Legislative Update For Week Ending August 16 2013
By Representative Brad Wenstrup (OH-2) .This week, The Senior Citizens League released its final estimate for the 2019 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), and four key bills gained support in Congress. .This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a week-long holiday recess, and four Members of Congress signed on as cosponsors to key legislation that would make the Social Security program more equitable for public employees. … Continued
Legislative Update For Week Ending March 4 2016
TSCL believes that the current WEP unfairly reduces the benefits of public servants, and we are pleased that support on Capitol Hill has continued to grow for the Public Servant Retirement Protection Act. .As your mom moves through stages of Alzheimer's, she will need more care over time. The medicines used to treat Alzheimer's only control symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion, but cannot cure the disease. The symptoms inevitably will get worse and because of this, eventually your mom will need more help than you can supply at home. .Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) have languished at exceptionally low levels in recent years. Administration officials and economists point to the sluggish economy and recent economic recession as the reason. But government tinkering with the consumer price index (CPI) is playing an enormous role in reducing the measured rate of inflation, in turn cutting the growth in Social Security benefits. … Continued
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. .You can also sign a petition to your Members of Congress, find contact information for your Senators and Representatives, and stay updated with the latest news on Capitol Hill. .TSCL supports both prescription drug bills introduced by Senators Franken and Sanders earlier this year, and we will continue to advocate for them tirelessly in the coming months. We will also continue to monitor these discussions on Capitol Hill closely, as the Senate HELP Committee is expected to hold two additional hearings on the prescription drug topic in the near future. For updates, visit the Legislative News section of our website, or follow TSCL on Twitter. .First, two new cosponsors – Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Senator Deb Fischer (NE) – signed on to the bipartisan Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553), bringing the total up to thirteen. If adopted, the bill would prohibit "gag clauses" that prevent pharmacists from telling patients when their prescriptions would be cheaper out-of-pocket than through their insurance plans. .Near the end of the hearing, the focus finally shifted to options for fixing the financing shortfall. Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer offered some suggestions. Mr. Blahous recommended that Congress gradually raise the age of retirement to seventy, that they reduce benefits progressively by modifying the benefit formula, and that they offer more incentives for workers who delay their retirement. Mr. Reischauer offered similar suggestions, but added that he would like to see the taxable maximum raised to cover 90% of wages. .Proposals to reform Medicare have been floating around the halls of Congress since 2010, but none have been as radical or risky as one recently released by four prominent Senators. In an attempt to curb Medicare spending, the group came up with a plan that would phase out Medicare completely, and it would do so at the expense of current enrollees, beginning as early as 201The proposal, introduced by Senators Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Jim DeMint (SC), would transition beneficiaries into the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program – the same health program available to Members of Congress. .The following Members of Congress, among others, will hold town halls this week: Sen. Michael Crapo (ID), Sen. Jerry Moran (KS), Sen. Mike Lee (UT), Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-3), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), and Rep. Donna Edwards (MD-4). .The aggressive collection efforts resulted from a one-line change tucked into the 2008 Farm Bill lifting the statute of limitations. The U.S. Treasury seized a reported .9 billion in tax refunds this year alone — million of that was for debts more than 10 years old. The Social Security Administration says that 400,000 taxpayers collectively owe 4 million in debts that are more than 10 years old. .Social Security is one of the only types of retirement income that provides a small increase annually to keep up with inflation. But in recent years, inflation as measured by the government's Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) has been almost non-existent, averaging just 1.2 percent per year since 2010, less than half the 3 percent inflation averaged the decade prior to 2010.