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On Thursday, with a vote of 326-96, lawmakers in the House passed legislation that will fund the federal government past December 9th. The short-term continuing resolution (CR) will provide funding at a .07 trillion rate – up slightly from the current rate of .067 trillion – through April 28, 2017. .Last year the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.), passed major drug legislation that would have allowed the government to negotiate directly with the drug companies, thus bringing the prices of drugs down. The major drug companies, and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), opposed the legislation and would not allow the House-passed legislation to even be considered. .We at TSCL believe that if the drug companies do not offer vaccines or treatments either free of charge, at-cost, or with only a small profit, Congress must take action to reduce the cost. It is simply unacceptable for the American taxpayers to have to pay a large amount of money for something that is so desperately needed by everyone and that has disrupted, and most likely permanently changed, our lives. … Continued
Do you know what the poverty line is? It's ,880. Who could live on that? .Obamacare is not the first government program in which major implementation glitches had disastrous consequences for large numbers of beneficiaries. In 1977 changes that Congress made to the Social Security benefit formula created a major inequity in benefits that cost retirees tens of thousands of dollars in Social. Seventeen Co-sponsors for The Notch Fairness Act While Congress has been holding hearings and considering changes to Social Security, TSCL has been successful in gaining co-sponsors for The Notch Fairness Act. The bill, introduced in the House and Senate by Representative Mike McIntyre (NC-17) and Senator David Vitter (LA), would provide Notch Babies born from 1917 through 1926 their choice of ,000 paid. Risk of Deeper Benefit Cuts When Congress Waits The Notch Fairness Act In House And Senate .Last month, the Health and Human Services' watchdog agency announced plans to review the pace of inspections in nursing homes and barriers to completing them — referring to such checks as a "fundamental safeguard to ensure that nursing home residents are safe and receive high-quality care." … Continued
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump addressed the nation in his first State of the Union. In his speech, the President reflected on the strong economic growth of the country and he shared his hopes for the year ahead. The President said he plans to push .5 trillion in infrastructure investments, to secure the southern border with Mexico, and to offer a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants known as "Dreamers." .Alexandria, VSpiking drug prices are taking large numbers of Medicare beneficiaries by surprise according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Sixty-one percent of people with Medicare drug coverage report higher co-pays and co-insurance costs than expected in 2014 according to more than 1,000 survey participants. The reason for the cost spikes may be tough for many beneficiaries to figure out, according to the survey. Sky-high drug prices are commonly associated with brand and newer specialty drugs, but cost spikes are now affecting generics as well. .In January, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will likely begin efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, overhaul the tax code, dramatically alter trade deals, and confirm a new Supreme Court Justice. It remains to be seen which other policy issues will be prioritized by the Republican Congress. Efforts to reform the Social Security and Medicare programs have been on the table for years, and in the platform that the Republican party adopted back in July, lawmakers agreed that "of the many reforms being proposed, all options should be considered." Proposals to raise the Medicare eligibility age or to adopt the "chained" CPI – which would result in more slowly-growing Social Security cost-of-living adjustments – could see congressional action in 2017. .Your responses to our annual Senior Surveys are a key means to helping us convince Congress to move forward on key issues. Please take our 2021 Senior Survey. .In the meantime, TSCL would like to remind you that many Senators and Representatives will attend local events or schedule town hall meetings while they are in their home states and districts, giving constituents an excellent opportunity to voice their concerns. We encourage you to approach your Members of Congress and request their support for fair cost-of-living adjustments, Notch fairness, a permanent "doc fix," and other key issues. .According to studies performed for TSCL, many Notch Babies, particularly those who rely on Social Security for most, if not all, of their income, are at risk for living near or below the federal poverty level. For example, Notch Babies who retired in 1984 at age 65 with average benefits of 0 per month, would receive about ,839 this year. In the 48 contiguous states and Washington DC, that's only 8% above the federal poverty guidelines and qualifies for various assistance programs. .The government negotiates prescription drug prices for veterans and Medicaid beneficiaries, but it is barred from negotiating lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries. As a result, seniors enrolled in Part D often pay much higher prices than other Americans for their prescription drugs. What are you doing to correct this unfair policy? ." ‘If it comes to getting my family members vaccinated, and all that's available is J&J or Novavax, I'd tell them to take it,' said Robert Hancock, president of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians." .Locality pay adjustments are currently used to adjust the paychecks of federal workers. Federal employees receive a two-part pay adjustment that includes base pay (which is established by a specific formula set by law) and locality pay adjustments. The locality pay adjustment varies depending on where the employee works. The parameters aren't set by law but use metropolitan statistical areas to define locality pay areas.