Legislative Update For Week Ending November 29 2013
According to a report in The Hill newspaper, "House Democratic leaders are intent on including a measure that would allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, sources say." .Meanwhile, some of the highest-priced drugs in the United States are brand-name drugs that can cost thousands of dollars per dose and are used to treat life-threatening illness such as hepatitis C or cancer, the researchers said. .Pre-Election Recess Continues … Continued
Tscls Medicare Advocacy
TSCL Urges Action on Debt Ceiling .The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports H.R. 1205, H.R. 6251, H.R. 4957, and H.R. 2212, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For more information about these and other TSCL-backed bills, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .Regrettably, this uncertainty persists during the on-going deficit reduction discussions. Those who received services paid for by Medicare will not be affected by the automatic budget cuts due to the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach a compromise. Nevertheless, I am concerned that providers are not also shielded from those cuts. That is why I am co-sponsoring H.R. 3519, legislation to protect Medicare providers from the 2 percent cuts that were part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. … Continued
The Medicare portion of spending, officials say, grew 6.2 percent in 2011, after growing just 4.3 percent in 20A major factor holding down costs was the recession. As tens of thousands of working seniors lost jobs, and their healthcare coverage, other seniors were hit by the crash of retirement savings and real estate values. This was followed by two years without any cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2010 or 2011. .The traditional formula does not take into account rising Medicare premiums, deductibles and expenses for prescription drugs that have had increasing effects on this segment in recent years. The revised formula accounted for 15.9 percent of seniors 65 or older living in poverty, which nearly doubled the percentage used in the traditional formula. In total, a record level of 49.1 million Americans are considered in poverty, according to the new estimates. .Can you tell me how I can find out what my benefit and probable income from Social Security would be? I've heard some complaints about conflicting information. I turn 62 later this year. .The massive effort is needed to change how 59 million people enrolled in Medicare are identified. Historically the red, white, and blue Medicare cards have used the beneficiaries' Social Security number for the Medicare ID number. Unsurprisingly those numbers are a prime target for identity theft and fraud. The new cards come with a unique computer-generated series of 11 letters and numbers. .If the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) were based on a more accurate measure of inflation for seniors, beneficiaries would not be receiving a record-low 0.3% increase this year. They would be receiving an increase of 2.1% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Do you support legislation that would base the COLA on a more accurate inflation index like the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly? .Only a little more than half of the nation's nursing homes had received inspections, according to data released earlier this month, which prompted Medicare and Medicaid chief Seema Verma to direct that states complete the checks by July 31 or risk losing federal recovery funds. .Watch our public service video about the need for a fair Social Security COLA and spread the word! .Since 2000, COLAs have increased Social Security benefits by a total of 55%, yet typical senior expenses over the same period grew by 101.7%. The average Social Security benefit in 2000 was 6 per month. That benefit grew to ,262.40 by 2021 due to COLA increases. However, because retiree costs are rising at a far more rapid pace than the COLA, this study found that a Social Security benefit of ,645.60 per month in 2020 would be required just to maintain the same level of buying power as in 2000. .The financial impact of six years of low COLAs isn't immediately apparent to the average person, but "It's a big one, " Cates says. A new analysis for TSCL that compared the increases from 2010 through 2015 against the prior 3% average found that, altogether, the benefits of the typical Social Security recipient will be about ,298 lower by the end of 201In 2015 the average monthly Social Security benefit will be about 3 lower, and ,356 less for the year.