Legislative Update May June 2018
This week, three new cosponsors – Reps. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), and Robert Scott (VA-3) – signed on to the Strengthening Social Security Act (H.R. 3118). The cosponsor total is now up to thirty-three. If signed into law, the bill would reform the Social Security program in three ways: it would adjust the benefit formula, resulting in more generous monthly benefits; it would adopt a Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, resulting in more accurate cost-of-living adjustments; and it would lift the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. TSCL enthusiastically supports the Strengthening Social Security Act since it would extend the solvency of the Trust Fund responsibly, without cutting benefits. We were pleased to see support grow for it this week, and we look forward to helping build support for it in the coming months. .The legislation would provide a ,000 settlement payable in four annual installments of ,250 or an improved monthly benefit for Notch Babies born 1917 through 1926 or survivors who receive benefits on their account. .In the meantime, the chairman of the influential Senate Finance Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) will re-introduce a drug pricing package (S. 2543) he assembled with the ranking member of his committee, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and soon call on Senate leaders to allow debate on the measure, a Grassley spokesman announced last week. … Continued
Adequately Social Security Cover Medicare Costs
On Tuesday, President Obama released his .901 trillion budget blueprint for fiscal 201The proposal calls for more than 0 billion in new revenues by closing certain tax loopholes, and it would replace the "sequester" beginning in 2016 with .2 trillion in new spending cuts. It adheres to the caps for discretionary spending that were set back in December, but it also proposes billion in extra investments through the so-called "Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative." .Fifth, one new cosponsor – Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9) – signed on to the Nursing Home CARE Act (H.R. 4704), bringing the total up to twenty-five. If adopted, H.R. 4704 would protect Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by more quickly codifying emergency preparedness rules for nursing home facilities that receive funding from the federal government. .Pre-Election Recess Continues … Continued
At this time, the FDA has authorized one COVID-19 self-test to be completely used and processed at home. You will risk unknowingly spreading COVID-19 or not getting treated appropriately if you use an unauthorized test. .Under current law, if an illegal immigrant eventually gets a work-authorized Social Security number through "guest worker" immigration legislation, or work covered under the Totalization Agreement, that worker could then eventually apply for Social Security benefits once eligibility requirements are met. Regardless of citizenship status, once an immigrant has a "work-authorized" Social Security number, that person may claim credit for all earnings, even those earned while working illegally. .Visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk ."The proposal would apply to both Medicare Part B and Part D drugs, an expansion from an earlier version of the order. The order would apply to Part D drugs where ‘insufficient competition exists.'" .Wages in the ESF since the end of 1999 grew by 3.20 billion to 5 billion, nearly doubling from 1.8 billion. In other words, it took 63 years to accumulate 1.8 billion in wages in the ESF. In the five most recent years, the amount of wages rose by 93%. This growth is illustrated in the charts in Tables 1, 2 and 3, which follow. .This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill and those in the House passed legislation that will reduce prescription drug costs at pharmacies. In addition, the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee met to discuss information technology within the Social Security program, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw two key bills gain support. .Shopping For a Better Drug Plan NOW Can Put More Money in Your 2020 Budget .If signed into law, H.R. 973 would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) – two federal provisions that unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, firefighters, peace officers, and other state or local government employees each year. .Prevent a 50 percent Medicare premium hike from taking effect. According to the Medicare Trustees, an estimated 15 million Medicare beneficiaries will be hit with Part B premium hikes of 50 percent next year, along with increases in deductibles. TSCL believes that the abrupt and dramatic increase must be prevented, and we hope Congress will pass legislation like the Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries Act (S. 2148) or the Medicare Premium Fairness Act (H.R. 3696).