Legislative Update February 2015
2017 Loss of Buying Power Report .This week, Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, revealed that Congress will not consider legislation that would permanently repeal and replace the SGR – the flawed formula that sets payment rates for doctors who treat Medicare patients – before the March 31st deadline. Instead, they will likely pass another short-term "doc fix" in order to avert a 21 percent pay cut for physicians that is set to hit on April 1st. .Conference Committee Announces Compromise … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending August 10 2018
This week, one new cosponsor – Rep. Robert Scott (VA-3) – signed on to Rep. Peter DeFazio's (OR-4) Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1030). The cosponsor total is now up to ten. If signed into law, Rep. DeFazio's bill would base the Social Security COLA upon the spending patterns of seniors. Currently, it is based upon the way young, urban workers spend their money – a method that underestimates the spending inflation that seniors experience. A study conducted by TSCL in 2012 found that seniors have lost 34 percent of their purchasing power since 2000 – a clear sign that the current COLA is growing too slowly. .TREA Senior Citizens League (TSCL) was formed in 1993 to protect "earned" Social Security and Medicare benefits. Many TSCL members are affected by the Notch, and rank Notch Reform as their top legislative priority. TSCL is the only national senior citizens action organization to continue to lobby for Notch Reform. To date, TSCL has 1.3 million members and supporters who participate in a number of grassroots lobbying and public education campaigns. .It would have to report to Congress every two years on regulatory and financial developments that affect older investors. Reports would have to include recommendations for possible regulatory or legislative action. … Continued
Sen. Sherrod Brown Introduces CPI-E Bill .Few employers outside the federal government and the military have taken up the option. Costco Wholesale Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. are among employers that have said they aren't participating. .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. .TSCL is fighting the plan to chain COLAs and believes seniors need a COLA that more adequately protects the buying power of their Social Security benefits. "Members of Congress are more likely to re-think voting for legislation when they see a large number of seniors are adamantly opposed to cutting COLAs," says Hyland. To learn more about proposals that would affect your Social Security benefits, get tips on reducing your Medicare costs, and sign up for TSCL's free online newsletter The Social Security & Medicare Advisor, visit TSCL at . .Social Security has a .8 trillion surplus, enough to pay full benefits for 18 years, but income inequality has hurt Social Security's finances by leaving most of the wealthiest Americans' earnings above the cutoff point for the payroll tax which funds it. A Wall Street CEO who makes million per year pays no more in payroll tax than someone earning 8,500. If we had the same level of economic equality we enjoyed in 1983, the retirement trust fund would have another .1 trillion in it today. .Nutritious food through the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP). .Due to record-low growth in health care costs, the board hasn't been triggered to begin making recommendations to Congress yet, and it currently has no appointed members. Nonetheless, many lawmakers feel that such critical policy-making decisions should be left solely in the hands of elected representatives, and they hope to repeal it long before it is needed. .Generic drugs account for 84% of drugs sold nationally, but only 12% of spending. .TSCL's annual survey of senior costs indicates that Social Security benefits have lost more than 34% of their buying power since 2000 because the current inflation measure, the Consumer Price Index for Workers (CPI-W) doesn't accurately account for the larger share of income that seniors spend on healthcare.