Legislative Update For Week Ending April 11 2014
For more information about the Social Security Administration Fairness Act, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. For updates on the administration's progress, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter. .Use a consumer price index that better reflects the costs of retirees — the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). .In addition, one new cosponsor – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) – signed on to the Strengthening Social Security Act (H.R. 3118). The cosponsor total is now up to thirty-eight. If signed into law, the bill would reform the Social Security program in three ways: it would adjust the benefit formula, resulting in more generous monthly benefits; it would adopt the CPI-E, resulting in more accurate COLAs; and it would lift the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. H.R. 3118 would extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund responsibly, without cutting benefits for seniors. … Continued
New Legislation To Stop Looming Cuts To Medicare Urgently Needed
home care. Concerns have been raised that health plans may not have adequate capacity to handle enrollment of large numbers of dual eligibles en masse in 201In addition, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac) has said that only a limited number of health plans have any experience managing benefits for this complex population. .Two weeks after President Trump signed an executive order "Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First," the White House still has not released the text of the order. The unorthodox move is apparently a leverage play, an attempt to squeeze drug companies into offering concessions. .This year's Trustees Reports show that both programs face modest financial challenges that can be addressed by Congress with minor changes. The Senior Citizens League supports the passage of legislation like the Social Security 2100 Act or the Social Security Expansion Act, both of which would strengthen the Social Security program's finances responsibly, without cutting benefits for current or future retirees. In addition, we hope Congress will pass legislation to bring down prescription drug costs in the Medicare program. Requiring Part D drug price negotiation would save billions of dollars for both the federal government and Medicare beneficiaries. … Continued
However, experts say the actual cost of living for Social Security beneficiaries is rising and their quality of life is falling. Social Security recipients have lost nearly a fourth of their buying power over the last 15 years, according to the Senior Citizens League. .Example: Let's say Sally had a Social Security benefit of ,000 in 201The Part B premium that year was 4.90. In 2016 there was no COLA, and Sally continued to receive ,000. But the Medicare Part B premium in 2016 increased to 1.80 per month. Sally's Part B premium was adjusted downward and she continued to pay the same 4.90 Medicare Part B premium that she paid the previous year, to prevent a reduction in her Social Security benefits in 2016. .A new fraud scheme designed to target seniors appears almost daily. In many cases, seniors have watched their entire life savings disappear in scams that are specifically designed to target their assets. .Officials in Canada said at that time that this would not be an effective approach to reducing drug prices in the U.S. since the Canadian market is small, representing only 2% of global pharmaceutical sales, compared to 44% south of the border. .The Senior Citizens League is disappointed that another Obamacare promise has been broken, and we are hopeful that the impact on seniors will be minimal. While UnitedHealth is the first Medicare Advantage insurance provider to announce doctor cuts, we do not expect them to be the last. For tips on checking your plan's provider networks or for other Medicare Advantage information, see "Out – Of – Pocket Costs Catch You By Surprise? How To Avoid "Sticker Shock" .Only five weeks remain before the conference committee's December 13th deadline, and House and Senate appropriators are urging the conferees to settle on a top-line spending number even earlier – before the Thanksgiving recess begins on November 22nd. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said this week: "We believe that if an agreement on a discretionary spending number can be reached early, it will allow for more thoughtful and responsible spending decisions." .Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he will not bring the bill up for a vote until he knows there are enough Republicans who support it so that it can pass. .In the coming weeks, TSCL will be keeping a close eye on the confirmation of Congressman Mulvaney, and we will be posting updates about the process on Facebook, on Twitter, and here in the Legislative News section of our website. .If you receive a call from a person claiming to be from SSA, and that person asks you to provide your Social Security number or other information don't give it out over the phone. Contact your local SSA and report the call – it's likely to be a scam.