Legislative Update July 2017
On Friday, Members of Congress remained in their home states and districts for a week-long holiday recess. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Monday, June 3rd. In the final days of the Memorial Day recess, many Members of Congress will be hosting town hall meetings and attending events in their home states and districts. .Immigration Reform .Perhaps the most difficult task on Capitol Hill today is getting the attention of Members of Congress. Yet, the nature of grassroots advocacy lends itself as an effective tool for grabbing the ear of Congress on matters needing decisive action. For The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) and our nearly 1.1 million supporters across the nation, this is no different. … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending March 16 2018
While the Social Security Trustees project that the program will remain solvent until 2033 and that the Medicare Trust Fund will be solvent until 2024, both programs are currently paying out more than received in cash revenues. Because the federal budget is in deficit, the government is borrowing the money to pay benefits. The cost of interest payments is increasing as a portion of the federal budget. The question is how long can the government continue to borrow the money. .Require Medicare beneficiaries to pay a higher portion of the Part B premium. Premiums for Part B cover physician and hospital outpatient services. The premiums of most seniors, those with incomes under ,000, equal 25 percent of Medicare's total cost of services, and the federal government covers the other 75 percent of the cost. This proposal would require seniors to pay 35 percent instead - like higher-income seniors do now. The 2010 Medicare Trustee report estimates that Part B premiums at the 35% level would be 9.30 per month in 2012. .Other critics say that revising the government's purchasing rules will not provide a quick solution to the supply shortages of the current pandemic. "Making Buy American provisions tighter during the current crisis would likely do more harm than good," according to William Reinsch and Jack Caporal of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. … Continued
To learn more about Medicare deductibles visit online at www.Medicare.gov or call toll free at 1-800-MEDICARE ( 7). .A few years later, under 2003 Medicare drug legislation, funding for private plans was significantly boosted and the program got rebranded as "Medicare Advantage." Enrollment grew steadily and rapidly ever since. But by 2009, government economists reported that the payments to the plans cost the federal government 14 percent more than the same services would have cost under traditional Medicare. .TSCL is fighting the plan to chain COLAs and believes seniors need a COLA that more adequately protects the buying power of their Social Security benefits. "Members of Congress are more likely to re-think voting for legislation when they see a large number of seniors are adamantly opposed to cutting COLAs," says Hyland. To learn more about proposals that would affect your Social Security benefits, get tips on reducing your Medicare costs, and sign up for TSCL's free online newsletter The Social Security & Medicare Advisor, visit TSCL at . .Cruise passengers who are not fully vaccinated are more likely to get COVID-19, which spreads person-to-person, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships. .In addition, three new cosponsors signed on to the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act (S. 1123 and H.R. 2305) this week, bringing the total up to twenty-four in the Senate and thirty-four in the House. If signed into law, the comprehensive bill would take a number of steps to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse within the two programs – a problem that TSCL believes must be addressed in order to ensure that scarce program dollars are being spent properly. The new cosponsors are Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1), and Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14). .Spousal and survivor strategies also are important. One example is file-and-suspend, which allows a spouse to claim a spousal benefit while the individual defers claiming. Another is "claim now, claim more later," where the high earner in a married couple claims a spousal benefit based on the lower earning spouse's record, while delaying his or her own retired worker benefit. The idea is to generate higher benefits both for the individual as well as higher survivor benefits for widows. .Senate Committee Discusses SGR Alternatives .On Tuesday, new and veteran lawmakers in the House and Senate met on Capitol Hill for the swearing in of the 115th Congress. As expected, Congressman Paul Ryan (WI-1) was re-elected to the Speaker position with 239 votes in the House, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) was re-elected to the House Minority Leader position with 189 votes. .TSCL strongly supports quick passage of the urgently needed legislation to stop the cuts.