• Benefit Bulletin February 2015

    The proposal is not new. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan supported a similar proposal in the late 1990s. In fact, it's one of a series of technical changes to the CPI recommended by the Boskin Commission in 1996 — which said that the CPI overstates inflation and that the COLA overpays seniors by about 1.1%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics busily instituted a number of those changes from 1995 through 2000 that, by my estimates, have already cut the rate of growth in the CPI and average Social Security benefits, compared to previous CPI measurement methodology by about 5 annually over the past ten years. If Congress were to adopt the chained CPI to calculate COLA starting with the COLA payable in 2012, that would additionally cut the growth in average benefits by about ,429 over the next ten years. .First, one new cosponsor – Representative Greg Walden (OR-2) – signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1205), bringing the total up to 19If adopted, the Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – two provisions that unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, police officers, and other state and local government employees each year. .On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved legislation that would repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR), which is the flawed formula that is currently used to determine reimbursements for physicians who treat Medicare patients. The SGR regularly calls for steep pay cuts for doctors and other providers, threatening beneficiaries' access to medical care. … Continued

  • Senior Citizens League Opposes Use Of Social Security Funds For Tax Cut Press Release

    Did Members of Congress receive a COLA this year? If so did they get more than the 3.6% that seniors received? Is it true they don't pay into Social Security? .In mid-December there were reports that the Administration expected to begin sending out President Trump's promised 0 drug discount cards to seniors by Jan. However, we have not heard any report about whether or not that has begun. We will keep you posted when there is new information about the distribution of the cards. .TSCL disagrees, and we fear that if triggered, the IPAB's recommendations could result in increased costs for beneficiaries or decreased access to quality medical care. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to advocate for legislation to repeal the cost-cutting board in the House and Senate, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. … Continued

The Part D doughnut hole will be "closed" in 2020, but that doesn't mean that your out-of-pocket spending will stop. To the contrary, an unprecedented spike in Medicare's required out-of-pocket costs means you may pay more than you did in 201You will hit the former coverage gap around October or November, depending on whether the price of your prescription goes up. .The President's order halts the collection of payroll taxes from Sept. 1 through the end of the year. In addition, he instructed the Treasury Department to look into how the government can forgive the deferred tax payment permanently because as things stand right now the taxes must be repaid after the first of the year. .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." .Fraud is so prevalent that prevention is only part of the solution. One in 20 seniors in the U.S. is a target of fraud schemes. Yet, the National Adult Protective Services Association has found that only one in 44 seniors report that they are victims of a fraud scheme, suggesting seniors lack information on how to file a complaint. .The FAIR Social Security Act (H.R. 1984), introduced by Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-4). This bill would make COLAs more accurate by basing them on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). In a letter to his colleagues in Congress, Rep. DeFazio wrote: "Defying all common sense, COLAs are currently calculated based on the cost of goods that aren't purchased in large numbers by seniors … Social Security COLAs should be based on accuracy, not austerity." According to his office, adopting the CPI-E would amount to a monthly benefit increase at the age of 80 for the average retiree, and an increase of per month at the age of 90. .The report analyzed the prescribing patterns of the nation's one million doctors and found that 736 of them had questionable patterns. The drugs prescribed included highly addictive prescriptions for morphine, oxycodone, anabolic steroids, hydrocodone with codeine, and barbiturates. Doctors, and crooks who use stolen provider identification numbers are writing multiple prescriptions for the same patients that are filled by dozens of pharmacies. .The value of my 401(k) fell in March of this year and still hasn't fully recovered. I turned 70 in April. Will I be forced to sell investments at a loss in order to withdraw the required minimum amount? .For more information about the Social Security Administration Fairness Act, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. For updates on the administration's progress, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter. .Scientists do not know why vaccinations might reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. But previous research has hinted at a connection. And there are several potential explanations.