• Legislative Update Week Ending November 23 2018

    Negotiations on how to fund the Social Security payroll tax cut and the Medicare physician "doc fix" continued this week. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (MI-4) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (MT) led the 20 congressional conference committee members in talks aimed at producing a bill by the February 29th deadline. .Several new bills have recently been introduced in Congress that would reduce prescription drug costs. A number of them have bipartisan support. To read more details about these bills see —"Stories About High Drug Costs Lead To Congressional Investigation of Pharmaceutical Pricing." .This week, The Senior Citizens League's legislative team hand-delivered nearly eight hundred petitions to leaders in the Senate. The petitions urged lawmakers to support legislation that would boost Social Security benefits while strengthening the financing of the program by adopting the Social Security Expansion Act (S. 427). … Continued

  • Legislative Update January 2019

    Finally, TSCL announced its support for the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act (S. 64), which was introduced by Senator John McCain (AZ) earlier this week. If adopted, his bill would allow individuals to import their prescription drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada, where they are often a fraction of the price. It would bring much-needed competition to America's prescription drug market, and it would increase access to affordable drugs for all Americans. Chairman Cooper wrote in a letter of support: "TSCL salutes you for introducing legislation that would ensure access to affordable, lifesaving medicines … we lend our enthusiastic support and the support of our membership to the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act." .TSCL is relieved that Members of Congress came to an agreement this week, since another government shutdown like last year's would have severely affected Social Security and Medicare benefits for seniors. However, lawmakers will need to revisit the spending debate in ten short weeks since the temporary bill expires on December 11th. TSCL will continue to monitor the discussions in the meantime, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .What does this new "pay for performance" mean for patients? Not much is known yet, but I got a first - hand experience of the new system recently. One of my doctors, a specialist, told me that due to a "quality initiative reorganization," he wouldn't be seeing me as a patient anymore. I'll have to find a new doctor. … Continued

We enthusiastically support H.R. 1811 and H.R. 1716, and we were pleased to see support grow for both bills this week. .Drug companies and some patient groups have long criticized proposals like this last rule, saying it would reduce innovation and access to certain medications. In addition, drug makers are particularly leery of the approach since Democrats want to use it more broadly to allow Medicare to directly negotiate prices. .Click here to add your name to a petition, learn how you can help, or take a poll. .Investors already smell big money for a COVID-19 vaccine. .For Medicare Advantage enrollees whose physicians are dropped, this means one of three things. They will either have to scramble to find a new doctor, pay more to see their out-of-network doctor, or switch to a Medicare Advantage plan with a better network of providers. Seniors who did not choose the third option last fall will have to wait until October – the start of Medicare's open enrollment period – to find a new plan. .This is a new issue that has popped up on our radar and TSCL will be studying it in greater depth as we learn what might be done to insure lower prices and greater security for the prescription drugs that are so important for so many of us, especially the nations senior citizen population. .New TSCL Report: 4.8 Billion in Wages In SSA's Earnings Suspense File .To learn more about how the SSA calculates the COLA you can find that info here. .On Thursday, The Senior Citizens League estimated that Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2019, based on consumer price index (CPI) data through August. The official 2019 Social Security COLA will be announced next week – on Thursday, October 11th – following the release of the September CPI data.