• Did Illegal Immigrants Pocket Billions In Making Work Pay Tax Credits

    Many of our nation's seniors live on fixed incomes and struggle to afford everyday expenses. Sadly, a large number of these individuals are also disabled. There are several existing programs that support the most vulnerable among us, but the number of agencies, applications, reporting requirements and additional obstacles they must tackle to access these funds make it unnecessarily difficult for them to receive the benefits they desperately need and deserve. .The act also recalculates COLAs so future changes would be based on the price of goods and services seniors actually buy, like medications, by using a formula known as Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). Currently, the COLA is based on CPI-W, which evaluates the entire economy, including infant and toddler apparel, nursery care, toys and school fees. .This week, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) successfully hosted its first ever town hall meeting. Meanwhile, action on Capitol Hill remained slow as Members of both Houses of Congress remained in their home states and districts for the August recess. … Continued

  • Hearing On Equity In Social Security In Their Own Words

    "It's outrageous to say that COLAs overpay seniors and the disabled," Hyland says. "To the contrary, COLAs already grow too slowly to provide the protection to Social Security benefits they're intended to," he points out. .This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for three bipartisan bills that would improve the Medicare program and reduce prescription drug prices. .Medicare first started covering rehabilitation services in 197Just seven years later in 1979, Congress enacted a cap of 0 on outpatient therapy due to concerns that rehabilitation outpatient services would take over the Medicare budget. The cap – which was indexed to medical inflation – remained in place until the passage of the "Balanced Budget Act of 1997," when a ,500 cap was passed into law and set to take effect in 199However, President Clinton halted the implementation of the ,500 cap, leaving services open to reimbursements by Medicare. Since 1999, several bills introduced in Congress sought to either repeal or keep the spending cap on rehabilitation services, with the cap drawing bipartisan criticism as being unfair to Medicare beneficiaries. … Continued

In the weeks ahead, TSCL will keep a close eye on the issue, and we will advocate for solutions that will improve access without jeopardizing online security. For progress updates, visit the Legislative News section of our website or follow us on Twitter. .Earnings reports with incorrect or incomplete information have been a long–standing problem. They can be caused by something as simple as a transposed Social Security number, or a name change when a woman gets married or divorced. Accurate earnings are critical in order to calculate benefits for workers and their dependents. The most recent data indicates there has been a significant jump in both the number of these mismatched reports and the value of wages. SSA Inspector General Patrick P. O'Carroll stated in testimony before Congress that "we believe the chief cause of wage items being posted to the [earnings suspense file] instead of an individual's earnings record is unauthorized work by noncitizens."(8) .This week, a House committee held a high-profile hearing on recent developments in the prescription drug market, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw support grow for one key bill. .Irene is the first to say she wouldn't know where to begin when it comes to figuring out the best deal for her drug coverage. To accomplish this she gets unbiased advice and counseling. Her neighbor, Mary Johnson, is a Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Johnson, who has assisted seniors to compare and enroll in plans since the start of Part D in 2006, says "the cost differences between plans can be huge - Irene saved about ,276 in 2011 alone." .Each year, due to a faulty formula that's used to determine Medicare's reimbursement rates, doctors are threatened with sizable pay cuts. This year, if Congress fails to act, doctors will face a 25 percent cut. Lawmakers consistently override scheduled pay cuts with temporary "fixes," but many doctors have grown tired of the ritual and have stopped treating Medicare patients. The estimated cost of repealing the formula has recently dropped dramatically, and many are hoping to replace it in the coming months. Doing so would provide much-needed stability for Medicare beneficiaries. .Throughout the remainder of the 113th Congress, TSCL will continue to urge Members of Congress to pass the Social Security Fairness Act since we believe strongly that it would go far in ensuring the retirement security of millions of seniors. To aid us in our efforts, we encourage you to contact your elected officials to request their support for S. 896 and H.R. 1795. .Every year since the late 1990's, Congress has ‘balanced' the budget by declaring a pay cut to doctors' Medicare services. Every year, after the budget for the next year is revealed, this cut is rescinded. .This week, lawmakers on the House Budget Committee approved a fiscal 2017 budget resolution after weeks of negotiations, and The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL's) Board of Trustees met with several Members of Congress on Capitol Hill to discuss critical Social Security issues. .The bill, known as the Grassley-Wyden bill, would create a rebate system in Medicare Part B and Part D beginning in 2022 for brand-name drugs and biological products with prices that increase faster than inflation. Conservative groups and some Senate Republicans have opposed the rebate system for Part D, the prescription drug benefit program, but not for Part B, the outpatient services program.