Fate Of Lowering Drug Prices Is Up In The Air
In January, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will likely begin efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, overhaul the tax code, dramatically alter trade deals, and confirm a new Supreme Court Justice. It remains to be seen which other policy issues will be prioritized by the Republican Congress. Efforts to reform the Social Security and Medicare programs have been on the table for years, and in the platform that the Republican party adopted back in July, lawmakers agreed that "of the many reforms being proposed, all options should be considered." Proposals to raise the Medicare eligibility age or to adopt the "chained" CPI – which would result in more slowly-growing Social Security cost-of-living adjustments – could see congressional action in 2017. .Despite progress on the bill's movement in the House this week, the AHCA appears to have a tough road ahead. TSCL will be keeping a close eye on it in the days and weeks ahead since its passage would negatively impact the health and financial stability of older Americans. For updates, follow TSCL on Twitter, or visit the Legislative News section of our website. In addition, we encourage our members and supporters to call their representatives in Congress to request their opposition to the AHCA. Contact information can be found HERE. .Sources: "Distributional Effects Of Raising The Social Security Taxable Maximum," Kevin Whitman, Social Security Policy Brief, July 2009, No.2009-0Lifting the Taxable Maximum Wage, Description of Proposed Provision: E2.2, Social Security Administration Office of the Actuary. … Continued
Social Security Medicare Questions May 2011 Advisor Feed
August Recess Continues for House Lawmakers .The CBO recently estimated that the two options with the biggest potential for reducing government spending on Medicare in the next ten years include raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, and increasing the portion of the basic Part B premium that seniors pay from 25% of the cost to 35%. The latter proposal would increase this year's basic monthly Part B premium — currently 4.90 — by about per month. .Britain, France, and Italy generally have the lowest prescription drug prices, while Canada, Germany and Japan tend to have higher prices, the data showed. … Continued
The House-passed bill eliminates the medical expense deduction, which approximately 5 million taxpayers over the age of sixty-five rely upon when their out-of-pocket medical costs total more than 10 percent of their annual income. The elimination of this deduction would be a catastrophic financial loss for those who find themselves in need of costly in-home or nursing home care. Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-8) – the chairman of the bicameral conference committee – said this week that he hopes to keep the deduction in place, but discussions remain up in the air. .Budget Moves Through Committee ."We are saying you need to be doing more inspections," Verma told reporters, explaining her message to states. "We called on states in early March to go into every single nursing home and to do a focused inspection around infection control." .Vet services are estimated to cost at least 0 per year for dogs, and about 8 per year for cats, while many of us pay much more, even with so-called senior discounts. Diagnostic procedures can cost over ,000, while some surgeries can run in the thousands of dollars. .Reducing Medicare costs remains a top piece of unfinished business for TSCL. While Congress was successful in restraining a double-digit Medicare Part B increase in 2021, capping the increase at .90 per month rather than .60 more per month — I was particularly troubled to learn that .00 of the .90 Part B increase is a "repayment" charge. While TSCL congratulates Congress for passing legislation to hold the monthly Part B increase down, at least temporarily, the Part B increase wasn't "forgiven". The balance that won't be paid in 2021 will be recovered through a .00 per month repayment which will be tacked onto future Part B increases. That could take years. .It makes no sense for the Social Security Administration to allow Social Security numbers older than 112 to remain active indefinitely, without investigating the status of the beneficiary. The oldest verified lifespan of any individual to have ever lived is 124. .A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that undocumented immigrants who receive work authorization are eligible to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits on the basis of their work history. Under current law there's no citizenship requirement to receive benefits, but individuals must be lawfully present in the U.S. That will mean higher spending on Social Security and Medicare in the future, the CBO said. While the CBO said new payroll taxes would boost Social Security and Medicare's financial condition in the short term, in the long term federal spending would increase significantly as those people became eligible for benefits. .The implication that older Americans don't need their Social Security and Medicare benefits, and that seniors are demanding theirs at the expense of the young, is a nasty tactic that's not supported by the facts. According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of people age 65 and older have a total income of ,857 —hardly rolling in dough. Yet, those same seniors spend an average of 15 percent of their incomes on healthcare costs — a portion that is rapidly growing. .In a letter of support, Art Cooper – Chairman of The Senior Citizens League's Board of Trustees – wrote: "The Senior Citizens League's supporters – most of whom are enrolled in the Social Security program – question why Congress has not yet acted to address the funding challenges of the Social Security Administration in order to ensure the service that beneficiaries have earned and deserve … As such, The Senior Citizens League salutes you for introducing the Social Security Administration Fairness Act."