• Five Healthcare Reform Changes That Affect Your 2011 Medicare Coverage Feed

    TSCL believes that the combined effect of COLA cuts and higher Medicare costs would leave the majority seniors far less able to afford necessities in coming years. Today the average monthly Social Security benefit is just ,150 before deductions for Medicare premiums. The average family income of married couples 65 and over including Social Security is just ,718. .That estimate is based on consumer price index (CPI) data through August, but it could significantly change with the September CPI data. Estimating the COLA this year has been far more challenging than in previous years due to the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which are affecting the prices of gasoline, food, housing and other costs. "We've got a hurricane wild card this year," Johnson says. "When the COLA is announced in October 13th, my 1.8 percent estimate could be off the mark," she says. "This is especially so when you take a look at what happened after Hurricane Katrina in 2005," Johnson notes. .The program applies to illegals under the age of 31, who entered the U.S. prior to the age of 16, and have resided illegally in the U.S. since June 15, 200Applicants must also be currently enrolled in school, have a GED certificate, or have served in the U.S. military, and be law-abiding. Critics, including TSCL, question how the government will be able to verify when applicants actually entered the country and whether they were under the age of 16 when they did. … Continued

  • Tighten Your Belts Prices Hurtling Skyward Feed

    The report found at least 6.5 million active Social Security numbers belonging to people who are now at least 112 years old. While people are living longer these days, they're not living that much longer. According to a story by Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press, as of last fall there were only 42 people known to be that old in the entire world. .The Center for Disease Control (CDC), one of the major operating components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has put out new guidance for those Americans who have been fully vaccinated from Covid-19. .Legislation before the House and Senate would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) so that public servants receive the Social Security benefits they have earned and deserve. Will you cosponsor the Social Security Fairness Act (S. 521, H.R. 141) when you return to Washington? … Continued

How accurate is it? .A major reason that the COLA is so low is the consumer price index that the government uses to calculate the increase. Under current law, the COLA is tied to the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). That index surveys the spending patterns of younger working adults and does not include the market basket of goods and services that is more typical of people age 62 and over. The CPI-W gives greater weight to goods and services that younger workers spend more on, like gasoline prices and electronics, which have dramatically dropped in price over the past two years. It gives less weight to housing and medical expenses even though those two categories have experienced bigger price jumps over the past two years, and are the two biggest spending categories for older consumers. .The amount spent per person, which increases with age and health changes, and .Last year a premium support plan that passed in the House prompted a firestorm of opposition from seniors and critics concerned that the plan cut federal spending too much — shifting too great a portion of costs -- and would make Medicare unaffordable for beneficiaries. But premium support itself is nothing new, nor would it "end Medicare as we know it." To the contrary, seniors already know it, and like it. Medicare operates two premium support programs — Medicare Part D, and Medicare Advantage. .Unreported deaths undoubtedly rank as the Social Security Administration's number one "Most Gruesome Fraud Management Failures." Hardly a month goes by without the discovery of a grizzly new case. Usually some elderly person is found long-dead of natural causes in their own home or that of a close relative — frequently years after death. The death was never reported. Remains have been discovered tucked into beds, placed in freezers, and even sitting on toilets. Meanwhile loving sons or daughters continued to collect the deceased's Social Security checks — sometimes for decades. One Brooklyn man is serving up to 41 years for impersonating his dead mom. He donned a wig and wore her dresses to collect 5,000 in her Social Security payments and rent subsidies. .The Social Security Administration maintains an "earnings suspense file" which tracks wages sent in by employers, for earnings that cannot be posted to individual workers' records because there is no match for the name and Social Security number. The Congressional Research Service reports that wages represented in the earnings suspense file currently amount to approximately 0 billion. According to Social Security Administration Inspector Patrick P. O'Carroll, "We believe the chief cause of wage items being posted to the earnings suspense file instead of an individual's earning record is unauthorized work by noncitizens." .We have been reporting recently that unless Congress passes new legislation soon there will be significant cuts in Medicare payments to health care providers, such as doctors and hospitals. If that happens it is quite possible those patients covered by Medicare would likely face negative consequences with regard to their health care. .Source: The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook, Government Accountability Office, October 201"Monitoring Medicare+Choice, What Have We Learned?" Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., August, 2004. .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)