Guidance For Traveling On Cruise Ships Changed
After leaving major decisions on Social Security and Medicare cuts to the New Year, Members of Congress are returning to pick up their debate over entitlements and taxes. With the looming insolvency of the Social Security disability program just two short years away, Congress will be forced to take action to re-set program funding at some point soon. When that happens, cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) cuts could be used to shore up the program. .Throughout the hearing, the "big dog" in the room – as one witness referred to it – was the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Each of the witnesses urged the Subcommittee Members to replace the current Medicare physician payment formula with a new model, saying that there's simply too much uncertainty surrounding the SGR. Though most seemed to agree, the price tag of repealing the SGR is daunting and the process of re-writing a billing system with 8,000 different codes will certainly take time. .(Washington, DC) – After no annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) this year, older Americans are likely to get a boost for 201But the increase will be so small that it will be the lowest ever paid, according to a new forecast by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). … Continued
Legislative Update June 2015
In his opening statement, Dr. Conway said, "This proposal is part of the Administration's broader strategy to encourage better care, smarter spending, and healthier people by paying for what works, unlocking health care data, and finding new ways to coordinate and integrate care to improve quality." .In 1996 Congress passed legislation barring felony fugitives from receiving SSI benefits. A new computer program should end such payments while helping law enforcement officers to track down fugitives. Computers match law enforcement records against the data files of beneficiaries of SSI and other Social Security programs. When a match is found, SSI benefits can be terminated, and investigators can provide law enforcement officials with the fugitive`s most recent address where he or she has been receiving checks. .TSCL's Board Visits Capitol Hill … Continued
Sources: "Crackdown Proposed To Prevent Illegal Immigrants From Obtaining Medicare," Robert Pear, The New York Times, March 3, 201"Medicare Improperly Paid Providers Millions Of Dollars For Unlawfully Present Beneficiaries," Daniel R. Levinson, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General January 2013. .However, leaders in the House postponed the vote and the discussion grew complicated after President Obama made a last-minute request to include funding for the training of Syrian rebels in the CR. "This is substantive policy change … Of course I would rather pass a clean, simple CR," said Rep. Mike Rogers (MI-8), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, following the President's request. .Some issues of controversy inevitably arose at Thursday's hearing, but common ground was also found on the important issue of corporate tax reform. The Joint Committee, which must hold a vote on its final proposal before Thanksgiving, will likely hold a third public hearing in the coming weeks. TSCL will continue to monitor its progress. .This week, lawmakers remained in their home states and districts for a week-long spring break. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Monday, March 2In the meantime, many Members of Congress will be hosting town hall meetings, which The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) encourages its supporters to attend. .According to that study, during a recent five-year period, Medicare spending on hundreds of medicines to treat various neurologic conditions, such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, rose 50%, but the number of claims increased only 8%. .Not surprisingly, TSCL surveys and email indicated that although Medicare costs continued to grow from 2010 to 2011, many seniors were forced to cut back and forego healthcare services. This undoubtedly was a major reason why government spending on Medicare remained relatively flat. The following table illustrates responses to a question from the TSCL 2011 Healthcare Cost Survey conducted in October 2011: .It's no longer a matter of 'if' Congress will cut Social Security and Medicare, but "when" most policy observers now believe. Much will depend on Congressional budget negotiations in coming weeks as lawmakers address the extent to which borrowing can continue for payment of Social Security and Medicare benefits. .Tax Reform Legislation Introduced in House .Federal agencies shut down this week as Members of Congress failed to adopt a stopgap funding measure before the October 1st deadline. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw one key bill gain support.