Legislative Update For Week Ending April 20 2012
Support Grows for Key Bill .Last fall, the Government Accountability Office uncovered .3 billion in improper payments from December 2010 to January 2013 made to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work. To be eligible for Social Security disability, beneficiaries must be unable to work due to a medical condition that's expected to last at least one year, or result in death. The list, however, includes murky afflictions like back pain, depression and other un-measurable afflictions, opening the system to fraud and abuse. .The federal government shutdown that occurred from midnight December 22, 2018, until January 25, 2019, was the longest in U.S. history. It was so disruptive that an analysis from Standard and Poor's (S & P) estimated that the shut down cost the U.S. economy .6 billion. While the government shutdown was terrible for all affected, failing to raise the U.S. debt limit, also called the debt ceiling, could make the recent shut down look like a tea party. … Continued
Legislative Update June 2021
Healthcare researchers are questioning the surge in medical testing, particularly the aggressive use of advanced radiology tests like CTs, MRIs and ultrasounds. Their use has become routine, but doctors are not necessarily diagnosing more diseases and the tests can expose patients to high levels of radiation that can cause cancer. Some critics blame "defensive medicine" to avoid malpractice suits, but that's only part of the problem. Some critics say that the tests are becoming a crutch as doctors have less and less time to spend with patients. And all say that the profit motives give doctors incentives to over prescribe the tests. .Where do you want to live and how will you get around? Do you plan to stay where you are, move to senior housing, or someday move in with family? Is it cheaper to rent or to buy? If you own a home, will your financial plan cover the annual maintenance and inevitable upkeep and repairs such as painting or replacing a roof? Will you have access to public transportation if you can no longer drive or afford a vehicle? Look for local workshops that review the types of housing options in your area for people over 60. .Why You Should Beware When The Doctor Wants To Hold You For "Observation" … Continued
Sources: "Crackdown Proposed To Prevent Illegal Immigrants From Obtaining Medicare," Robert Pear, The New York Times, March 3, 201"Medicare Improperly Paid Providers Millions Of Dollars For Unlawfully Present Beneficiaries," Daniel R. Levinson, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General January 2013. .At the same time that Social Security and Medicare rolls are increasing, the funding for Social Security and Medicare, which depend on payroll taxes withheld from wages, has fallen. Payroll taxes are not withheld from people who have no earnings. .By Representative Al Lawson (FL-05) .This week, the Social Security Administration (SSA) revealed that it has been overpaying almost half of all Disability Insurance (DI) enrollees, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw one key bill gain critical support. .COLA Cuts .Recently Congressional Budget Office estimated in its September budget outlook, that Medicare outlays for 2020 would rise about 12 percent — roughly double the rate forecast by the Medicare Trustees in their April 2020 report. This suggests that the Medicare Part B premium increase for 2021 could be about .40 per month higher in 2021, rising from 4.60 to 2.00. But even this estimate does not include the full impact of cost shifting that occurs when people with low Social Security benefits are protected from reductions due to high Medicare Part B premium increases. Thus, the base monthly Part B premium increase for 2020 could be even higher than .40, and closer to the spike seen in 2016. .The rule would require drug companies to give Medicare beneficiaries rebates that now go to insurers and PBMs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates it would increase taxpayer costs by 7 billion over 10 years. .To get your health services through Original Medicare. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, deductibles and co-pays may apply to these preventive services. Check with your plan to see what costs and rules apply. .Sources: "Divided Deficit Panel OKs Proposal," John Maggs, Politico, December 3, 20"The Moment of Truth" The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, December 2010.