Medicare Part Dthe Senior Citizens League
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. .Apply for Medicaid coverage while you wait. Check with a counselor at your local area Agency on Aging or local Medicaid department. Medicaid can take several months to start. .In 1983 government economists changed the way housing costs were measured in the CPI. Housing represents almost 50% of the expenditures of people age 65 and older, and thus changes to that expenditure category tend to have a big impact. Rather than basing housing costs on some measure of home prices, after 1983 the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated costs "based on what homeowners theoretically would pay to themselves in order to rent their own homes from themselves. The BLS then estimates how much homeowners raise the rent on themselves each month," according to Williams. … Continued
Legislative Update Tscl Delivers Listing Of 692164 Petition Signers To Gain Attention Of Capitol Hill
Congress Fails to Reach Agreement – President Takes Action .This week, two new cosponsors – Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1) and Mike Coffman (CO-6) – signed on to the Credit for Caring Act (H.R. 4708), bringing the cosponsor total up to five. If signed into law, the bill would provide eligible caregivers with a new tax credit equal to 30 percent of all expenses greater than ,000, and capped at ,000 per year. .Nationwide, the picture is equally bleak, with more than 60 million Americans at risk of losing access to the rural hospitals that serve their families. What's worse – in order to prevent rural hospitals from closing under a Medicare-for-all regime, Medicare would have to increase hospital payments up to 60% higher than current Medicare rates. … Continued
Members of Congress receive their benefits through the District of Columbia's small business health options program (SHOP) exchange that was established under the 2010 health law. Effective January 1, 2014, Members of Congress had to give up their previous health benefits received through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) and get their insurance through the exchange. However, they remain eligible for employer contributions from the federal government (i.e., U.S. taxpayers) toward coverage, just as they previously received for their FEHB coverage. .On behalf of The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL's) one million members nation-wide – 4,803 of whom are your constituents – I urge you and your colleagues in Congress to reject the elimination of the medical expense deduction. .Still, COLA cuts remain a key proposal of major debt reduction plans. In his budget last year, President Obama proposed changing the way COLAs are calculated by using a more slowly-growing measure of inflation, known as the "chained" CPI. "If our nation is going to correct income inequality, it should start with payroll taxes," Cates says. "Under current law, millionaires pay no Social Security taxes at all on earnings over 7,000, while average workers pay Social Security taxes on every dime they earn," Cates points out. "Cutting the benefits of financially vulnerable seniors and others can't be justified when millionaires are getting a multibillion dollar tax break," Cates asserts. "TSCL urges President Obama NOT to use Social Security COLAs to cut the debt," he adds. .With the impeachment drama out of the way Congress really got down to business this week. Health care is the number one issue on the minds of voters as we head toward the November elections and Congress knows it. .Despite tightening the law, Congress did not fix a policy loophole that would be inadvertently triggered with the passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. When determining entitlement for insured status, and when calculating the initial retirement benefit, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses all reported earnings from covered employment in the United States, even if the earnings were from illegal or "unauthorized" work. (2) .On Monday, President Obama released his .8 trillion budget request for fiscal 2013, calling it "a blueprint for how we can rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." While the proposal leaves Social Security as is, many Medicare beneficiaries – especially those considered "high earners" – would see major changes. .The study examined the increase in costs of 40 key items between 2000 and January 2020. The items were chosen because they are typical of the costs of most Social Security recipients, and include expenditures, like the Medicare Part B premium, that are not measured by the index currently used to calculate the COLA. Of the 40 items analyzed, 26 exceeded the COLA over the same period while 14 were lower than the COLA. .Now Congressional Democrats, while only having a razor-thin majority in the Senate, are planning a major push to include in measures to lower drug prices in upcoming legislation meant to rebuild the U.S. infrastructure. .Federal prosecutors recently announced the biggest-ever one-day takedown of a phony Medicare billing scheme. One hundred seven people were charged, including doctors and nurses in seven U.S. cities, with taking part in a scheme to steal 2 million from Medicare. About the same time, the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services reported that federal investigators have uncovered questionable billings at 2,600 drugstores nationwide. A pharmacy in Kansas billed Medicare for more than 1,000 prescriptions each for just two patients. Medicare paid .6 billion to the drugstores whose billings are now being questioned. While those announcements generated great election year headlines, the fact is that seniors and taxpayers can only hope to see a tiny fraction of Medicare's money recovered.