• The Social Secuirty Notch An Economic Analysis By Dr John Haldi Feed

    Finally, TSCL announced its support for the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act (S. 64), which was introduced by Senator John McCain (AZ) earlier this week. If adopted, his bill would allow individuals to import their prescription drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada, where they are often a fraction of the price. It would bring much-needed competition to America's prescription drug market, and it would increase access to affordable drugs for all Americans. Chairman Cooper wrote in a letter of support: "TSCL salutes you for introducing legislation that would ensure access to affordable, lifesaving medicines … we lend our enthusiastic support and the support of our membership to the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act." .The agreement appears ambiguous on this issue, and TSCL has filed four Freedom of Information Act requests in order to obtain copies of estimates of the cost to Social Security. After receiving the first known copy of the agreement in December of 2006, which apparently had never been made public, even to Members of Congress, the battle to obtain key documents in federal court has continued for TSCL. According to the State Department, public disclosure of the withheld information would risk undermining U.S. efforts in important areas of U.S. foreign policy. TSCL rejects this and will ask the judge to look at documents to see if they have been properly withheld. Although current U.S. law forbids the payment of Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants, there are loopholes and exceptions. .The tax cut costs the federal government approximately 0 billion each year it is extended. Allowing it to expire after this year would more than cover the cost of the Notch Fairness Act's passage. TSCL believes that Congress must pass the Notch Fairness Act to correct a wrong done to those affected by the Notch. Each of the offset options above would allow Congress to responsibly pass the Notch Fairness Act without contributing to the deficit. To learn more about the Social Security Notch, visit our website at . … Continued

  • Ask The Advisor June 2021

    TSCL's all-volunteer Board of Trustees and legislative team – including former Congressman David Funderburk and Mrs. Betty Funderburk – look forward to working with both new and veteran lawmakers on the issues that are important to senior citizens, like those mentioned above. We will work tirelessly in the 113th Congress to ensure that seniors receive the retirement security they have earned and deserve. .Although not many studies exist, according to one study of average earners born from 1917 through 1926, the disparity in benefits with other retirees seems to average about 26%. .If adopted, the bill would strengthen and reform the Social Security program responsibly, without enacting any benefit cuts for older or disabled Americans. Among other things, it would: boost Social Security benefits by 2 percent, protect against inflation by basing cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on the CPI-E, create a new minimum benefit set at 125 percent of the poverty line, and cut taxes for over 12 million Social Security beneficiaries. … Continued

Once the costs that both you and your drug plan have paid exceed the above limit, then you will pay 25% co-insurance for brand drugs in 2019, and your drug plan will pay 5%. There's a manufacturer discount of 70%. For generics, you will pay 37% and plans pay 63%. This phase of coverage — which is called the "doughnut hole" or coverage gap —lasts until you have a spent a total of ,100 out-of-pocket on prescription costs. Please note that what you pay in premiums does not count toward out-of-pocket costs. Once you have spent ,100, which counts the manufacturer discount portion of the drug cost in the doughnut hole, then you reach the Part D catastrophic threshold. Medicare pays 80%, plans pay 15% and enrollees pay the greater of either 5% of total drug costs or .40/.50 for each generic/brand-name drug respectively. .The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation have boosted previous estimates and now say that switching to the chained consumer price index (C-CPI) will cut Social Security and other federal retirement benefits by 8 billion and increase taxes by 2 billion over the next 10 years. The loss to beneficiaries would compound over time and grows deeper each year as illustrated in the following chart. As seniors grow older and more likely to develop costly health conditions, their Social Security benefits would become less adequate to cover rising costs more quickly. .Larson will soon be reintroducing the Social Security COVID-19 Correction and Equity Act. This bill prevents an unintended and unanticipated cut to Social Security benefits for those affected; it also expands benefits for those who need it most during COVID who have faced long term systemic economic inequalities. .Those receiving work authorization become vested for benefits with as little as ten years of earnings. The oldest of those who are eligible for the deferred action could potentially have worked illegally long enough to be "vested," or nearly so, for Social Security already — including disability benefits. Once illegal workers gain a work-authorized Social Security number, individuals who have evidence of earnings, even for jobs worked under invalid Social Security numbers, may claim and reinstate those earnings under their own number. The earnings are then later used to determine Social Security benefits. .First, re-shop your Medicare prescription drug coverage every fall during Open Enrollment season -- and the same goes for Medicare Advantage if you're in one of these plans. Insurance companies often change their offerings year-to-year in ways that can increase drug costs by hundreds of dollars, or make it more difficult to get certain drugs. At the same time, your drug needs may have changed since the last plan selection period in ways that make a plan less beneficial for you. .Survivor claims are increasing due to recent violence in Mexico. .The Senior Citizens League urges lawmakers to act responsibly to keep the federal government fully funded so that essential programs like Social Security and Medicare can operate as smoothly as possible. In the days ahead, we will keep a close eye on the evolving negotiations, and we will continue to advocate for legislative solutions that would strengthen and protect your Social Security and Medicare benefits. For updates, follow us on Twitter or visit the Legislative News section of our website every Friday morning. .This is all good news. In addition to the cost of pharmaceuticals, the simple availability of them is crucial for seniors, especially during times like this. .For progress updates or for more information about these and other bills that would strengthen the Social Security program, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website or follow TSCL on Twitter.