Congress Considers Medicare Advantage Pre Approval Legislation
We end the update this week with some hopeful news regarding Alzheimer's disease. According to a report from National Public Radio, there is evidence that vaccines that protect against the flu and pneumonia may actually protect people from Alzheimer's, too. The evidence comes from two studies presented last Monday at this year's Alzheimer's Association International Conference, which is being held as a virtual event. .TSCL continues to work with Members of Congress to pass "The Notch Fairness Act," legislation which would provide Notch Babies born 1917 through 1926 with a settlement of ,000 or a choice of higher monthly benefits. What you can do: Urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass "The Notch Fairness Act," H.R. 1001 and S. 118! To learn more about the status of Notch legislation, give us a call 1-800-333-8725. .This week, The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL) Board of Trustees and legislative team held meetings with several Members of Congress and their top staff. In addition, the Board of Trustees presented one Member of Congress – Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC-7) – with the 2012 Seniors Advocate Award. TSCL also saw support grow for a critical piece of legislation this week. … Continued
Legislative Update For Week Ending January 1 2016
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced earlier this year that he wants to overhaul entitlement spending. TSCL is concerned that, after the elections, Congress could address rising deficits by moving legislation that would cut Social Security benefits. .Long-term solvency of the Social Security program is essential. In 2010, due largely to the economic downturn and a stagnant recovery, the Social Security Trustees estimated that the trust funds ran a cash deficit of billion and had to begin redeeming the U.S. government bonds held in the trust funds. Although the Social Security Trustees predict the trust funds will remain solvent, and that benefits can be paid in full until 2037, that assumes an unprecedented level of transfers from the general revenues. Leading economists, in the U.S. and worldwide, have said that the level of debt this would require risks undermining the stability of our economy. .Prescription Drug Costs … Continued
Federal law requires that any reduction in payroll tax revenues going into the Social Security Trust Fund must be replaced dollar-for-dollar with general revenues from the U.S. Treasury. Consequently, a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut will have no effect on the Social Security Trust Fund. .This week, lawmakers returned to Washington and quickly began working on legislation to stave off a government shutdown, which could occur on December 11th if Congress fails to reach a compromise. In addition, The Senior Citizens League saw two key bills gain support. .Actuaries aren't in agreement over how many more years of solvency Social Security has left. The 2018 Social Security Trustees Report estimates that the Social Security Trust Fund will become insolvent in 2034, about 15 years from now. The more pessimistic Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the depletion date would be two years sooner in 2032, only 13 years away. If Congress does nothing, and allows the Social Security Trust Fund to become insolvent, the program could still pay benefits, but benefits would be cut to coincide with the amount of revenue received — by about 25%. .This week, Congressman John Larson (CT-1) – Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee – introduced the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860) along with the support of more than two hundred original House cosponsors. Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) also introduced the companion bill – S. 269 – in the Senate this week along with Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD). .This week, Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, revealed that Congress will not consider legislation that would permanently repeal and replace the SGR – the flawed formula that sets payment rates for doctors who treat Medicare patients – before the March 31st deadline. Instead, they will likely pass another short-term "doc fix" in order to avert a 21 percent pay cut for physicians that is set to hit on April 1st. .TSCL believes the time has come for Congress to put the needs of U.S. senior citizens and taxpayers first. We support legislation that would ban the use of illegal earnings in determining entitlement to Social Security such as S. 95, to Prevent Social Security Credit from Being Earned without Legal Status, introduced by Senator David Vitter (LA), and "No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act" (H.R. 787), introduced by Representative Dana Rohrabacher (CA). .'It´s not clear why the administration hasn't made a bigger push to line up votes to get a bill through the Senate and a deal with Congress, given strong public support to lower drug costs,' said Tricia Neuman, a Medicare expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. .To qualify for Medicare coverage, beneficiaries must be an inpatient for at least 3 days in a row, not counting the day of discharge. What you can do: If admitted to a hospital, it's highly important that you, or your designated caregiver, find out immediately whether you are being admitted to the hospital as an inpatient or an outpatient. Even if you are admitted as an inpatient, the hospital can sometimes switch you to observation (and outpatient) status, but the hospital is required to notify you while you are still a patient. Should this happen to you, ask your caregiver to take steps to have the decision reversed while you are still a patient. .Eighty percent of the nation's active pharmaceutical ingredients come from overseas — and China is its No. 2 supplier, behind only Canada.