Congressional Corner Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Should Never Be A Partisan Issue
This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) introduced a more than trillion coronavirus aid package, a sweeping effort with trillion in aid for states and cities. It also includes billion for testing people for the novel coronavirus, direct payments of up to ,000 per U.S. household, billion in emergency grants for small business and billion for the U.S. Postal Service, among other things. .The government negotiates prescription drug prices for veterans and Medicaid beneficiaries, but it is barred from negotiating lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries. As a result, seniors enrolled in Part D often pay much higher prices than other Americans for their prescription drugs. What are you doing to correct this unfair policy? .Finally, in May, TSCL hosted a "Welcome Reception" on Capitol Hill for all Members of the 113th Congress and their aides. The event offered TSCL's Board of Trustees, legislative team, and staff the opportunity to speak with lawmakers about the issues that matter most to seniors. In total, more than 125 Members of Congress and/or staff were in attendance, and many of them expressed their support for key bills, making the event a great success. … Continued
September 2013 Senior Beacon
This week, four new cosponsors signed on to Congressman John Garamendi's (CA-3) bipartisan Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1251), which would base the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on a more fair and adequate inflation index if adopted. The new cosponsors are Congressmen Marc Veasey (TX-33), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP), Vincente Gonzalez (TX-15), and Andre Carson (IN-7). The cosponsor total for H.R. 1251 is now up to forty-three. .7 million immigrants have a Social Security number issued in their names — obtained either by using a fraudulent birth certificate, or overstaying a visa that has expired. The actuary said this group can "work, pay taxes, and have earnings credited to their record for potential benefits in the future." .Use BenefitsCheckup.org to screen for programs in your area. If you don't have a computer, ask a friend or family member to help you do an online Benefits Checkup. The service asks you a series of questions about where you live, your income, and a number of other qualifications, and matches you up with programs that can provide help with medications among a menu of other valuable benefits. … Continued
Use the Contact Congress feature on the Home page of this site to obtain the names, addresses and other information on your Congressional delegation. You can even e-mail directly and sign our on-line petition in this full featured legislative action center. Click Guide to Contacting Congress to go to this section now. .TSCL believes the time has come for Congress to put the needs of U.S. senior citizens and taxpayers first. We support legislation that would ban the use of illegal earnings in determining entitlement to Social Security such as S. 95, to Prevent Social Security Credit from Being Earned without Legal Status, introduced by Senator David Vitter (LA), and "No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act" (H.R. 787), introduced by Representative Dana Rohrabacher (CA). .Finally, two new cosponsors – Senator John Hoeven (ND) and Senator Angus King (ME) – signed on to the Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer's Needs to Get to an End (CHANGE) Act (S. 2387). The cosponsor total is now up to twelve. If adopted, the bill would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create programs that would promote early identification, improve support for family caregivers, and provide continuous care for those battling many forms of dementia. .The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote for this coming Wednesday on a new CR that will last until Dec. 18, as well. .August Recess Continues .Up to 85 percent of Social Security benefits can be subject to taxation if an individual has a combined income of ,000 and married couples filing jointly have a combined income of ,000. Had income thresholds been adjusted for inflation, they would be about ,902 for individuals and ,515 for joint filers in 2020. "Combined income" is determined by adding one's adjusted gross income, plus any tax - free interest income, and one - half of Social Security benefits. .In March, the Trump administration paused routine nursing home inspections, which typically occur about once a year. Instead, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asked that state agencies focus on inspecting facilities for their infection control practices, such as whether staff wash their hands or properly wear protective clothing before tending to multiple patients. .The message here isn't "work till you drop." Working even a few additional years can boost retirement security substantially when you finally do retire. There's a "triple whammy" effect -- delayed Social Security filings means higher monthly benefits; you have more years of contributions to retirement accounts; and you have fewer net years of drawing down those accounts. Working with financial planning experts, we estimated that these factors can boost income in retirement by one-third or more. .Let's assume you are 30 months from attaining your full retirement age of 6Your monthly widow's benefit would be reduced about 11.9% or 2.60 and you receive ,328.80 or ,277.40 per month (,450 - 2.90 = ,277.40). Let's also assume you currently earn ,000 a year. Under the earnings restriction rule your benefit would be reduced for every over the limit, while you are under your full retirement age. Your earnings are ,360 over the annual limit (,000 – ,640 = ,360). Your benefits would be reduced by ,680 (,360/2 = ,680). That would leave you ,648.80 in benefits (,328.80 – ,680 = ,648.80). Social Security will withhold your benefits for 6 full months and you would then receive your ,277.40 monthly payment for six months.