Social Security Recipients Need Better Benefit Boost
TSCL believes Congress must ensure stronger protections of Social Security in order to prevent payments based on illegal work. TSCL supports legislation that would prevent Social Security credit being earned without legal status such as (S.95) introduced by Senator David Vitter (LA). Sources: "Status of Totalization Agreements," Social Security Administration, October 22, 200"Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens," Congressional Research Service, July 20, 2006. .This week, House Republicans revived the AHCA after lawmakers affiliated with the Freedom Caucus endorsed a new version of it. A new amendment put forth by Congressman Tom MacArthur (NJ-3) would allow states to opt out of the ACA's essential health benefits mandate and allow them to do away with a provision that prevents insurers from charging sick individuals more for their coverage. .As a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis, Social Security's Average Wage Index is likely to drop in 2020. Because of how Social Security benefits are calculated, this will reduce Social Security benefits for future retirees who were born in 1960, as well as others who become eligible for Social Security in 202Affected beneficiaries would face a permanent reduction in benefits. … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending March 3 2017
In the midst of all this, a new study by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) found that the drop in average wages in recent years coupled with no cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs), and projections of extremely low COLAs, is reducing the amount retirees can count on in Social Security benefits over their retirement. .Viral Outbreaks Related to Planes .Alexandria, V An overwhelming majority of seniors oppose two Medicare changes that are among the most widely - discussed reforms in Congress, according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Eighty-one percent of seniors strongly oppose a proposal that would impose a significantly higher annual deductible while restricting supplemental Medigap plans from covering the cost. Only 1 percent of those responding favored the idea. Seventy - four percent also strongly oppose replacing Medicare with a premium support system of private health plans, and giving beneficiaries a premium subsidy or voucher to shop for a new health plan. Just 5 percent said they favored this idea. "Both plans shift costs to seniors, something the vast majority can ill afford," says TSCL Chairman Ed Cates. … Continued
Compare your drug and health plan options NOW during the Medicare Open Enrollment period before it ends on December 7th. Does your current drug plan even cover your expensive new prescription? If not, you need to check your other options. Chances are another plan will. Use the Drug and Health Plan Finder at www.Medicare.gov. Make sure you carefully enter every prescription drug you take in order to get a custom comparison of your best drug plan choices. Costs can vary by hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, and you may be very surprised by the savings from switching to a better plan. ."Addressing our fiscal challenges will require many tough choices and policy changes—but switching to the chained CPI represents neither. Such a change offers policy makers the rare opportunity to achieve significant savings spread across the entire budget by making a technical improvement to existing policies. As such, across-the-board adoption of the chained CPI should be at the top of the list for any deficit reduction plan or down payment." .On Tuesday, House lawmakers advanced two Senate-passed bills that will reduce prescription drug prices at pharmacies if signed into law. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554) will prohibit "gag clauses" that prevent pharmacists from telling consumers when it would be cheaper to purchase their prescriptions out-of-pocket rather than through their health insurance. Similarly, the Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553) will protect Medicare beneficiaries from "gag clauses." .Both bills would stop a premium hike of nearly 50 percent that's scheduled to hit millions of beneficiaries in January. They would also prevent a deductible increase of nearly , from 7 to Most Medicare beneficiaries will not be affected by the increases due to the "hold harmless provision" that protects them in years when premium increases are large enough to reduce their monthly Social Security checks. Since seniors are expected to receive no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) next year, the premium rates for around 70 percent of beneficiaries will remain unchanged from this year's. .At the time of writing this week's legislative update, lawmakers in the Senate had not yet voted on the CR, and a coalition of Democrats had vowed to block it unless Republicans agreed to include year-long funding for the health care benefits of coal miners. The House-passed package includes funding for only four months, and Members of Congress in that chamber left town shortly after its passage. .Because of the coronavirus, however, the BLS has been unable to gather much of the information from those two categories. Therefore, although they do not use the word, they are going to guess at those costs. It may be an educated guess, but it is still a guess, nonetheless. .Sources: "Measuring Up: The Case for the Chained CPI," Rosenberg, Goldwein, Moment of Truth Project, May 11, 201"Changes in Calculating the Consumer Price Indexes," Congressional Budget Office, September 1997. . Four Key Bills Gain Support in Congress .The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on nursing homes, leading to large numbers of residents and staff becoming become ill or dying. We hope that such catastrophes may help focus attention on long-term problems that plague these facilities.