• Update For Week Ending July 10 2021

    He predicted that lawmakers will pass a six-month "doc fix" later this month in order to buy more time for the offset discussions. If Congress takes that route, the temporary pay patch would expire at the end of September – the same time that funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will run out. Rep. Price suggested that a permanent repeal of the SGR would likely be rolled into a package with CHIP's reauthorization. .TSCL believes that beneficiaries need to maintain the freedom to choose their plan, their providers, and how they get their care. "We urge CMS and states to ensure a thorough beneficiary education process and have provisions that allow care with existing providers, especially during the transition," Hyland says. .Action on Capitol Hill this past week was limited as Congress re-convenes this week. Meanwhile, a Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) report indicates the effects of House member office budget cuts, and the Congressional Budget Office released a report that would save Medicare 500 billion dollars. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Week Ending February 24 2017

    The Senior Citizens League has prepared a new fact sheet to help the public better understand how immigration changes by executive action may affect Social Security and Medicare. Get it here. .(Washington, DC) – Although there won't be any Social Security cost – of - living adjustment (COLA) next year, many of the nation's biggest drug and health plans are sharply increasing costs, warns The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). "Outrage is growing among older voters who question how COLAs can be zero, when their healthcare costs are taking the biggest jump in seven years," says TSCL Chairman, Ed Cates. .While the U.S. Treasury predicts the government will run out of cash as early as March 31st, illegal immigrant workers may have pocketed billions in 2009 and 2010 in advance Making Work Pay tax credits for which they are not eligible. The Making Work Pay tax credit specifically banned people without valid Social Security numbers from receiving the credit. But because the tax credit was paid in advance in higher paychecks through lower tax withholdings, millions of illegal workers undoubtedly would have received the money, even though they may not have filed a tax return. … Continued

In his ruling the California judge admonished the federal government for skipping a key step in the rulemaking process and called the government's reasons for doing so "contrived." .Compounding the problem, in 2004 the U.S. and Mexico signed a totalization agreement allowing people who split their careers between two countries to receive a harmonized retirement benefit from the two governments. Since 1978, the U.S. has entered into similar agreements with 21 countries, and, as with previous agreements, the U.S.- Mexico totalization agreement applies only to legal U.S. residents. .Separately, the House Ways and Means Committee Means Committee approved the largest expansion of Medicare since the addition of drug benefits two decades ago. .At the time of writing this week's legislative update, lawmakers in the Senate had not yet voted on the CR, and a coalition of Democrats had vowed to block it unless Republicans agreed to include year-long funding for the health care benefits of coal miners. The House-passed package includes funding for only four months, and Members of Congress in that chamber left town shortly after its passage. .This week, one new cosponsor – Rep. John Garamendi (CA-3) – signed on to the SAVE Benefits Act (H.R. 4012), which was recently introduced in the House by Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-9). If signed into law, the bill would give Social Security beneficiaries a 3.9 percent COLA next year instead of the zero COLA they are expected to receive. It would cover the cost of the emergency COLA and extend the solvency of the Trust Funds by closing a loophole that allows corporations to deduct executive bonuses from their taxes. .Recently one of our readers asked "Is there a percentage as to how much less NOTCH BABIES receive monthly?" .This week, the Obama administration released its much-anticipated 2013 budget proposal, and the House-Senate conference committee compromised on a deal to prevent payment cuts to Medicare physicians and extend the payroll tax holiday. In addition, four new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act. .Lower spending on prescription drugs. Under our current Medicare system, experts warn that Americans are taking too many unnecessary drugs for dubious reasons. A value-based system would tie the price of prescription drugs to its value in the treatment of the patient. For example, patients with high blood pressure would receive their blood pressure medications for the lowest price or even no co-pay. Value-based systems could lead to reducing the number of unnecessary prescriptions and over-the-counter medications that patients take, while improving their health. .It is not clear what implications, if any, the findings might have for the two other major vaccines being used in the U.S., Pfizer's and Moderna's.