Legislative Update Tscl Delivers Listing Of 692164 Petition Signers To Gain Attention Of Capitol Hill
As we've found out in our meetings with Congressional staff members, Congress is hearing thousands of complaints from voters who want surprise billing stopped. But, they are also hearing from the health care providers who are making a lot of money from surprise billings and they are fighting back to try and stop or modify legislation. Because of the pressure Congress is receiving from opposing sides, getting legislation to fix the problem is more complicated than you might expect. There are four bills in the Senate to deal with the issue and five in the House. .The letter that TSCL delivered to congressional leaders this week urged lawmakers to begin immediate discussions about lifting the debt limit and preventing a default on the federal debt. Art Cooper – Chairman of TSCL's Board of Trustees – wrote: "Our supporters nation-wide hope you will act swiftly and responsibly to avert delays in Social Security benefits and payments to Medicare providers, and they will not tolerate additional cuts to their earned Social Security benefits." .Roughly 27% of older single women are at high risk of living in poverty, because they have little other income to augment their Social Security benefits. Single women have it worse in retirement than married couples and men, and are more likely to become impoverished as they age. Most women have lower benefits than men. Women tend to work in lower-paying jobs, get paid less than men, and take time out of the workforce to take care of children and older family members. That can leave zero earnings gaps, or only partial years of earnings for the time out of the work force. … Continued
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Throughout his testimony, Elmendorf stressed the fact that programs like Social Security and Medicare will continue to grow despite the slow pace of the economic recovery. Over the next ten years, he noted that the number of Americans over the age of sixty-five will increase by one-third. .To remedy this problem, TSCL supports Social Security "caregiving credits." These credits would be applied to a worker's Social Security earnings record to make up for years when people took time out of their working careers, and earned little or zero income, because they were caring for children, spouses, or older family members. .Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin said, "I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law." But a week after the announcement The Washington Post reported that "many taxpayers say the government is still seizing refunds." The Social Security Administration said letters to those taxpayers went out before the announcement, but it remains unclear whether they will get their money back. … Continued
Managing the cost of pet care grows more emotionally and financially challenging as we and our pets age. The cost of care often sets up ethical dilemmas, especially for older adults facing unfunded gaps in retirement income. .Action on Capitol Hill was slow this week as Members of the House returned to their districts for a week-long recess, and most Members of the Senate kept their focus on a transportation bill and a series of judicial nominations. However, on Thursday, four Senators unveiled a drastic plan to phase out Medicare. .You may be surprised to learn that Members of Congress, and their congressional staff, receive their employer-sponsored insurance through Obamacare. Their health benefits would also be affected by an Obamacare repeal as well — but unlike your sister and millions of other Americans, Members of Congress already have high quality health insurance to replace their Obamacare plans. In fact, the premium costs of some Members of Congress could go down as they transition back to getting insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB). .TSCL has long supported adding vision, dental and hearing benefits to Medicare, as well as supporting legislation to lower prescription drug prices. We are waiting to see what the final bills look like that come out of the House and Senate before we determine what kind of endorsement to give. .All costs cited include premiums and prescription out-of-pocket. .The Senior Citizens League thanks Senator Sanders and Representative Larson for their leadership on this important issue, and we look forward to working with their offices in the months ahead to help build support for their bill. For more information about the Social Security Administration Fairness Act, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. For progress updates, follow TSCL on Twitter. .The Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" – the gap in coverage that occurs when beneficiaries reach their initial annual payment limit – is costing many older Americans thousands of dollars per year. Not all beneficiaries hit the limit each year, but in a recent survey of TSCL's members and supporters, we learned that 28%, more than one-in-four respondents, fell into the doughnut hole in 2015. .Social Security Notch Legislation Introduced .On Wednesday, Members of the House voted to approve a temporary Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government past September 30th – the end of the fiscal year. Those in the Senate took it up quickly thereafter and voted for its passage on Thursday afternoon, despite reservations from some key Senators.