• Medicare Premiums May Soar 22 Next Year

    For progress updates or for more information about these and other bills that would strengthen the Social Security and Medicare programs, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website or follow TSCL on Twitter. .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. .Reps. Peter Roskam (IL-6) and John Carney (DE) introduced H.R. 2305 on June 14, 201It has since been referred to the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Week Ending April 28 2017

    Implementing Medicaid cuts is proving even harder than getting the cuts enacted into law. In Connecticut for example, the state General Assembly recently voted overwhelmingly to reverse healthcare program cuts that they had passed just a few months before. Connecticut's 2017 budget agreement lowered the Medicaid program's income eligibility limits last year. The cuts, originally planned to go into effect January 1, would have kicked an estimated 86,000 older and disabled people off Medicare Savings Programs which pays Part B premiums and out -of - pocket costs, and moved another 27,000 to a second level of the program that provides less financial assistance. But, by January 8, 2018, the cuts were reversed by an overwhelming 130-3 vote, despite lingering concerns over financing. .Second, one new cosponsor – Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) – signed on to the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1251), bringing the total up to fifty-two. If adopted, the CPI-E Act would base Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on the more fair and adequate CPI-E. Currently, COLAs are based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W), and they fail to keep pace with the inflation experienced by older Americans. .Since he was first elected to Congress in 2010, Congressman Mulvaney – a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus – has been vocal about his support for reforming the Social Security and Medicare programs. In a 2011 interview, he told reporters: "We have to end Medicare as we know it. We have to fix it." He has endorsed several proposals that would privatize the Medicare program by adopting a "premium support" model, and on Tuesday, he endorsed plans to increase means-testing within the program. Both of those proposals are opposed by TSCL since they would result in higher out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries. … Continued

The Senior Citizens League is pleased that leaders in Washington have temporarily reopened the federal government, and we are hopeful that they will act responsibly in the days ahead to ensure that it remains fully funded. We will continue to monitor the negotiations closely in the coming days, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .A study on the buying power of Social Security benefits by Johnson has found that Medicare Part B premiums are the single fastest growing cost that retirees have, increasing 195 percent since 2000. Most retirees also have premiums for a Medicare supplement (Medigap) and Part D drug plan, or a Medicare Advantage health plan with drug coverage. Medigap premiums have increased 158 percent since 2000, and out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs increased 188 percent. .If signed into law, the Strengthening Social Security Act would amend title II of the Social Security Act to adjust the benefit formula, resulting in a more generous monthly Social Security benefit. It would also change the way that cost-of-living adjustments are calculated by adopting a Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, and it would lift the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. .When there's a COLA as low as 1.3%, a provision of law known as "hold harmless" ensures that an individual's net Social Security benefit will not decrease from December of one year to January of the next, because of an increase in the Part B premium. That's an important protection, but it doesn't go far enough. .Newly Eligible People with Medicare .TSCL Supports Bill To Kill The Medicare Cutting Board .The issue is of huge importance. Feds Shut Down .2 Billion Medicare Scheme — Finally , editor .This week, members of The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL) legislative staff were in attendance at two committee hearings – one held by the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, and one held by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. In addition, TSCL saw support grow for a key piece of legislation. .It remains to be seen whether or not lawmakers in the Senate will reach an agreement before the midnight deadline. If not, the federal government will shut down like it did back in 201While not likely, an extended government shutdown could result in negative impacts for Social Security beneficiaries and doctors who treat Medicare patients.