• 2015 Legislative Update Week Ending March 6 2015

    Leaders in Congress are reportedly already discussing their next budgetary move – a long-term deal that would fund the entire government for the next two years. It remains to be seen whether they will reach a compromise before the looming deadline. According to House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (KY-5), they will need to have the parameters for the deal set by November 11th so that appropriators have the time needed to negotiate the details. .Three Key Senate Bills Gain Support .May Signal Zero COLA for 2016 … Continued

  • Medicare Recipients Face Steep Out Of Pocket Medicare Part D Drug Costs In 2021

    One new cosponsor – Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12) – signed on to Rep. Kevin Brady's (TX-8) Public Servant Retirement Protection Act (H.R. 2797) this week. The cosponsor total is now at seven. .In addition, the Social Security 2100 Act would improve the program's solvency by applying the payroll tax to income over 0,000 and by gradually increasing the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 7.4 percent – an extra fifty cents per week for the average worker. These two modest changes would ensure that the Social Security program remains solvent through the year 2100 and beyond. .One big difference between Social Security and a Ponzi scheme is the establishment of Social Security by law. Both the amount paid out and the financing coming in can be, and frequently has been, adjusted by Members of Congress. Unlike Ponzi schemes that are supported by voluntary investments, Social Security is supported by tax revenues from working individuals and taxes on a portion of Social Security benefits paid by seniors, both of which are required by law. While Ponzi promised phony payouts, Social Security payouts are established by law as well. They too, have been adjusted over the years. … Continued

Prohibits benefits for disability beneficiaries found guilty of fraudulently concealing work. .The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which represents pharmacy benefit managers that run the Medicare prescription drug plans targeted by the rebate rule, said at the time that it was exploring litigation. .Despite the new endorsement from the Freedom Caucus, leaders in the House do not yet have the votes needed to win passage. On Thursday evening, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) told reporters, "We've been making great progress, and when we have the votes we'll vote on it." .Congress Still Can't Get Its Work Done .Tuesday's hearing made it clear that the Joint Committee has an enormous amount of work to do in a very short amount of time and in a very politically-charged environment. Adding to the pressure, Elmendorf told the Committee Members that if they wish to have their proposal scored by the CBO before voting on it, they'll need to submit it by early November, giving them less than two months to reach a compromise. Despite the tough circumstances, most Members seemed up to the challenge and will to, as one Committee Member put it, "go big, go long, and go smart." .In a statement that was released shortly thereafter, White House spokesperson Brandi Hoffine said, "Today, two judges of the 5th Circuit chose to misinterpret the facts and the law in denying the government's request for a stay. As the powerful dissent from Judge Higginson recognizes, President Obama's immigration executive actions are fully consistent with the law." . Check to see if Eliquis is covered by your drug plan and the cost sharing for the tier in which it is listed. Many drug plans have five tiers covering preferred generics, generics, preferred brands, non-preferred brands and specialty drugs. Check to see where Eliquis fits in on these tiers (probably preferred or non-preferred brand). It's not uncommon for insurers to move a drug from preferred brand to non-preferred brand status, causing you to pay more out-of-pocket. For example, your plan in 2019 may have charged a co-pay of for preferred brands, but if Eliquis was moved into a non-preferred tier in 2020 you might have to pay 50% co-insurance or about 5.00. .Throughout the hearing, the witnesses stressed the importance of acting quickly, before reform options run out and seniors are left with a 23% benefit cut. Despite their pleas, however, it doesn't seem like Congress will be ready to compromise on Social Security reform any time soon. .In presenting the award, TSCL Chairman Larry Hyland stated: "Congressman McIntyre's dedication and commitment to defending the benefits of seniors is greatly appreciated and has not gone unnoticed … By taking a stand, he brings seniors one step closer to the retirement security they deserve." TSCL was pleased to announce Rep. McIntyre as the recipient of the 2012 Seniors Advocate Award this week, and we are grateful for his hard work on behalf of seniors across the country.