• In Congress This Week

    The most widely-discussed proposals to revamp Social Security include raising the eligibility age, making the benefit formula less generous, and reducing the Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). Reducing COLAs would impact the lifetime Social Security benefits of all current beneficiaries, as well as affecting future retirees. Under discussion is a proposal that would reduce COLAs by switching to a more slowly-growing, "chained" consumer price index to calculate the annual benefit boost. In fact the new tax law, recently did something similar. Indexing of income tax brackets, the standard deduction, and other parameters of the tax code for inflation was tied to a chained COLA. That means that people will pay higher taxes over time, as the standard deduction becomes less generous, while rising income would tend to push older taxpayers into higher brackets. .We need to throw out the stereotype we've had that when you're 65 you quit working and head to the golf course. In the wake of the Great Recession, it doesn't really work financially for most folks. Even though my book has the word "retirement" in the title, about one-third of the chapters deal with careers and work at midlife and beyond -- tips for finding jobs, starting an entrepreneurial venture or launching an encore career focused on social contribution. .Big Effort to Lower Drug Prices Once Again in Congress … Continued

  • Irs Tax Warning Retirees

    Congress should restrict price increases of prescription drugs to no more than the rate of inflation. — 83 percent support, 13 percent not sure, and only 5 percent opposed. .The extent of probable illegal work related to such reinstatements has also been growing. "With more recent work years and earnings, the percentage of reinstatements to foreign-born persons with work activity prior to SSN issuance is significantly higher—an average of about 32% of such reinstatement occurring between 1986-200Further, in some years, these reinstatements for potentially unauthorized work have been in excess of 50% of all reinstatements to foreign-born recipients," the GAO said.(17) .Healthcare Debate Continues in Senate … Continued

According to the FDA, "Complementary and Alternative Medicine" encompass a wide array of health care practices, products, and therapies that are distinct from conventional medicine. Examples include botanical and animal-derived extracts, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins, just to name a few. In addition there would be new regulations of medical devices used by alternate medicine practitioners like chiropractors, massage and acupuncture therapists. .The bill, which TSCL supports enthusiastically, was amended this week to include a pay-for that would cover the projected cost of its passage. Since the IPAB currently has no appointed members and it has not yet been triggered to begin making recommendations to Congress, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that its repeal will have no budgetary impact over the next six years. However, it could increase spending by around .1 billion between 2022 and 2025 since it may be triggered during that timeframe. .While no one should try to be one's own physician, it is vital to establish good communication with your doctor. If you feel awkward asking these questions, consider bringing someone with you to appointments who can ask on your behalf. Sources: "The Patient As A Consumer," Marvin Moser, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine Heart Book. "Physicians Wade Into Efforts To Curb Unnecessary Treatments," Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News, April 4, 2012. .TSCL enthusiastically supports H.R. 1030 and H.R. 3118, and we were pleased to see support grow for both of them this week. .As prices increase, those who depend on Social Security benefits experience a decline in the buying power. In fact, according to my research, Social Security benefits have lost 30% of buying power over the past 20 years. For some retirees, that means a decline in their standard of living. .To learn more about your Medicare benefits download a copy of the "2011 Medicare & You" handbook by visiting or call 1-800-MEDICARE ( 7). .Susan has rheumatoid arthritis and was taking Humira, a drug that would cost more than ,000 out-of-pocket if she had to purchase it through a Part D plan. Prior to starting Medicare, she paid a .00 per month co-pay for Humira through her husband's insurance. Before starting on Medicare though, Susan decided to try a less expensive older generic, Methotrexate, which costs just .00 per month through her Part D plan. .This week, the Senate Finance Committee met with a representative from the Obama administration to discuss alternatives to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw five key bills gain new cosponsors. ."AbbVie is one of 33 member companies of the industry's top lobbying group, PhRMA, which raised nearly 0 million from membership dues in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. But AbbVie's political action committee is one of just two pharmaceutical company PACs to donate the maximum ,000 to PhRMA's federal PAC since 2013, a potential indicator that AbbVie was highly motivated to influence legislation," according to a report on