• Legislative Update For The Week Ending July 8 2011 Feed

    CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf made the report to President Obama's Fiscal Commission which is developing a plan to shrink the national deficit by 2015 — a target that TSCL believes will be extremely difficult to achieve without deep cuts to Social Security and widespread tax increases on middle-income taxpayers. ."The president's plan to import policies from socialized health care systems abroad is disrupting our work [on Covid-19 therapies] and diverting our focus away from those life-saving efforts," the spokesperson said. "We remain willing to discuss ways to lower costs for patients at the pharmacy counter. However, we remain steadfastly opposed to policies that would allow foreign governments to set prices for medicines in the United States." .TSCL Endorses Social Security Administration Fairness Act … Continued

  • Benefit Bulletin January 2016

    With a majority of seniors today depending on Social Security for at least half of their income over a 20 to 30 years retirement, TSCL opposes proposals that would cut the benefits of current retirees and those nearing retirement. We are continuing to monitor this proposal and waiting to see what legislation may develop. While TSCL believes that changes are needed to ensure that Social Security continues pay scheduled benefits, changes must be kept as small as possible, and phased in over as long a period as possible to allow for future retirees to learn about and adjust their plans. .Medicare Reform – Protect beneficiaries from changes that would impose greater out-of-pocket costs on beneficiaries. .With only six weeks to go before the December 13th deadline, it remains to be seen which path the budget conference will take. Leaders of the conference announced on Wednesday that the next public meeting will be held on November 13th, but most of the work will likely occur behind closed doors in the coming weeks. Regardless, TSCL will continue to monitor the evolving budget negotiations, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. … Continued

The payraise goes into effect automatically unless denied by legislation, or adjusted by a provision of law that prevents Congress from receiving a percentage of pay increase that would be greater than any payraise received by the General Schedule to federal workers. When Congress passed legislation in December of 2010 that froze the pay of federal workers through December 31, 2012, they effectively froze their own pay as well. No similar provision of law, however, prevents Congress from receiving a bigger COLA than seniors. The adjustment for Congress is not determined like the COLA for seniors, which is based on changes in consumer prices. Instead the Congressional COLA is based on changes in private sector wages and salaries as measured by the Employment Cost Index. Members of Congress were originally scheduled to receive a pay adjustment in January 2010, of 2.1%, and in 2011 of 0.9% had legislation not prohibited it. .The legislation is called a "CR" - a continuing resolution, which means the government will be funded for a short period of time and for the most part it will be at the same funding levels as in fiscal year 201The CR will last until Nov. 21 at which time one of three things must have happened. Either they will have finally passed all the funding bills needed for the rest of the fiscal year; or they will have passed another CR; or we will have another government shut-down. .TSCL is hopeful that lawmakers will successfully repeal and replace the SGR by the end of this year since doing so would bring increased stability to the Medicare program for both doctors and patients. However, we are opposed to offsets that would reduce Medicare benefits or require seniors to pay more for their health care, and we firmly believe that beneficiaries should not be penalized for the poor policy-making decisions that were made by Congress more than a decade ago. .You are asking yourself the right questions. Many people buy life insurance to replace the income that would be lost when the policyholder dies and no longer is paid a salary. Once you stop working, most of your income is likely to come from retirement savings, pensions, annuities, and Social Security, which pays survivors benefits, if you or a spouse dies. There can be special needs, however, and for some retirees, life insurance may make sense. Here are a few major considerations: .At Wednesday's hearing, key witnesses made several recommendations for improving the process. Sita Nataraj Slavov – Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University – suggested that SSA stop using the term "retirement age" since it suggests that individuals should claim benefits immediately after they stop working. She also recommended that SSA begin referring to age 70 as the "full" retirement age since it is the age at which benefits are the highest. In addition, William Meyer of Social Security Solutions, Inc. suggested that SSA notify individuals of the annual difference in benefits they would receive if they delayed filing for one year. .(Washington, DC) – The tax bill being discussed in the U.S. House contains what may be only a fleeting benefit for middle class and older Americans, warns The Senior Citizens League. "The changes under consideration may provide some modestly lower federal income taxes at first, but the benefits for many people would be short - lived," says The Senior Citizens League's Social Security and Medicare policy analyst, Mary Johnson. "Older middle - income Americans could shoulder a disproportionate share of taxes under these changes, and get pushed more quickly into higher tax brackets than they are today," says The Senior Citizens League's Social Security and Medicare policy analyst, Mary Johnson. .Support for Notch Reform legislation has grown significantly, nearly doubling over the previous six Congressional sessions in which it's been introduced. TSCL is encouraging seniors and their younger family members like you to contact your Members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor and pass "The Notch Fairness Act, " H.R. 1001 and S. 118! .If adopted, it would provide beneficiaries with a 2 percent benefit boost, base cost-of-living adjustments on the more accurate Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, create a new minimum benefit set at 125 percent of the poverty line, and eliminate taxes on Social Security benefits for millions of seniors. It would also extend the solvency of the program through the year 2100 without cutting benefits for current or future retirees. .(Washington, DC) – Medicare doesn't have the authority to negotiate drug prices, leaving millions of older Americans at risk of price gouging for their prescription drugs, according to a new comparison of drug plans by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). "Because Medicare isn't negotiating on our behalf, there's no consistency in drug pricing among drug plans," states TSCL's Medicare policy analyst, Mary Johnson, who performed the comparisons using the Medicare website's Drug Plan Finder. Costs vary enormously between plans. "The disparity in pricing for the same drug can be in the hundreds of dollars," says Johnson.