Weekly Update For Week Ending July 3 2020
Nearly 50 years ago, we made a promise to ensure quality, affordable healthcare for all American seniors. In order to protect that promise, we must promote excellence and efficiency in Medicare, while being more fiscally responsible. One of the most important ways we can achieve those critical goals is to fix the broken Medicare physician payment system, which has created uncertainty and instability for seniors, healthcare providers, and the federal budget for decades. Because of the failed physician payment system, there is a looming crisis facing seniors and the doctors who care for them: on January 1, 2013 doctors could be hit with a scheduled reduction in Medicare payments of more than 30 percent. .The House of Representatives did not return to Washington but on Friday they held a vote on a resolution about whether to start conducting official votes by using proxies. To do so would end more than 200 years of precedent and now allow lawmakers serve as proxies for colleagues quarantined or otherwise stuck at home during the pandemic. .TSCL's annual survey of senior costs indicates that Social Security benefits have lost more than 34% of their buying power since 2000 because the current inflation measure, the Consumer Price Index for Workers (CPI-W) doesn't accurately account for the larger share of income that seniors spend on healthcare. … Continued
Buying Power Of Social Security Benefits Wiped Out By Soaring Inflation
Confirmation Process Begins for Burwell ."Reducing the cost of prescription drugs is essential for both Medicare beneficiaries and Medicare's finances," says Mary Johnson, a Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). The average monthly Social Security retiree benefit is just ,552, while spending on prescription drugs is the fastest growing cost that most retirees face in retirement," she says. Over time, drug costs take a growing portion of Social Security income, because prices are rising several times faster than annual cost of living adjustments (COLAs). .Repurpose "heirlooms in time." If you have boxes of "almost antiques" hidden away in antiques or basements pick out a few to repurpose for a second time around. Restring those old broken beads, cut apart shrunken felted sweaters and sew into new tote bags for the market. Drill holes in into old loose-leaf tea cans and plant some thyme, rosemary or a small parsley plant for a sunny windowsill. A great place to get inspiration is www.Pintrest.com. … Continued
In 2018, 74% of participants in TSCL's 2018 Senior Survey said to improve Social Security's financing, they support applying the full 12.4% Social Security payroll tax to all earnings, rather than just limiting the amount of wages that are taxable, which is 2,900 in 201Fifty nine percent of survey participants support very gradually raising the Social Security payroll tax by 1% each for workers and employers. TSCL is working to acquaint Congress with Social Security financing changes that have the broadest support among older Americans. .To address this issue, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (AZ), suggested that the Committee focus on waste, fraud, and abuse, since it's a topic that generally has bipartisan support. He stated, "Some people fear the solution has to be a cut in benefits. There may be very substantial savings that can be achieved through efficiencies." Most at the hearing seemed to agree with him. .As we've found out in our meetings with Congressional staff members, Congress is hearing thousands of complaints from voters who want surprise billing stopped. But, they are also hearing from the health care providers who are making a lot of money from surprise billings and they are fighting back to try and stop or modify legislation. Because of the pressure Congress is receiving from opposing sides, getting legislation to fix the problem is more complicated than you might expect. There are four bills in the Senate to deal with the issue and five in the House. .(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). .Action on Capitol Hill was slow this week as lawmakers remained in their home states and districts for the holiday recess. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill to begin the second session of the 114th Congress on Tuesday, January 5th. Check back then for legislative news, or visit our new page on Twitter for more frequent updates. .In an interview this week, Rep. Charles Boustany (LA-3), who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, revealed that the negotiators have hit a road block. They are struggling to come up with an offset for the bill, which could cost as much as 3.2 billion. Rep. Boustany said, "We're running out of time. We may end up with another one-year patch before it's all over. But, you know, we'll keep working, see if we can get to something." TSCL sincerely hopes that those on the three committees will successfully merge their bills to create a permanent, sustainable path forward. We will keep a close eye on the evolving negotiations in the coming weeks, and we will continue to urge lawmakers to repeal and replace the SGR. .Finally, one new cosponsor – Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3) – signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795) this week, bringing the total up to ninety-four. If signed into law, the bill would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – two provisions that unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of state and local government employees each year. .USA TODAY .The chances for legislation remain strong as more experts say older seniors need a benefit boost to protect them from outliving their retirement resources. Your continued support, letters, and phone calls to Members of Congress make all the difference in building co-sponsorship. TSCL has been instrumental in building support for the Notch Fairness legislation and remains committed to passage.