• Congressional Corner In Rural Communities Some Travel 100 Miles Or More To Closest Hospital

    Over the past 8 years COLAs have been at record lows, averaging just 1.1 percent. During three of those years there was no COLA at all, and in 2017, the COLA was just 0.3 percent. But inflation, especially for the goods and services used by older Americans, has continued to grow more quickly than annual COLAs. .But bigger deficit reduction would be possible if Social Security taxes were made more equitable. Under current law, high-income earners — people with earnings higher than Social Security's taxable maximum of 7,000— pay nothing on earnings over that amount. In other words, someone earning ,117,000 pays no Social Security taxes on the one million above 7,000. Yet workers earning less than 7,000 pay Social Security taxes on every dime of their wages. The CBO estimates that simply raising the taxable maximum to 7,500 would bring in 0 billion in new Social Security revenues through 202Taxing all earnings would eliminate up to 90 percent of Social Security's funding problems. .TSCL agrees with Congressman Duncan, and we enthusiastically support the CPI for Seniors Act. In a letter of endorsement, Art Cooper – Chairman of TSCL's Board of Trustees – wrote: "Unfortunately, years of record-low COLAs like this one – including multiple years of zero COLAs – will have a devastating impact on the long-term adequacy of Social Security benefits for more than 59 million beneficiaries … Your bill would go a long way in ensuring the retirement security older Americans have earned and deserve, and we look forward to informing our members and supporters about your efforts on Capitol Hill." … Continued

  • Tscl Files Third Foia Lawsuit

    Other Legislation Also Targets Scams and Fraud Against Seniors .Congress has a number of options to pay for the higher benefits that drew strong support in our 2020 Senior Survey: .TSCL Presents 2012 Seniors Advocate Award … Continued

Several lawmakers at Tuesday's hearing promoted legislation they introduced this year to combat rising costs. Senator Al Franken (MN) asked his fellow committee members to support his Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act (S. 771), which would take comprehensive steps to reform the prescription drug industry. In addition, Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) urged those on the committee to cosponsor his bipartisan Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act (S. 469), which would allow individuals and pharmacies to import prescription drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada. .The new low comes as COLAs have flat-lined over the past seven years, averaging just 1.2% — less than half the 3% average over the two decades prior to 20The long-term financial impact on anticipated retirement benefits is significant and growing, says TSCL's Executive Director, Shannon Benton. "People lose the effect of compounding when benefit raises are at these extreme lows," she explains. "That reduces the Social Security income that retirees may have been counting on over their retirement." .Missing Medicare Part B Enrollment Deadline Triggers Penalties .This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill from the holiday recess and one Senate Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss a paid family leave proposal that would negatively impact the future of the Social Security program. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw support grow for three key bills. .The Senate was not in session and is scheduled to return on January 25th. .Just how bad is it? We were stunned to learn just how big the disparity in drug prices can be. Recently I compared the highest and lowest prices of the top ten most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. using the Medicare drug plan finder. In my area, a monthly supply of diabetes drug Lantus Solostar for example, ranges from a high of 2.00 from the mail order pharmacy of First Health Part D Value Plus plan to a low of .75 from the network retail pharmacies for SilverScript Choice. In fact, the cost difference between the highest and lowest-cost plans for the ten drugs compared averaged 3 per month! .In addition, one new cosponsor – Rep. David Valadao (CA-21) – signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795) this week, bringing the total up to ninety-five. If signed into law, the bill would repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision – two provisions that unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of state and local government employees each year. .Rick has served the last seven years as a member of the TREA National Board of Directors. First, as Director for 3 years, then elected and served two terms as National President and then two years as Immediate Past National President. Prior to serving on the National Board of Directors from 2009-2014 he served on several National Committees. During his tenure on TREA's Board of Directors, he chaired the Legislative Affairs, Information Technology, Convention, 5-Year Plan, Awards committees, and chaired the Past National Presidents Council. .Earnings reports with incorrect or incomplete information have been a long–standing problem. They can be caused by something as simple as a transposed Social Security number, or a name change when a woman gets married or divorced. Accurate earnings are critical in order to calculate benefits for workers and their dependents. The most recent data indicates there has been a significant jump in both the number of these mismatched reports and the value of wages. SSA Inspector General Patrick P. O'Carroll stated in testimony before Congress that "we believe the chief cause of wage items being posted to the [earnings suspense file] instead of an individual's earnings record is unauthorized work by noncitizens."(8)