Congressional Corner June 2016
If you take one or more prescriptions, you may be shocked to learn how much you can save by comparing plans based on the prescriptions you use and switching drug plans, when you find a better match. This is an important financial habit to get into EVERY year. Drug plans routinely raise premiums and co-pays, and invariably what your best choice was in 2006 no longer holds true today. Although everyone's savings experience will be different based on the particular prescriptions they take, consider these cases from my files**: .In a recent high profile Medicare fraud takedown, actor and entrepreneur Roberto F. Marrero, who played bits parts on Miami Vice, America's Most Wanted, and Unsolved Mysteries, was arrested for massive Medicare fraud. Marrero, who became a Medicare-licensed healthcare provider in 2007, is accused of submitting million in bogus bills for supplying purported home healthcare services for diabetic patients. .Congressional Republicans have also indicated opposition to the administration's proposal, saying it breaks from GOP philosophy by linking U.S. prices to those in other countries where there are price controls. While they like it in part, some Democrats have said it does not go far enough in lowering prices. The change would only lower prices for physician-administered drugs for people on Medicare, meaning people with private insurance and people getting drugs at the pharmacy counter would not benefit from lower prices. … Continued
U S Mexico Totalization Agreement Raises Questions
Before the Affordable Care Act, seniors could deduct out-of-pocket medical costs that exceeded 7.5 percent of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Starting in 2017, however, the law increases this threshold to 10% of a person's AGI – effectively lowering how much can be deducted at the end of the year and increasing how much seniors will pay in taxes. .Would the money spent on life insurance premiums be better invested in an annuity or other investment? Some types of life insurance can be cost prohibitive. Your best investment is to get unbiased advice from a fee-only certified financial professional who does not get a commission from selling life insurance policies, before dumping your life insurance, or taking out any new policies. .Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod represents California's 35th Congressional District encompassing the communities of Bloomington, Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, and portions of Fontana and Rialto. … Continued
There are reports that the Senate is now targeting roughly Dec. 18 as its adjournment date, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is still looking to confirm judicial nominees this week while other members of the Senate work to find compromises on both the government funding legislation and a new coronavirus economic stimulus bill. .To identify people in the country illegally, Medicare relies on information from the Social Security Administration in order to deny claims. The Social Security Administration receives data from the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies but CMS doesn't always receive information relating to unlawful presence in a timely manner, according to the Inspector General. .According to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) recent baseline data for the Social Security Trust Funds, Social Security is expected to receive about 7 billion in payroll tax revenues in 202The CBO further estimates that the Trust Fund would receive billion in revenues in 2021 from the taxation of Social Security benefits. .While the policy will mean that Medicare would spend less, patients will spend more— often, a lot more, and the charges would broadside most beneficiaries, coming as a complete surprise. TSCL is strongly opposed to this type of backdoor benefit cut, and has written a letter to President Biden urging him to rescind this CMS rule. Please sign our petition! .To see if your Members of Congress will be holding town hall meetings during the spring recess, click HERE or call their local offices. You can find contact information HERE. .In setting prices, drug makers rarely acknowledge the considerable federal funding and research that have helped develop their products; they have not offered taxpayer-investors financial payback. .The FDA advises consumers to be cautious of websites and stores selling products that claim to prevent, treat or cure COVID-1There are no FDA-approved products to prevent COVID-1Products marketed for veterinary use, or "for research use only," or otherwise not for human consumption, have not been evaluated for safety and should never be used by humans. .During his campaign for President, and several times since, he has promised that he would protect Social Security and Medicare. Yet a payroll tax cut would result in untold damage to the stability of both programs and bring them dangerously close to insolvency. .TSCL will continue to monitor the process since it will have an impact on millions of older Americans. For example, Medicare Part D beneficiaries who fall into the coverage gap – or "doughnut hole" – will face higher costs for their prescription drugs. For updates on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, visit the Legislative News section of our website, or follow TSCL on Facebook or Twitter.