Legislative Update For Week Ending June 8 2012
The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for these three bills this week, and we thank the new cosponsors for their support. In the months ahead, we will continue to advocate for the passage of the Social Security Fairness Act, the Social Security 2100 Act, and the Fair COLA for Seniors Act, and we urge Congress to enact them this year. .Protecting Medicare for current beneficiaries and saving it for future generations is one of my most important responsibilities as a Member of Congress. It is no secret that demographic and economic factors will not allow us to continue the program unaltered. There are 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, and when these programs were first enacted there were more than 40 workers for every 1 retiree. Today, that number is below 3 workers per retiree and headed towards 2 to Health care costs continue to rise much faster than inflation. In order to ensure the solvency of a program that senior citizens have come to rely on, changes must be made. The days of doing nothing, burying our heads in the sand, and pretending the status quo is sustainable are over. .President Trump also said this last weekend that over the next 2 weeks he will pursue an executive order requiring health insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. "We will be pursuing a major executive order" on pre-existing conditions, Trump said during a news conference in N.J. … Continued
Legislative Update For The Week Ending July 22 2011
Fifth, one new cosponsor – Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9) – signed on to the Nursing Home CARE Act (H.R. 4704), bringing the total up to twenty-five. If adopted, H.R. 4704 would protect Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by more quickly codifying emergency preparedness rules for nursing home facilities that receive funding from the federal government. .Sources: "Home Is Where The Money Is For Medicare Advantage Plans," Fred Schulte, Center For Public Integrity, June 10, 201"Medicare Advantage 2016 Data Spotlight: Overview of Plan Changes," Kaiser Family Foundation, December 2012015 Medicare Trustees Report, July 22, 2015. .Medicare expects to start mailing cards in May of 2018, but be patient. The cards are going out on a "rolling basis" to different states over the next 9 months (see the chart at the end of this article.) To learn when new Medicare cards start mailing to your area, sign up for e-alerts from Medicare by visiting Medicare.gov/NewCard. … Continued
Although some people argue that the Congressional investigation against AARP was politically motivated, there is no escaping the fact that AARP's revenues from royalties – mostly from insurance sales – are more than two and half times higher than its membership dues (as of 2009). .Congress is considering comprehensive immigration reform that would provide work authorization and with it, valid Social Security numbers, to an estimated 12 million immigrants working in this country illegally.(3) In 2004 Congress passed the Social Security Protection Act (P.L. 108-203) requiring immigrants to have work authorization at the time a SSN is assigned or at some later time, in order to become entitled under Social Security. (4) .Eight Ways to Lower Your Prescription Costs .At the hearing, much of the focus was on the current state of the Social Security Trust Fund. Most Members of the Subcommittee, including Chairman Sam Johnson (TX-3), seemed to agree that Social Security is on the fast track towards insolvency, but Ranking Member Xavier Becerra (CA-31) was adamant that the program is on solid footing. .Deficit hawks on Capitol Hill agree that the current inflation index is inaccurate, but instead of adopting a method that actually measures seniors' spending, many have been advocating for an index that would further trim COLAs. The "chained" CPI has been lauded by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle – including President Obama – as a small technical correction that would factor in the substitution that occurs when the prices of certain goods increase. However, since medical care – a major expense for seniors – cannot be substituted for something cheaper, this index would unfairly affect them. After ten years, adopting the "chained" CPI would result in an monthly benefit cut for the average retired couple, and that loss would continue to compound. .Congress last year expanded this program in the healthcare reform act, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was signed into law in March 20The PPACA expanded "means testing" to Medicare Part D, and froze the income thresholds at which beneficiaries become subject to the "means test" at the 2010 levels through 201This year, depending on income, individuals who make more than ,000 and couples who make more than 0,000 will have to pay from .10 - 3.70 extra per month for their Part B premiums, and from .10 to .10 extra per month for their Part D premiums in 2011. .The COLA also doesn't reflect cost increases in Medicare premiums and other rapidly growing Medicare costs. Research for The Senior Citizens League has found that Medicare Part B premiums are one of the fastest growing costs in retirement. Medicare Part B premiums, which are automatically deducted from Social Security checks, often consume most, or even all, of the COLA increase. .This claim, as you probably suspect, is hogwash. The CPI currently used to calculate the COLA underpays, not overpays retirees because it is based on the spending patterns of younger working adults. Yet younger workers spend less than half the amount on healthcare costs than people over the age of 65 do. Retirees also spend a bigger share of their income on housing. .The income thresholds that subject benefits to taxation are based on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income, which includes half of your Social Security benefits and some tax - exempt income. The following chart illustrates the thresholds and the amount of tax on Social Security income.