• Legislative Update For The Week Ending September 30 2011 Feed

    His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal with 9 Battle Stars. .Social Security Administration data indicate that, since 2000, the ESF grew at an unprecedented pace. According to TSCL's new report since 2000, the SSA has received, on average, 8.8 million suspicious wage reports annually. Cumulative wages in the ESF since 1980 now total more than .2 trillion, unadjusted for inflation. Wages are of importance because Social Security benefits are based on an individual's earnings record, not the taxes paid in. .If our forecast proves correct, this would. … Continued

  • Legislative Update For Week Ending September 21 2012

    Only two weeks remain before the March 31st deadline, and at this point, it appears as though a temporary "doc fix" will be necessary. Sen. Hatch mentioned on Tuesday that lawmakers are currently considering a nine-month pay patch, which would mean that lawmakers wouldn't have to revisit the issue until after the November elections. Should lawmakers fail to reach an agreement on either a temporary or a permanent solution, doctors who treat Medicare patients will see a 24 percent pay cut, which would negatively impact seniors' access to quality medical care. .Obviously we will continue to push for passage of those bills and keep you updated about their progress as things develop. .Alexandria, VSpiking drug prices are taking large numbers of Medicare beneficiaries by surprise according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Sixty-one percent of people with Medicare drug coverage report higher co-pays and co-insurance costs than expected in 2014 according to more than 1,000 survey participants. The reason for the cost spikes may be tough for many beneficiaries to figure out, according to the survey. Sky-high drug prices are commonly associated with brand and newer specialty drugs, but cost spikes are now affecting generics as well. … Continued

I worked in a California city police department for 30 years and I'm now entitled to a pension. For the past 8 years, I've also paid into Social Security for self-employment earnings from a small company that I own. My accountant tells me that, in order to qualify for Social Security benefits, I should continue to work at my company and send in in two more years' worth of taxes. Will this be worth it? .Watch your mail for information from your current Medicare supplemental or Medicare Advantage, and drug plan insurers. Your insurers will send you notification of changes in coverage, such as premiums, deductible, and co-insurance or co-payment costs for 200Carefully review these documents and compare them with your costs in 200File these documents where you can easily refer to them because you will need to use them for comparison when comparing other insurance options. .We are reading a lot these days about "Greedy Geezers." The term is used to describe supposedly self-centered seniors who insist that elected lawmakers get their HANDS OFF! Social Security and Medicare. These affluent old codgers are reportedly bankrupting the nation, leaving nothing but crushing debt and taxes for the nation's children. .In April, lawmakers on the Republican Study Committee proposed a budget blueprint that would reform the Medicare program and cut Social Security benefits by adopting the "chained" CPI, eliminating the COLA for some seniors, and raising the eligibility age. Did you support this dramatic budget blueprint, and if so, why? .Health care for seniors is also one of the top issues on our agenda at TSCL and we have been talking to Congressional offices about our concerns. That's why we were happy to see progress this week regarding the issue of surprise medical billing. Surprise billing has been a real problem for some seniors who have Medicare Advantage. It's an issue that TSCL has been discussing with Congress and that we've written about for the last few weeks. .Sources: Making Work Pay Credit Was Implemented As Intended, But Resulted in Many Taxpayers Owing Taxes With Returns," Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration, November 1, 2010, Ref. No. 2011-41-002. .In addition, one new cosponsor – Rep. Jared Nadler (NY-10) – signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 973) this week, bringing the total up to 15The bill, if signed into law, would repeal two Social Security provisions – the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) – that unfairly reduce or eliminate the earned Social Security benefits of millions of retired teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other state or local government employees each year. TSCL believes the two provisions must be repealed as soon as possible so that public servants receive the retirement security they have earned and deserve. .The new low comes as COLAs have flat-lined over the past seven years, averaging just 1.2% — less than half the 3% average over the two decades prior to 20The long-term financial impact on anticipated retirement benefits is significant and growing, says TSCL's Executive Director, Shannon Benton. "People lose the effect of compounding when benefit raises are at these extreme lows," she explains. "That reduces the Social Security income that retirees may have been counting on over their retirement." .Action on Capitol Hill was slow this week as Members of Congress remained in their home states and districts to prepare for the November 6th election. They are not expected to return to Capitol Hill until after the Veterans Day holiday, on Tuesday, November 13th. TSCL would like to remind you that many Members of Congress will attend local events or hold town hall meetings in the upcoming weeks, giving voters an excellent opportunity to voice their concerns. We encourage you to approach your Senators and Representatives to request their support for fair cost-of-living adjustments and other key issues.