Legislative Update Marchapril 2013
TSCL enthusiastically supports H.R. 1391 since it would strengthen the program without cutting benefits for seniors. We were pleased to see support grow for it this week. .Before recommending the zero premiums, I helped Paula estimate potential costs. New managed care Medicare Advantage plans differ from traditional Medicare supplements by charging co-payments that can be substantial for each hospitalization, visit to the doctor, or other service received. Supplements tend to charge high premiums, but cover most, or all, of the co-insurance costs, leaving beneficiaries to pay little or nothing when they receive a service. If Paula had to be hospitalized or developed a serious illness, the co-payments charged by the Medicare Advantage plan could quickly add up to be just as much, possibly more, than what she would pay in premiums for her state retiree Medicare supplement. ."Switching to a more slowly growing CPI is not the only change affecting seniors that deficit negotiators are looking at," notes Hyland. "Members of Congress from both parties are already considering changes that would make seniors pay a bigger share of their Medicare, and reducing government Medicaid payments at the same time," he adds. … Continued
2015 Legislative Update August 2015
As a result of the agreement, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) switches places with Senator Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.). Schumer now becomes the Senate Majority Leader and McConnell becomes the Senate Minority Leader. .Laws prohibit Social Security officials from saying how much the agency paid Cummings who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for raping and molesting a 3-year-old girl. Based on the maximum levels in effect during the months he was at large, the 27-year-old Cummings could have received as much as ,556. .Defeating Alzheimer's requires uniting Americans nationwide in conjunction with local government, healthcare experts, and outside organizations like the Alzheimer's Association. We are all in this fight together, and ending this disease will take time and a common focus on the task at hand. That's why we must continue to raise awareness of Alzheimer's and the promising efforts taking place to curb its growth, as well as increase support for patients and their caregivers. While the challenge of battling Alzheimer's is immense, the outpouring of support and dedicated activism for this crucial cause gives me hope that we can one day effectively treat—and eventually cure—this devastating disease. … Continued
If all this sounds complicated — it is. But comparing these costs is well worth the effort. Depending on what you have now, Medicare may wind up saving you a considerable sum, and provide lower deductibles than what you get through your employer. This decision is important to get right, especially if you are married and your spouse is also getting health insurance through your employer's plan. If so, caution is advised because your decision affects your spouse's coverage. .How can I get involved/help out? .A major reason that the COLA is so low is the consumer price index that the government uses to calculate the increase. Under current law, the COLA is tied to the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). That index surveys the spending patterns of younger working adults and does not include the market basket of goods and services that is more typical of people age 62 and over. The CPI-W gives greater weight to goods and services that younger workers spend more on, like gasoline prices and electronics, which have dramatically dropped in price over the past two years. It gives less weight to housing and medical expenses even though those two categories have experienced bigger price jumps over the past two years, and are the two biggest spending categories for older consumers. .Physicians should use only those tests that have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, of which there have been about 12 to date, the AMA said. Even then, they should only be used to determine how broadly the virus has moved through the population and for specific information like whether someone can donate convalescent plasma. .It is believed that Trump issued the executive orders because a drive to enact major legislation this year stalled in Congress. Although Trump has told Republican senators that lowering prescription prices is 'something you have to do,' many remain reluctant to use federal authority to force drug makers to charge less. .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. .For years I've been getting the same unwanted robo call. "Hello seniors!" a voice bellows. "Stand by to learn how you can receive a free back brace covered by Medicare." .What you can do: Public opinion can sway votes in Congress! Take TSCL's 2012 Senior Survey. TSCL will publicize the results and share your comments with elected lawmakers in our visits to Capitol Hill. .In what was a major organization-wide effort, the TSCL staff dispersed across House of Representatives offices to hand-deliver the message of our supporters. The hundreds of thousands of petitions that poured into the TSCL office from nearly every Congressional district were organized into a long list of vocal and concerned citizens. The effect created a bold statement and embodied the true spirit of TSCL's politically-engaged supporters.