210 Billion Cola Cut Proposed Pay Trumps Border Wall
On Thursday, lawmakers in the House and Senate advanced a two-week stopgap measure to keep the federal government operating past Friday, December 7th. President Trump had not yet signed it into law at the time of writing this week's legislative update, but he is expected to do so before the midnight deadline. As a result, lawmakers have an extra fourteen days to reach a deal to avoid another government shutdown on December 21st. .It would permanently set the Social Security Administration's administrative funding at 1.5 percent of overall benefit payments, more than doubling the funding that the administration currently receives. .Immigration Reform … Continued
Six Ways To Lower Your Prescription Costs
Last Wednesday, the Senate's Special Committee on Aging held a hearing titled "Turning 65: Navigating Critical Decisions to Age Well." The committee focused on the social and financial challenges that keep many seniors from living fulfilling lives in retirement. As Chairwoman Collins (ME) stated, "For the next 12 years, 10,000 Americans will turn 65 each day." .This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) introduced a more than trillion coronavirus aid package, a sweeping effort with trillion in aid for states and cities. It also includes billion for testing people for the novel coronavirus, direct payments of up to ,000 per U.S. household, billion in emergency grants for small business and billion for the U.S. Postal Service, among other things. .Social Security policy analyst and Advisor editor Mary Johnson finds the average monthly rate of increase for the past 12 months. This rate of inflation is added to the current month, and each subsequent month through to September, in order to project inflation in those months. The SSA's COLA formula takes the third quarter data (July/August/September) and finds the average for the quarter. That is then compared that with the third quarter average from one year ago, and the percentage of difference is determined. That percentage of difference is the amount that the COLA would increase. … Continued
For details, or to see if your Members of Congress have scheduled meetings, contact their offices. You can find contact information for all Members of Congress on the ACTION CENTER of our website. For tips on which questions you should ask at your next town hall, click HERE. .Spousal and survivor strategies also are important. One example is file-and-suspend, which allows a spouse to claim a spousal benefit while the individual defers claiming. Another is "claim now, claim more later," where the high earner in a married couple claims a spousal benefit based on the lower earning spouse's record, while delaying his or her own retired worker benefit. The idea is to generate higher benefits both for the individual as well as higher survivor benefits for widows. .This week, the Senate's Gang of Eight was busy defending its comprehensive immigration reform plan, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw two key bills gain support. .The Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2575) also gained one new cosponsor this week, bringing its total up to seven in the House. If signed into law, the bill from Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36) would simplify the Medicare enrollment process and ensure that those nearing eligibility are adequately informed about the program's benefits. Its new cosponsor is Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12). .Did Members of Congress receive a COLA this year? If so did they get more than the 3.6% that seniors received? Is it true they don't pay into Social Security? .Sources: The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019, Description of the Chairman's Mark, Senate Committee on Finance, July 25, 201"GOP Senators Distance Themselves From Grassley and Trump's Efforts to Cut Drug Prices," Emmarie Huetteman, Kaiser Health News, July 25, 2019. .Unlike income brackets that are adjusted annually, the income thresholds that subject Social Security income to taxation are fixed. Because of this, the number of Social Security recipients who are hit by the tax has increased substantially over the years as incomes have grown. .Finally, two new cosponsors – Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and Senator Deb Fischer (NE) – signed on to the bipartisan CREATES Act (S. 974), bringing the total up to thirty in the Senate. If adopted, the bill would increase competition in the prescription drug industry by encouraging generic and biosimilar drug manufacturers to introduce their products to the market more quickly. .While felony fugitives are prohibited from receiving SSI payments, there is no such prohibition on benefits from Social Security`s main program, which pays retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. Auditors have asked Congress to bar fugitives from receiving payment from Social Security`s other programs as well. Congress is `studying` the recommendation.