Legislative Update For The Week Ending July 22 2011
Inflation has been at historic lows in recent years and seniors received a 1.7 percent COLA this year. "For every 0 worth of expenses seniors could afford in 2000, they can afford just today," says study author and Advisor editor Mary Johnson. .Some Republicans said such proxy voting is unconstitutional and would subject any legislation passed with such procedures to court challenges. However, Democrats countered by citing letters from two legal scholars who argued the Constitution gives the House and Senate the power to determine their rules and procedures and the courts have declared them off limits to legal challenges. .A number of Social Security recipients told their stories to the members of the subcommittee and explained the problems they face, as well as their desires for improvements to the program. … Continued
S 31 Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act
Both House and Senate tax reform bills index the individual tax brackets and the standard deduction to the slowly-growing "chained" Consumer Price Index (CPI). This change will result in tax increases for most individuals over time because they will reach higher tax brackets faster than they would under current law. It also increases the probability that lawmakers will apply the inadequate "chained" CPI as a cost-saving measure to other government indexes that grow with inflation, like the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). .With 1.2 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors' groups. Its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of The Retired Enlisted Association. Visit for more information. .As with the start of any new Congress, TSCL is encouraging Senators and Representatives to reintroduce and cosponsor key legislation for seniors, like the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act, the Strengthening Social Security Act, the Notch Fairness Act, and the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act. In addition, with comprehensive Medicare and Social Security reform on the minds of many deficit hawks, TSCL is working diligently to prevent harmful cuts that would affect your benefits. … Continued
In the months ahead, The Senior Citizens League will continue to work for enactment of this and other legislation that would strengthen and enhance Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries. For progress updates, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter and Facebook. .Congress managed to pass a short-term fix to prevent a 19% benefit cut that was due to hit disabled Social Security beneficiaries by the end of this year. The legislation heads off the cut by temporarily transferring some payroll tax revenues over the next three years, expanding measures to better ensure medical eligibility for benefits, and by preventing improper payments due to fraudulent work. The stronger eligibility and anti-fraud provisions are strongly supported by TSCL, incorporating several recommendations that TSCL presented last fall to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. The legislation: .If the Social Security COLA were based on a more accurate measure of inflation for senior citizens, next year's increase would not be 0.3 percent – it would be 2.1 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Do you support legislation that would base the COLA on a more accurate inflation index like the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly? .In a statement that was released on Thursday, Mary Johnson – Policy Analyst for The Senior Citizens League – said: "The bottom line is that Medicare Part B premiums rise several times faster than COLAs, and those premiums are now high enough to cause the net Social Security benefits of millions of people to remain flat for years at a time … This would make the fourth year in a row that this particular group has not seen a boost in their net Social Security benefits." .It is likely the President will face a legal challenge over these actions. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse and any changes to taxes or spending are supposed to come from Congress. .The Senior Citizens League strongly believes allowing the HHS Secretary to negotiate with the drug companies is one important way to reduce the costs of drugs for seniors. We will be continuing our efforts to get Congress to pass legislation that would make this possible. .Beneficiaries are telling other Mexicans about the Social Security benefits. . Send an email to your Members of Congress. This is an election year, and the last thing they want to hear is that health insurers are blaming COVID-19 for the steep price increases. You can get email addresses on TSCL's website here: http://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/8854/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=10560. Or, you can look up your Representative and send emails at: www.house.gov and Senators at: www.senate.gov. .In addition to advocating for these three important issues, Legislative Liaison Joe Kluck delivered letters to lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee urging them to advance comprehensive proposals that would enhance Social Security benefits and strengthen the solvency of the Trust Funds past 203Both the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860) and the Social Security Expansion Act (H.R. 1170) would reform the program responsibly, without cutting benefits for current or future retirees.