Legislative Update For Week Ending 10 25 2019
I spent the better part of last year trying to determine the cause of, and best treatment for, a mysterious chronic cough. A non-smoker, I'm usually obnoxiously healthy. Last year, though, I went through a battery of four specialists, a long menu of tests, underwent surgery and spent a night in the hospital. Yet by January of this year the cough was worse than ever. .The sharp plunge was the result of changes that Congress made in 1977 to a. Could Your Benefits Be Notched? The Notch Fairness Act Introduced in the House and Senate .Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, private and public sector large employers are responsible for providing health insurance for employees and contributing toward the cost of insurance. Generally, the federal health insurance exchange is only available for people who can't otherwise afford to purchase the insurance offered by their employer (according to thresholds set by law). But the fight to pass the 2010 Affordable Care Act was so contentious and controversial that some Members of Congress insisted that their colleagues set an example and be required to have the same coverage as all other Americans. … Continued
Category Legislative News Page 64
Worst of all, patients don't qualify for Medicare coverage of follow-up nursing home care, because Medicare requires three consecutive days in the hospital as an "inpatient." That leaves the patient and their families on their own to figure out how to pay nursing home bills, or to go without. .I would like to know how, at this point, you project a Social Security COLA at 6.1%. Inflation would have to continue on an upward path through September for that to happen. — R.Q., NJ .Our mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. TSCL consists of vocally active senior citizens concerned about the protection of their Social Security, Medicare, and veteran or military retiree benefits. … Continued
Roughly 27% of older single women are at high risk of living in poverty, because they have little other income to augment their Social Security benefits. Single women have it worse in retirement than married couples and men, and are more likely to become impoverished as they age. Most women have lower benefits than men. Women tend to work in lower-paying jobs, get paid less than men, and take time out of the workforce to take care of children and older family members. That can leave zero earnings gaps, or only partial years of earnings for the time out of the work force. .This year, I am currently gathering support for the Medicare Advantage Quality Payment Relief Act, which would require the HHS Secretary to take Medicare Advantage Quality Incentive payments out of the calculation of the Medicare Advantage benchmark cap. This will allow high performing plans to receive the quality payments that they rightfully earned and to use those payments to improve beneficiary care. .Fourth, one new cosponsor – Representative Raul Ruiz (CA-36) – signed on to Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act (H.R. 242), bringing the total up to forty-four. This bill, if adopted, would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to negotiate lower prescription drug prices on behalf of Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Under current law, CMS is prohibited from doing so. .Unlike the temporary payroll tax cuts, which wouldn't affect Social Security's finances, the diversion of Social Security contributions into private accounts would substantially reduce the amount of money available to pay current beneficiaries. This "privatization" of Social Security contributions would drain the Social Security Trust Fund in short order and require the transfer of TRILLIONS of dollars from the U.S. Treasury into the Social Security Trust Fund in the coming decades to continue paying current benefits. .Again, according to Bloomberg News, "Manufacturers have to offer Medicaid plans their lowest possible price under federal regulations in order to participate in other federal drug programs, which is likely why the Medicaid prices are so low." .The four orders would: .Fortunately, there are other bills in Congress that TSCL supports to lower the amount of money seniors must pay for their prescription drugs which we believe have a much better chance of passing and we will keep fighting for them. .Analysts say that deeper Medicare cuts may be back on the table by the end of the year. One of the most controversial proposals would convert Medicare into a system called "premium support." Under the proposal, the government would allocate a fixed amount of money for Medicare beneficiaries' premiums; and people would then purchase coverage from private health plans that would provide all their care. .The government has made it much easier to drop out of an older supplemental Medigap plan and join a new Medicare Advantage plan than the other way around. In fact, if you drop your older supplement, you may not be able to get it back again should you discover your new plan is not what you thought it would be. Failure to read the fine print can expose you to thousands of dollars in unexpected out-of-pocket costs should you require even just a few days of hospitalization or have a health condition that requires multiple visits to the doctor and lab services.