Legislative Update Week Ending August 10 2018
COLA Cuts .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. .This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill and resumed work on a stopgap funding measure for fiscal year 2015, which begins on October 1st. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw support grow for three key bills. … Continued
70 Retirees Didnt Know Expect Lifetime Social Security Income Claimed Benefits
The payraise goes into effect automatically unless denied by legislation, or adjusted by a provision of law that prevents Congress from receiving a percentage of pay increase that would be greater than any payraise received by the General Schedule to federal workers. When Congress passed legislation in December of 2010 that froze the pay of federal workers through December 31, 2012, they effectively froze their own pay as well. No similar provision of law, however, prevents Congress from receiving a bigger COLA than seniors. The adjustment for Congress is not determined like the COLA for seniors, which is based on changes in consumer prices. Instead the Congressional COLA is based on changes in private sector wages and salaries as measured by the Employment Cost Index. Members of Congress were originally scheduled to receive a pay adjustment in January 2010, of 2.1%, and in 2011 of 0.9% had legislation not prohibited it. .I turn 61 this year and I'm still employed. I've read about waiting until my full retirement age before starting Social Security benefits. Is that 66? Do I enroll in Medicare at the same time I start Social Security? .The article continued, "The NBER study zeros in on how increases in prescription drug costs among Medicare recipients affect patient choices and comes to a stark finding: ‘Patient cost-sharing introduces large and deadly distortions into the cost-benefit calculus,' the report said." … Continued
Repealing Obamacare would affect several people that I know, including my sister who is getting treated for cancer. She can't afford to lose her insurance and we both are very stressed about what could happen. I'm wondering about Members of Congress. What sort of health insurance do they get? Who pays for their health insurance? .Sources: "Measuring Up: The Case for the Chained CPI," Rosenberg, Goldwein, Moment of Truth Project, May 11, 201"Changes in Calculating the Consumer Price Indexes," Congressional Budget Office, September 1997. .Last year the House of Representatives passed major legislation to lower drug prices that included giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to negotiate for lower drug prices with drug companies. .The resolution's authors wrote, "Our plan would strengthen Medicare by offering future seniors guaranteed-coverage options – including traditional Medicare – regardless of pre-existing conditions or health history. All seniors will have the support they need to get the care they deserve." .For years, workers were told to rely on a combination of Social Security, workplace pensions and their personal retirement savings. However, over the past 30 years or so the landscape of retirement savings has dramatically shifted. Traditional workplace pensions have shifted to 401(k) plans while some have been eliminated altogether, and the recent financial and housing collapse left many households with dramatically less value in homes and retirement funds. Partly as a result of these changes, many baby boomers and other future retirees are facing greater "risks" of not having enough to live on in their retirements. According to the Center for Retirement Research, 51 percent of households are "at risk" of not being able to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living. .Sources: "Social Security The Notch Issue," GAO-HRD-88-62, March 1988, page 1Financial Management, Challenges in Meeting Requirements of the Improper Payments Information Act, GAO-05-417, March 200"Annual Statistical Survey 2004, Social Security Administration, Table 5.A.1. .As a proud affiliate of TREThe Enlisted Association, and because many of TSCL supporters are military retirees we keep a close eye on the health benefits of military retirees. .Retirees' budgets take a beating when prescription drug prices rise faster than the annual cost – of – living adjustments (COLAs). But new legislation moving in the Senate would address that problem. The drug bill would require drug manufacturers to pay rebates when prices rise faster than inflation. Lobbying groups for drug manufacturers don't like the idea. .This week, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) successfully hosted its first ever town hall meeting. Meanwhile, action on Capitol Hill remained slow as Members of both Houses of Congress remained in their home states and districts for the August recess.