Q February March 2018
In the meantime, the chairman of the influential Senate Finance Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) will re-introduce a drug pricing package (S. 2543) he assembled with the ranking member of his committee, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and soon call on Senate leaders to allow debate on the measure, a Grassley spokesman announced last week. .The proposed funding increase into Medicaid's Home and Community Based Services program has two goals: reducing waiting lists for support for older and disabled Americans who want to stay in their homes rather than go into assisted living facilities or other institutions, and raising pay for home health care's largely female, minority workforce. .A major study by two economists at the Social Security Administration found that the growth is mainly due to Baby Boomers moving into disability-prone ages, growth in the number of women covered for disability benefits, and ordinary population growth. But the researchers were unable to account for 10 percent of the growth that they attributed to what they dubbed the disability "incidence rate" — meaning the growth not attributable to something else. Some members of Congress and the public are beginning to question whether overly vague eligibility criteria, and too many applicants receiving benefits that they aren't entitled to, might be to blame. … Continued
If Immigration Really Shores Up Social Security And Medicare Then Why The Press To Cut Benefits
In our meetings on Capitol Hill, we're frequently told that Notch reform would more likely be addressed when Congress takes action on comprehensive Social Security reform, as it appears to be interested in doing now. TSCL is meeting with Members of Congress to ensure that Notch Reform is considered. .Jessie Gibbons – TSCL's senior policy analyst – told Karen Damato of Money, "We're concerned that the abrupt change will cause a lot of confusion and frustration among older Americans, many of whom don't have reliable access to text-enabled cellphones." In addition, Mary Johnson – a policy consultant for The Senior Citizens League – told Mary Beth Franklin of InvestmentNews, "Based on what we know at the moment, the alternative to checking online is either calling SSA's 1-800-772-1213 line, or trekking out to a local Social Security office where you take a number and wait in line." She also said, "The Senior Citizens League feels that online security is vital, but feels alternate options should be offered." .If our forecast proves correct, this would. … Continued
But changes to illegal immigration enforcement can have long-term financial implications for federal benefit programs, including Social Security and Medicare. With work-authorization and valid Social Security numbers, even noncitizens can potentially become entitled to Social Security benefits with enough years of earnings or a change of legal status. At issue is whether work prior to obtaining legal status and valid Social Security numbers would count toward entitlement to Social Security and Medicare benefits — under current law it does. .Mexican consulate officials are informing people about the availability of such benefits.Survivor claims are increasing due to recent violence in Mexico. .There are 1,313,935 active members/supporters. .Medicare open enrollment: It pays to get it right .7 million immigrants have a Social Security number issued in their names — obtained either by using a fraudulent birth certificate, or overstaying a visa that has expired. The actuary said this group can "work, pay taxes, and have earnings credited to their record for potential benefits in the future." . Four Key Bills Gain Support in Congress .TSCL believes the increased use of observation stays is denying Medicare beneficiaries access to medically necessary skilled nursing care. All days spent in a hospital should count toward Medicare's three-day hospital stay requirement. TSCL supports the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act (H.R. 1179) introduced by Representatives Joseph Courtney (CT-2) and Tom Latham (IA-3), and (S. 569) introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown, (OH) and Susan Collins (ME). The legislation would deem time an individual spends under observation status eligible towards satisfying Medicare's three-day requirement. .In order to learn more about what services you are eligible for under Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE ( 7), a State Health Insurance Assistance Program counselor at your Area Agency on Aging, or your Member of Congress. .According to the Urban Institute, parents who take paid leave one time would see a 3.2 percent cut in their future Social Security benefits, and parents who take paid leave two times would see a benefit cut of around 5.5 percent. Those who take four paid leaves would see permanent Social Security benefit cuts of around 10 percent in retirement.