Legislative Update July Advisor Feed
The Grassley-Wyden package would create a rebate system in Medicare Part B and Part D beginning in 2022 for brand-name drugs and biological products with prices that increase faster than inflation. Conservative groups and some Senate Republicans have opposed the rebate system for Part D, the prescription drug benefit program, but not for Part B, the outpatient services program. .By Representative Brad Wenstrup (OH-2) .SSA Implements New Security Policy … Continued
Benefit Bulletin May 2015
A new healthcare cost survey conducted in October 2011 by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) — one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups — found that the majority of seniors spent a very significant portion of their Social Security benefits in order to pay for healthcare. The survey asked for information about the out-of-pocket costs that respondents paid in the first six months of 2011, and for comments about how they were managing after two years of receiving no annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). .New Legislation Would Combat Scams Against Seniors' Investments .The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) will be monitoring CR discussions in the Senate in the coming hours and days, and we will post updates on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, we will continue to monitor ongoing budget discussions since they are expected to include plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As was noted in a recent legislation update, repealing the law would impact the Medicare program in several ways. For instance, progress that has been made to close the prescription drug "doughnut hole" would be reversed, and the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund that finances Medicare Part A would lose an important stream of funding that the law created. The Trust Fund could face immediate depletion if eliminated. … Continued
Two Courts Halt Rule Tying Certain Drug Prices to Other Countries .Your Initial Enrollment Period starts three months prior to turning age 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after you turn 6Advisor editor Mary Johnson, who has helped dozens of friends and neighbors with their Medicare, highly recommends starting the Medicare enrollment process 3 months before you turn 65, in order to have your new coverage become effective in the month you turn 6Enrolling in Medicare is done online through the Social Security website at www.SocialSecurity.gov. Look for the box that says, "Enroll in Medicare". Or you can get assistance to help you with this. .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. .Many expected the Obama administration to seek an emergency review of the decision by the Supreme Court, but on Wednesday, the Justice Department announced that it would not. Instead, the administration said it will focus on another 5th Circuit hearing that's scheduled for the week of July 6th. .The opinions expressed in "Congressional Corner" reflect the views of the writer and are not necessarily those of The Senior Citizens League. .To counter concerns over the cost of "fixing" the Notch and the financial solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund, TSCL backs an alternative "capped-cost" solution. "The Notch Fairness Act" would provide Notch Babies born from 1917 through 1926, or their survivors who receive benefits based on their accounts, a choice of either improved monthly benefits, or a lump-sum of ,000 payable over a four-year period. Recent surveys of TSCL members show more than 75% favor the lump-sum legislation. .Just years before they were set to retire, these individuals learned that they would receive significantly lower benefits than originally anticipated. The problem has grown and compounded over time, and TSCL believes that in order to make the program more equitable, some compensation for the injustice should be provided. We enthusiastically support Rep. Meng's Notch Fairness Act, and we were pleased to see one new cosponsor sign on this week. .One big difference between Social Security and a Ponzi scheme is the establishment of Social Security by law. Both the amount paid out and the financing coming in can be, and frequently has been, adjusted by Members of Congress. Unlike Ponzi schemes that are supported by voluntary investments, Social Security is supported by tax revenues from working individuals and taxes on a portion of Social Security benefits paid by seniors, both of which are required by law. While Ponzi promised phony payouts, Social Security payouts are established by law as well. They too, have been adjusted over the years. .On Wednesday, the budget conference that was created in last month's deal to raise the debt ceiling and re-open the government met publicly for the first time. Each of the twenty-nine members – including seven House members and all twenty-two members of the Senate Budget Committee – made opening statements to establish their positions. As expected, many of the conferees seemed split along party lines on Wednesday, but each of them stressed a strong desire to reach an agreement.