Congressional Corner Its Time To Tackle The High Cost Of Prescription Drugs
The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports the two bills mentioned above, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For more information about these and other bills that have been backed by The Senior Citizens League, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .Our surveys are the key means to educate the public on issues, and for Members of Congress, to gauge how people think. Survey results can turn up the heat during an election year. This month, TSCL launches our annual 2020 Senior Survey, and we urge you to participate. This is our most important survey of the year, and your responses count. .Providing Medicare services is not simple, but it is critical that we continue to make efficient investments in the healthcare expenses of 48 million people and develop an adequate workforce to provide those services. I proudly voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which expanded access for Medicare beneficiaries and increased investment in healthcare provider training. I also remain a staunch opponent of attempts to increase costs to beneficiaries and privatize this valuable program. … Continued
Legislative Update For Week Ending August 3 2012
Support for the IPAB at both hearings was scarce. Some Members, including the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen (MD), called the IPAB a necessary "failsafe" measure that will stabilize healthcare costs. He stressed the fact that the experts on the IPAB will make recommendations, but Congress will ultimately have the final say in whether or not they become law. .Medicare Part B premiums increased to 4 month in 2017 – and the higher costs continue to hit older adults, including a large number of low-income individuals who struggle to make ends meet. For these seniors who live paycheck-to-paycheck on Social Security, our failed system means they're facing impossible choices. A meal or medicine? A raincoat or rent payment? .Medicare first began offering beneficiaries the chance to enroll in private Medicare HMOs' in the mid 1980's. That program was absorbed and expanded under the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, creating Medicare+Choice. To cut federal spending on Medicare, the Balanced Budget Act set payments to the private plans at 5% below the fee-for-service rates of traditional Medicare. But by 1999, Medicare+Choice plans were not renewing their contracts with Medicare and there was a widespread exodus, leaving more than 2 million seniors scrambling to find other coverage. … Continued
Johnson says that the federal government is looking at the wrong market basket to determine the annual change in prices in the goods and services used by retired and disabled Americans. According to Johnson, had the government used a more appropriate inflation index that measures costs experienced by people age 62 and older, the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), retirees would get a COLA of 2.1 percent instead of 0.3 percent in 201"But instead, the COLA is based on the increased price of goods normally purchased by younger working adults," she notes. .Most people don't know where to begin, and the process is designed to overwhelm you before you start. You, however, do not have to be one of these people. All you need to do is to call and set up a free counseling session with a local Medicare benefits counselor. Do this NOW. Locate the program in your area on the State Health Insurance Program website — https://www.shiptacenter.org. .The hearing examined in particular the drug company AbbVie, which makes Humira and Imbruvica, two drugs widely used by seniors. .Support Grows for Key Bill .Under this bill, beneficiaries would get about more a month and the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, or CPI-E, would be used to more accurately measure inflation to ensure Social Security benefits keep up with the rise in costs for food, rent and medicine. .Last Friday, MedPAC released its most recent report to Congress, and on Wednesday, Mike Miller – MedPAC's Executive Director – testified before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. At the hearing, he focused on the report's key recommendations, which include maintaining bonus payments for primary care physicians who treat Medicare patients, and increasing financial assistance for low-income beneficiaries. .Perhaps the most difficult task on Capitol Hill today is getting the attention of Members of Congress. Yet, the nature of grassroots advocacy lends itself as an effective tool for grabbing the ear of Congress on matters needing decisive action. For The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) and our nearly 1.1 million supporters across the nation, this is no different. .(Washington, DC) – Consumer price index data through August 2021 indicates that the 2022 COLA will likely be about 6 percent. But soaring inflation this year has deeply eroded the buying power of Social Security benefits, according to a new update to an ongoing inflation study by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). The study, which compares the growth in the Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLA)s with increases in the costs of goods and services typically used by retirees found that, since 2000, Social Security benefits have lost 32 percent of their buying power. .TSCL Tells Congress —"Leave Social Security and Medicare out of Budget Negotiations"