• Category Issues Medicare Part D Articles Page 9

    Baicker, the public policy school dean, thinks public scrutiny will prevent outrageous pricing. The industry has made various pledges, trying to balance corporate citizenship against making eager investors happy: Astra Zeneca has promised 1 billion doses for low- and middle-income countries. Johnson & Johnson says it would make the COVID-19 vaccine available on a "not for profit basis" at for "emergency pandemic use." .House Adjourns for Five-Week Summer Recess .Start Now! … Continued

  • Benefit Bulletin Aprilmay 2013

    Second, four new cosponsors – Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT), Senator Roy Blunt (MO), Representative Bill Posey (FL-8), and Representative Maxine Waters (CA-43) – signed on to the CHANGE Act (S. 2387, H.R. 4957), bringing the total up to ten in the Senate and twenty-four in the House. If adopted, the CHANGE Act would promote early identification of Alzheimer's disease, improve support for family caregivers, and provide continuous care for those battling many forms of dementia. ."We found consistently high U.S. brand-name prices regardless of our methodological decisions," said Mulcahy, a senior health policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. .Your cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) "overpays" you. Yes, that is an outrageous statement — especially since you haven't gotten a COLA boost for two years. Nevertheless, calling it "The Moment of Truth Project," that's what the President's Fiscal Commission is saying in making the case for the government to switch to a more slowly- growing "chained" Consumer Price Index (CPI). … Continued

This week, Members of Congress returned to Capitol Hill from the month-long summer recess to begin working on legislation that would avert a government shutdown on October 1st – the start of the 2014 fiscal year. Lawmakers have agreed that they would like to pass a stopgap bill to extend funding for federal programs through December 15th. They feel that a temporary measure will grant them the time needed to work out a more substantial fiscal package before the end of this year. .The findings show a dramatic drop in inflation from January of 2014 to January of 2015 — due almost entirely to the drop in oil prices. The deflationary trend, while making the price of petroleum products more affordable in the short term, could spell trouble ahead next year for retired and disabled beneficiaries who depend on Social Security for most of their income. The last time the drop in inflation was this steep was in 2009 — when no cost of living adjustment (COLA) was payable the following year. In fact, the drop in inflation is now so deep that TSCL's Social Security policy analyst and Advisor editor, Mary Johnson, forecasts that the COLA for 2016 will be around zero. Going without any COLA is like going without interest on savings and results in a lower Social Security income over time, due to the loss of compounding. .In recent years the Earnings Suspense File has been growing at an unprecedented pace. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, Russ Knocke, was recently quoted as saying that, last year, as many as 10% of the wage reports received by the Social Security Administration (SSA) belonged to employees whose name and Social Security number did not match those of SSA. .(Washington, DC) – A budget proposal to switch to an alternate consumer price index, for calculating the annual Social Security cost – of - living - adjustment (COLA) is a bad deal for older and disabled Americans, says The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). The proposed "chained" consumer price index (CPI) would grow even more slowly than the conventional one that is currently used to determine the annual COLA. .To be eligible for the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, individuals must have earned income from a job, be within income limits that apply to the credit, and have a valid Social Security number. Although the money was advanced in higher pay (and pension checks), taxpayers must figure the credit on Schedule M and attach it to a Form 1040 or 1040A in order to claim it. Taxpayers filing a 1040 EZ may figure the credit on the worksheet attached to the return. .This week, TSCL's legislative team, which is led by former Congressman David Funderburk and Mrs. Betty Funderburk, met with several Members of Congress and their top staff to discuss issues of critical importance to seniors. The following bills, among others, were discussed this week: the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1030), the CPI for Seniors Act (H.R. 2154), the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795), the Notch Fairness Act (H.R. 155), the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act (H.R. 2745), and the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (H.R. 574). .It was during this time that TREA Senior Citizens League (TSCL) was founded, and of its primary goals became the representation of those affected by the Notch in Congress. Recognizing that Congress created the Notch by reducing Social Security benefits in the past, and that baby-boomers nearing retirement would provide continuing pressure to reduce benefits in the near future, TSCL's primary mission is to protect "earned" Social Security and Medicare benefits. .The U.S. – Mexico Totalization Agreement—which was signed by the Social Security Administrations of both the U.S. and Mexico in 2004, and is due to undergo review by the current or future President(s)—continues to pose a threat to Social Security beneficiaries. Because of a loophole, if the President signs the final Executive Totalization Social Security Agreement with Mexico, it could lead to Social Security benefits going to individuals who worked in the U.S. while illegal. .If the bill is going to reach the President's desk for his signature the House will have to agree to the changes the Senate made and pass it one more time. It may take a couple of weeks if that is to happen, however, because the House will not be back in session until the week of April 12.