• Legislative Update For Week Ending April 13 2012

    The Guaranteed 3% COLA Act — Like the CPI-E Act, this critical bill would base Social Security COLAs on an inflation index for seniors. However, it would also provide much-needed financial relief to older Americans by ensuring that beneficiaries never receive an annual benefit increase that is less than 3%. TSCL was disappointed that this essential bill did not gain the support it needed to win passage in the 115th Congress, but TSCL is working to get Members of Congress onboard and the legislation moving in 2019. .Several lawmakers also expressed their concerns about rising prescription drug prices at Wednesday's hearing. When asked whether the administration would take action to assist seniors who fall into Medicare Part D's "doughnut hole," Congressman Price said: "It is imperative that we provide the greatest amount of opportunity for individual seniors to be able to gain access to the drugs that they need." Senator Bill Nelson (FL) expressed his dissatisfaction with that response, saying: "If I gave [seniors] that answer, I would get run out of the room." .How Does TSCL Project the Social Security COLA? … Continued

  • Category Legislative News Page 60

    Should Congress hand over accountability for decisions about Medicare cuts to an unelected board? That's what lawmakers did in 2010 when they passed the Affordable Care Act. The law included a controversial provision to create a Medicare cost-cutting board, known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). .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. .Specialty-tier drugs are defined by Medicare, as those that cost more than 0 per month in 2019, and include drugs used to treat cancer, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis (MS), and rheumatoid arthritis. Even when Part D enrollees reach the Medicare Part D catastrophic coverage phase, when co-insurance drops to 5%, beneficiaries who take these drugs can continue to face thousands of dollars in annual out-of-pocket costs, according to the Kaiser study. The study found that annual out-of-pocket costs for specialty drugs in 2019 are expected to average ,994 across the 28 specialty-tier drugs that are covered by drug plans. … Continued

To learn how you can get involved visit . .Consider the difference it would have made if Congress had provided an emergency COLA of 2.5% during the four years when there was no, or almost no, COLA in 2010, 2011, 2016, and 201The benefits of people retired since 2009 would be about 10% higher per month today! For someone receiving about ,200 in 2009 that would be an extra 0 per month. .The subcommittee's bill would repeal the formula and replace it with an enhanced fee-for-service system, while also allowing doctors to opt-out and participate in alternative payment models that emphasize quality. The bill was overwhelmingly approved by a voice vote on Tuesday, but much work remains to be done. Lawmakers have not yet determined how they will offset the full cost of the bill, although it does currently include funding for some provisions by authorizing transfers from the Medicare Part B Trust Fund. .Third, TSCL was pleased that Congress passed legislation last fall to stave off a 52 percent hike in Medicare Part B premiums for around 15 million beneficiaries. Back in October, our legislative team hand delivered letters to every office on Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to prevent the abrupt and dramatic premium increase. We were pleased when legislation was signed into law later that month to provide relief for the millions of Medicare beneficiaries who would have otherwise seen massive cost increases in January. .The Medicare report estimated the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will become depleted in just six more year. .One Third of TSCL Survey Respondents Have Not Received Routine Dental Care in Two Years .The House passed the bill yesterday and the Senate is expected to take it up next week. .Last week we told you that unless Congress passed new legislation soon, there would be significant cuts in Medicare payments to health care providers, such as doctors and hospitals. And if that happened it is quite possible those patients covered by Medicare would likely face negative consequences with regard to their health care. .Medicare is structured to pay more to providers based on how sick people are — not on making them well. Yet about one-half of all adults have at least one chronic condition, which is not only the most costly type of health problem to treat over time, but also the most preventable.