I've been here on Christmas Eve." .While others want to privatize and dismantle Social Security, I'm fighting to honor our commitments to retirees and fix a broken system. .Both Senate Leader McConnell and President Trump have said they are in no rush to pass another virus-related aid bill, but the Democrats believe it is necessary to get relief out to individuals and businesses as soon as possible. .Medicare part B was not paid for by increasing taxes but is paid for by borrowing money. So were the tax cuts that the President supported, and Congress passed in 2017. .This week, Senate Budget Chair Kent Conrad (ND) released his Fiscal Commission Budget Plan, which would overhaul the tax code and make major changes to both Social Security and Medicare. In addition, TSCL saw support grow for the Social Security Fairness Act. .A report came out this weekend about the possibility of new major cuts to Medicare. This could result because of Senate rules about how many votes it takes to pass legislation. .TSCL agrees that doing away with the payroll tax cap would be a fair and responsible solution to the Social Security program's solvency issues. As the negotiations evolve over the coming months, we will continue to monitor them closely, and we will provide updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .This week, five new cosponsors signed on to the Notch Fairness Act (H.R. 1001). They are: Reps. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-2), Collin Peterson (MN-7), Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), Elton Gallegly (CA-24), and Christopher Smith (NJ-4). These cosponsor additions bring the total up to 35.