2021 Loss Of Buying Power Study
Medicaid is popular with the public. When asked about their views on Medicaid, three-fourths (74 percent) of the public, including majorities of Democrats (84 percent), independents (76 percent), and Republicans (61 percent), hold a favorable view of Medicaid. Majorities also support increasing funding for Medicaid or keeping it the same, with 40% increasing funding, and 47% who support keeping funding at the same level. .Why ban the use of earnings from unauthorized work to determine Social Security benefits? Under current law Social Security uses all earnings to calculate Social Security benefits. That means earnings of unauthorized immigrants from jobs worked under invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers (SSN) can be used both to qualify for benefits and for the calculation of the initial retirement benefit. There is no official published data on the amount of wages on file attributable to aliens working without authorization, but the Social Security Administration maintains an earnings suspense file that represents an estimated 3.5 billion in wages from 2000 through 2010, most of it believed to be attributable to illegal workers. Under immigration reform, that could mean a huge new liability for Social Security in the future, triggering more rounds of cuts and higher taxes. .Social Security recipients who have contacted The Senior Citizens League overwhelmingly feel that a higher COLA would be long overdue. They say that the COLA doesn't come close to keeping up with their actual cost increases. When prices rise rapidly at the same time that retirees are receiving a very low COLA, as is the case in 2021, this shortfall can produce long-term impacts on retirement income, and even health, when retired households without adequate retirement savings run short of cash before the month is over. "In email after email, we are hearing that people are cutting their spending on prescriptions and groceries because that's the last things they have left to cut," says Johnson. The Senior Citizens League works to strengthen Social Security benefits and the COLA. … Continued
Legislative Update March 2011 Advisor Feed
An Ohio physician ordered more than 400 drugs each for 13 of his 665 patients. In total, this physician ordered 50,430 drugs dispensed by 100 pharmacies in 18 states. .Make a list of contact information for family members, close friends, health providers or anyone who calls regularly so you know the call is legitimate. .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. … Continued
Senate investigators recently explored one such astonishing case. They took a closer look at a disability attorney and retired Social Security judge who practiced along the border area of Kentucky and West Virginia. Some 10 to 15 percent of the entire population of the area — about three times the national average — is on disability. .We urge you to be cautious. You should not be charged just for being put on a list. If you receive a contact like this you should call your doctor's office or your local health department to try and verify that such a list exists. .Should I Continue to Pay Into Social Security for Other Work I am Doing Now? .Screen your calls: Even if you have caller ID, experts suggest screening calls any way. More robo-callers are making their calls appear to be local by using phone numbers from your own local calling area. Unless you know the number of the caller is legit, don't pick up. Legitimate callers, such as your doctor's office calling to remind of an appointment, will leave a message. Tell your family and friends to leave a message and to keep talking at least long enough for you to get to the phone if your phone's speaker allows you to hear the caller's message. .The plan would reform the tax code by consolidating the six existing brackets into three, and by setting the corporate tax rate at an even 28 percent. It would also make some major modifications to Medicare, including a repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate for physician payments, and a strengthening of the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board. The proposal also includes a plan to restore Social Security to 75-year solvency by raising the retirement age, increasing the taxable maximum wage cap, and adopting a Chained Consumer Price Index, among other things. .The lack of growth in Social Security benefits, together with the inexorable rise in healthcare costs, is causing financial dilemmas for Medicare beneficiaries that may be jeopardizing their health. The situation is leaving both seniors and disabled adults who are living longer lives without adequate financial resources for their retirement, survey participants say. .Expanded tax credits — Social Security numbers would pave the way for applicants to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Additional Child Tax credit. In a recent Senate hearing, Eileen O'Connor, who ran the Justice Department's Tax Division under George W. Bush, explained that these refundable tax credits, "can create a ‘refund' of an amount you never paid as income taxes. So you can have a liability before the credit of 0, have paid in nothing, and with a refundable earned income tax credit of ,000, get a check from Uncle Sam for 0." She went on to say that immigrants who acquire Social Security numbers would be able to amend three years of previous tax returns to claim the earned income credit. The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently reported that an estimated 24% of all refunds due to the Earned Income Tax Credit are paid improperly. .Many expected immigration reform to be a focal point of the President's speech, however, his remarks on the topic were vague and very brief. In one short paragraph, he said, "Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same … So let's get immigration reform done this year." TSCL has some serious concerns about comprehensive immigration reform, since it would further strain the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. We strongly feel that any efforts to reform the system should include loophole-closing legislation that would prevent immigrants from receiving benefits based on a history of illegal work. .Because COVID-19 has never been seen in humans before, there are currently no vaccines to prevent COVID-19 approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA recently approved the first treatment for COVID-19, the antiviral drug remdesivir.