Legislative Update For Week Ending May 6 2016
But among other things, if consumers can't find the cost of health care, the idea of the free market is impossible. .More generous medical expense deductions for 2017 and 2018: The final tax bill retains the deduction for medical expenses and delays a previous change that would have limited the medical expense deduction for people age 65 and older in 2017 and thereafter. Under previous tax law, all taxpayers could deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses that exceed 10% of adjusted gross income, or only 7.5% for taxpayers age 65 or older. The amount of medical expenses that this group of taxpayers would be allowed to deduct was originally scheduled to rise to 10% in 201The new tax bill delayed that change, retaining the 7.5% threshold for medical expenses for taxpayers age 65 and over in 2017 and 201The change to 10% will go into effect beginning in 2019. .How do I go about contacting the Social Security Administration? … Continued
Legislative Update For Week Ending November 23 2012
Near the end of this past November President Trump issued two rules aimed at lowering prescription drug prices that affect Medicare beneficiaries. The rules followed up on executive orders that Trump signed in July. .And then it added this, "In fact, the study found that some patients who see increased drug prices will indiscriminately cut back on all drugs—regardless of how impactful those drugs are on their health. .Just how bad is it? We were stunned to learn just how big the disparity in drug prices can be. Recently I compared the highest and lowest prices of the top ten most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. using the Medicare drug plan finder. In my area, a monthly supply of diabetes drug Lantus Solostar for example, ranges from a high of 2.00 from the mail order pharmacy of First Health Part D Value Plus plan to a low of .75 from the network retail pharmacies for SilverScript Choice. In fact, the cost difference between the highest and lowest-cost plans for the ten drugs compared averaged 3 per month! … Continued
The Notch Fairness Act, legislation that would pay Notch Babies born from 1917 through 1926 a choice of ,000 in four annual installments of ,250 or an improved monthly benefit, was recently reintroduced in both the House and the Senate. Members of Congress have not forgotten about you and Notch reform may be closer than anybody thinks. .Low and middle-income earners pay taxes on all of their earnings. In recent years, however, the share of total wages earned in the U.S. and subject to Social Security payroll tax has declined because the earnings of the most highly paid workers have grown rapidly. Most of the proposals to increase the taxable maximum would also raise benefits of the affected workers by counting earnings above the old cap in the benefit formula. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that eliminating the taxable maximum would extend the Social Security solvency as much as 50 years. .Medicare Reform – Protecting seniors from sudden and harsh changes to the program. .Following the Thanksgiving recess – on Wednesday, November 30th – Democrats in the House will elect their party leaders. Republicans in both chambers and Democrats in the Senate chose their leadership teams last week. In the 115th Congress, they will be led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (NY), and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (WI-1), among others. .How Would Higher Medicare Costs Affect My Retirement Budget? .Last year, I introduced bipartisan legislation to halt this obscure tax increase on seniors. Since then, we've worked hard to build broad support inside of Congress and out. The bill has the endorsement of a list of taxpayer and seniors advocacy groups and passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote on September 13, 2016. .Social Security benefits are determined by the income earned (up to the taxable maximum) over a working career, and the number of years worked. The more money you make and pay taxes on, and the more years you work the larger your monthly Social Security benefit will be. The Social Security Administration calculates your benefits based on the 35 years in which you earned the most money. But many women, especially those who become mothers or caregivers, give up a substantial portion of their earnings to care for a family. .In his opening statement, Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (KY-3) said: "[Social Security] is facing serious long-term funding shortfalls, with promised benefits facing cuts as high as 20 percent as soon as 2035 if Congress does not act. Cuts of this level would be devastating for the individuals who rely on Social Security … Congress has a responsibility to act and honor the promise of retirement security." .An unusually steep drop in inflation has slightly improved the buying power of Social Security benefits this year — by about 9%. But despite the temporary improvement, Social Security benefits have still lost 22% of their buying power since 2000, according to the 2015 Survey of Senior Costs recently released by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL).