• Major Cola Cuts House Social Security Overhaul Bill

    This week, progress stalled on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government past September 30th. In addition, one Senate committee held a hearing on maximizing Social Security benefits. .Protecting Medicare for current beneficiaries and saving it for future generations is one of my most important responsibilities as a Member of Congress. It is no secret that demographic and economic factors will not allow us to continue the program unaltered. There are 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, and when these programs were first enacted there were more than 40 workers for every 1 retiree. Today, that number is below 3 workers per retiree and headed towards 2 to Health care costs continue to rise much faster than inflation. In order to ensure the solvency of a program that senior citizens have come to rely on, changes must be made. The days of doing nothing, burying our heads in the sand, and pretending the status quo is sustainable are over. .The bill now moves on to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for a markup, and later it will likely move to the House Ways and Means Committee, where more offsets will be added. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate hope to repeal and replace the SGR before January 1st – if they fail to act, doctors who treat Medicare patients will see a 25 percent pay cut. TSCL was pleased to see the subcommittee's bill progress this week, and we are hopeful that Members of Congress will pass a permanent solution before the end of this year in order to preserve seniors' access to quality medical care. As the negotiations evolve, we will continue to post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. … Continued

  • Best Ways Save August 2017

    Under current law, the Medicare program excludes coverage of most routine and emergency dental care, leaving around 70 percent of seniors without comprehensive dental insurance coverage. Will you support the Medicare Dental Benefit Act (S. 22) to ensure that seniors have access to essential health care? .Support for the IPAB at both hearings was scarce. Some Members, including the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen (MD), called the IPAB a necessary "failsafe" measure that will stabilize healthcare costs. He stressed the fact that the experts on the IPAB will make recommendations, but Congress will ultimately have the final say in whether or not they become law. .Over one million Medicare recipients in my home state of Indiana would face reductions in choice and difficulty receiving care if provider incentives are cut. Instead of reducing access to healthcare, it is time to shift focus to the big picture of improving the economy through job creation so more people are able to contribute to their own healthcare. It is not time to chip away at benefits to the men and women who built this great country. Individuals who contributed to Medicare for decades rely on that investment for their well-being. … Continued

To help protect the buying power of benefits, TSCL supports legislation that would provide a modest boost in benefits, base COLAs on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) and guarantee a COLA no lower than 3 percent. To learn more, visit . .On Monday, Members of the House and Senate returned to Capitol Hill from the month-long August recess and quickly began working on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past September 30th. Originally, leaders in both chambers agreed to keep the CR as "clean" as possible in order to avoid a government shutdown like last year's and to allow lawmakers to quickly resume campaign work for the looming November 4th elections. .No change to the taxation of Social Security benefits: Up to 85% of Social Security benefits can be subject to taxation. When that provision was first enacted into law in 1983, it was expected to affect only 10% of households with Social Security income. But unlike tax brackets, the income thresholds subjecting Social Security benefits to taxation have never been adjusted. Today, just as in 1983, individuals with incomes greater than ,000 (or ,000 for married couples filing jointly), pay taxes on their Social Security benefits. According to TSCL surveys, roughly half of all households receiving Social Security pay tax on a portion of their benefits. Not only are the numbers who pay the tax growing, but people are paying taxes on larger portions of their Social Security income as well. .Finally, two cosponsors also signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (S. 896 and H.R. 1795) this week, bringing the total up to eleven in the Senate and eighty-five in the House. The new cosponsors are Sen. Bernard Sanders (VT) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47). If signed into law, H.R. 1795 would repeal two provisions of the Social Security Act that unfairly reduce the earned benefits of millions of state and local government employees each year. The provisions – the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset – prevent dedicated public servants from receiving the retirement security they have earned. .The credit will include children who turn age 17 or who are under that age in 2021. ."Miracle cures," which claim scientific breakthroughs or contain secret ingredients, are likely a hoax. .Congress has until the end of this Friday to pass legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 202Very few people think they'll get it done. .Pre-Election Recess Continues .Help! My Insulin Costs Skyrocketed. Health Plan Blames Covid-19!