Fight Over Surprise Billing Regulations In Washington
As we've found out in our meetings with Congressional staff members, Congress is hearing thousands of complaints from voters who want surprise billing stopped. But, they are also hearing from the health care providers who are making a lot of money from surprise billings and they are fighting back to try and stop or modify legislation. Because of the pressure Congress is receiving from opposing sides, getting legislation to fix the problem is more complicated than you might expect. There are four bills in the Senate to deal with the issue and five in the House. .The poll results released this week show clearly that older voters want Congress to improve coverage of these essential services. The Senior Citizens League has endorsed legislation called the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act (H.R. 508), a bipartisan bill introduced by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and 130 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. If adopted, it would expand Medicare coverage to include vision, dental, and hearing services. .Lawmakers Discuss Drug Costs with President Trump … Continued
Q July 2018
Finally, one new cosponsor – Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3) – signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795) this week, bringing the total up to ninety-four. If signed into law, the bill 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 state and local government employees each year. .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. .The Social Security Trustees estimated last year that SS payroll taxes in 2020 would be about 3.8 billion under average economic conditions. Thus the 6 billion cost of the payroll tax provision in the CARES Act appears to be as much as 42% of all anticipated Social Security revenues for 2020. … Continued
To remedy this problem, TSCL supports Social Security "caregiving credits." These credits would be applied to a worker's Social Security earnings record to make up for years when people took time out of their working careers, and earned little or zero income, because they were caring for children, spouses, or older family members. .Before the New Year even started, TSCL had been working to convince Members of our new Congress of the immediate need to replace 2021's meager 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) with a 3% emergency inflation adjustment. We strongly support "The 3% Emergency COLA Act," introduced by Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR-4) and John Larson (CT-1) and efforts to include provisions of this bill in emergency stimulus funding legislation. .What is the current status of the Notch issue? .By using reconciliation, it would mean there would have to billions of dollars cut from current spending programs, including Medicare. .The House recently approved legislation that would require a valid Social Security Number in order for tax filers to claim the child tax credits, but the fate of the legislation is uncertain in the Senate. TSCL is strongly opposed to allowing illegal immigrants to collect refundable tax credits of ANY kind. We encourage you to contact your Members of Congress to tell them to put a stop to this .2 billion hand-out. Send an email to your Member of Congress online. .Progress Stalls on CR Work .Reduce the size of the initial retirement benefit that new Social Security beneficiaries are scheduled to receive; .He announced that he would meet with the drug companies to discuss his plan, but top company executives subsequently refused to meet with him. The drug companies did develop their own proposal but it was rejected by the President. .Downsizing doctor networks is one way that Medicare Advantage insurers are dealing with the sizable cuts. Some insurers have also begun to increase premiums and out-of-pocket costs that enrollees pay. Austin Pittman, President of UnitedHealth, told the Wall Street Journal: "It's no secret that we are under substantial funding pressure from the federal government … That's what's driving our actions."