Legislative Update For Week Ending January 14 2012
Social Security benefits have lost 30 percent of buying power since 2000. These are the findings of an annual TSCL study that examines the adequacy of Social Security benefits in keeping up with the rising costs typically experienced by adults age 65 and up. .That's because the small increase would equal only an extra a month for someone getting a ,000 check, based on estimates released last week. And that's after Social Security recipients saw no raise at all for 2016 — only the third time in four decades that has happened. The final figure for 2017 should be released in the fall. .Economists are saying that cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) overpay seniors and that recipients don't need so much money to maintain their standard of living. Cuts to annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) are a key provision of the deficit reduction plans on Capitol Hill, and TSCL is fighting the plans that would cut the benefits of more than 60 million beneficiaries. … Continued
Medicare Part B Premiums 96 40
Use the Contact Congress feature on the Home page of this site to obtain the names, addresses and other information on your Congressional delegation. You can even e-mail directly and sign our on-line petition in this full featured legislative action center. Click Guide to Contacting Congress to go to this section now. .With the Medicare physician payment "doc fix" scheduled to cease at the end of February, lawmakers remain divided on where the funding will come from to extend the current level of payments to doctors. If the current "doc fix" expires, physicians' reimbursements will be reduced by a 27 percent rate. .On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy held a hearing titled: "Examining the Importance of Paid Family Leave for American Working Families." Those on the subcommittee heard from two of their colleagues – Senator Joni Ernst (IA) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) – as well as three expert witnesses. … Continued
One of our purposes in visiting with those offices was to find out why they do not support the bill and to see if there is any hope that some compromise to the bill could be reached. The main reason they do not support the Grassley-Wyden bill is because it has a provision that they believe would, in essence, result in government price-setting of drug prices and would be a first step toward a one-payer (meaning government) health care system. Each office mentioned other bills that they might support but there is not one bill that the Republican majority is currently in favor of and that might have a chance to pass. It was also stated that because this is an election year there is a very short timeline for action to be taken. .Other priorities in 2015 will include advocating for a more fair and accurate Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, monitoring the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and protecting Medicare Advantage enrollees from harsh and unforeseen benefit cuts. .In addition, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is prohibited from negotiating directly with pharmaceutical companies on behalf of the more than 40 million Americans who get their prescription drug coverage from Medicare Part D. .TSCL supports H.R. 4012 enthusiastically, and we were pleased to see two new cosponsors sign on to it this week. We will be advocating for the passage of H.R. 4012 and S. 2251 – Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (MA) companion bill – tirelessly in the coming months because we know that a 3.9 percent COLA would provide much-needed relief to our members and supporters next year. .Social Security Loss of Buying Power report including study methodology available for download. Loss of Buying Power Report. .72% support applying the Social Security payroll tax to all earnings (instead of capping the amount of wages to be taxed at 2,800), a move that would reduce Social Security's long - term deficit by as much as 73%. .TSCL enthusiastically supports S. 2011, H.R. 2575, H.R. 991, and H.R. 1205, and we were pleased to see support grow for each one this week. For more information about these and other bills endorsed by TSCL, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .At the time of writing this update on Friday morning, the vote had not yet occurred. It is expected to take place on Friday afternoon, before the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has a chance to evaluate the final version. It remains unclear whether or not the AHCA will gain the support needed to win passage. If adopted, the AHCA will move to the Senate, where its future remains even more uncertain. If it fails, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have said they will move on to other legislative priorities, like tax reform. ."The bill does nothing at all to reduce or eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits that burdens more than half of all retiree households," Johnson notes. Yet the tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest households in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act will add an estimated .5 trillion to the national debt. Some conservative Members of Congress say they are planning a budget that would require mandatory spending cuts to reduce the debt next year.