• Category Legislative News Page 33

    Finally, the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R.1205) from Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) gained ten new cosponsors this week, bringing the total up to 158 in the House. The bill, if adopted, would repeal two provisions of the Social Security Act that reduce the earned benefits of millions of state and local government employees each year. .Congress recognized that benefits would be lower under the new benefit formula provided by the 1977 law changes, but they sought to address the problem of abrupt benefit cuts for those nearing retirement (3). Congress provided a "transitional benefit formula" to phase in the changes for those who would become eligible for Social Security within the first five years of the changeoverЧthose born from 1917 through 192This group of retirees had their benefit calculated two waysЧunder the new benefit formula and under the transitional benefit formula and they received the higher of the two benefits. According to a comprehensive economic analysis by noted economist John Haldi, Ph.D., the transitional benefit formula, however, had significant flaws and in almost every case failed to provide any benefit protection (4). Thus, benefits were sharply and rapidly reduced. .Last week, in a last ditch attempt to try and come up with new legislation, Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Meadows met with the leaders of the House and Senate see if they could reach a compromise. They could not. One of the big reasons was the overall cost of the legislation and in the amount of money that would be given to those who are unemployed because of the pandemic. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Week Ending April 13 2018

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the nation's long term budget outlook, and Doug Elmendorf – CBO's Director – met with the House Budget Committee on Wednesday to discuss the findings. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw three key bills gain critical support. .Four Things To Avoid When Shopping For Retirement Housing .In 1977 Social Security was going bankrupt because of a flawed benefit formula that raised benefits too quickly. That year Congress passed legislation which changed the way benefits were calculated starting with retirees who were born in 1917 and became eligible for benefits in 197The changes were major and the transition between the old and new method of calculating benefits did not work as anticipated. … Continued

We will be putting out more information about this in the next few days and we are working on what we believe is a realistic solution to the COLA problem. Please be looking for that information. .TSCL strongly supports legislation that would provide a minimum COLA in years when inflation is below average — such as the Guaranteed 3% COLA Act (H.R. 991) sponsored by Representative Eliot Engel (NY-16). How are low COLAs and higher costs affecting you? Let your Members of Congress know! Call 1-844-455-0045. .On Wednesday, lawmakers on the House Budget Committee held a hearing titled: "Keeping Our Promise to America's Seniors: Retirement Security in the 21st Century." Committee members heard from several expert Social Security witnesses, including Congressman John Larson (CT-1) – Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee. .Clauses requiring mandatory arbitration have become exceedingly common in many types of contracts, but they can have serious implications for unsuspecting consumers. By signing such agreements, consumers give up their Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury or their right to bring civil suit in court against the company no matter what the grievance. This can even include sexual abuse, medication errors, and negligence. .On Monday, Members of the House and Senate returned to Capitol Hill from the month-long August recess and quickly began working on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past September 30th. Originally, leaders in both chambers agreed to keep the CR as "clean" as possible in order to avoid a government shutdown like last year's and to allow lawmakers to quickly resume campaign work for the looming November 4th elections. .Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (AL) told reporters this week that a government shutdown later this month is a real possibility. He said: "This could make us all come together or it could drive us further apart. We don't know yet … I've been here on Christmas Eve." .In January as my specialist told me goodbye, he gave me a 10-day prescription for a simple .16 antibiotic. Did I get better? Yes, at least for now. While the antibiotic treatment was inexpensive and seems effective at curing the cough, the CT scan and bronchoscopy he ordered last year cost about ,000 before insurance. Would I have done just as well getting that prescription from my primary care doctor and skipping all the rest? Maybe, but how does the patient make that judgment? .After being suspended since November 2, 2015, the debt cap was reinstated last week. "Although the Treasury secretary is using ‘extraordinary measures' to fund the budget for now, a failure to lift the debt limit in time would affect all Americans, including the timely payment of Social Security benefits," says TSCL Social Security and Medicare policy analyst, Mary Johnson. .Do COLAs overpay seniors? Ask TSCL Chairman, Larry Hyland. "The idea is hogwash," he says. "There's simply no evidence that the CPI has overpaid the people who depend on those COLAs to protect the buying power of their benefits. The Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) that surveys the market basket more typical of the majority of Social Security recipients, has shown a significantly greater rise over the CPI used to calculate COLAs through 201The CPI-E would provide a more accurate, and adequate COLA, one more in line with the costs experienced by seniors," Hyland says.