Q Septemberoctober 2017
Is The IRS Paying Illegals Billions In Child Tax Credits? .On Monday, Members of the House and Senate returned to Capitol Hill from the month-long August recess and quickly began working on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past September 30th. Originally, leaders in both chambers agreed to keep the CR as "clean" as possible in order to avoid a government shutdown like last year's and to allow lawmakers to quickly resume campaign work for the looming November 4th elections. .Some Seniors to Pay More for Drugs Under New Rule … Continued
Best Ways To Save May 2016
The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which represents pharmacy benefit managers that run the Medicare prescription drug plans targeted by the rebate rule, said at the time that it was exploring litigation. .Congress did not receive any automatic pay adjustment this year. With so many Americans (including seniors) suffering from long-term financial set backs, and so many workers out of jobs, lawmakers wisely opted to forego a raise. They last received a pay raise in January 200At the time their salary was increased 2.8% to 4,000 from 9,300. While the recession was taking a bite out of Americans' income, the pay of Members of Congress grew by ,800 from the time the recession began at the end of December 2007 through 2009, according to the Congressional Research Service. Over the decade 2000 through 2009, Congress gave themselves a total of 9 pay hikes, raising their salaries a total of ,300 from 6,700 in 1999 to the 4,000 that they receive in 201Legislation passed in 1989 established the current formula used to automatically adjust the Congressional pay increase that they refer to as a "cost-of-living adjustment" (COLA). .TSCL is mounting a campaign that strongly urges seniors nationwide to speak out against benefit cuts. "We hope you'll sign and return the petitions we are mailing to supporters against the 'Chained COLA'," says TSCL's Executive Director, Shannon Benton. "Chaining the COLA is a 2 billion cut that will reduce your benefits by as much as 9% over the course of a retirement," Benton notes. … Continued
The decision on when to start benefits is not a simple one. If you have some retirement savings, or equity in a home, it may be to your advantage to delay starting benefits and to use other resources for a few months while you look for other work. Your local senior center, or colleges or public libraries may also have programs provided by retirement and financial professionals that can help provide you with guidance. To learn more, download this publication from the Social Security Administration: How Work Affects Your Benefits. .But not all beneficiaries will come out ahead. Some treatments have little or no competition, and patients needing those drugs might not see any extra savings. And for people who don't take pricey drugs, monthly Part D costs are likely to rise because premiums are expected to go up when insurers won't be able to keep rebates to improve bottom lines. .Based on the growth rate of the Consumer Price Index for Workers (CPI-W) over past 12 months, I'm projecting a COLA in the vicinity of 3.6% for 201But Congress may take action that would slow the growth of the COLA. Deficit reduction plans are likely to call for switching to the "chained" CPI, a move that TSCL feels would further undermine the purchasing power of benefits. The difference between the CPI-W and chained COLA has averaged about 0.3 percentage point since 2000, but that's not the case this year. In fact, if the switch were to affect the COLA payable in 2012, seniors would get a COLA of about 2.8% — a cut of more than 20%. .People who decide to go on a cruise should get tested 1–3 days before their trip and 3–5 days after their trip. .With about 1 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Located just outside Washington, D.C., its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of TREA The Enlisted Association. Please visit or call 1-800-333-8725 for more information. .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. .At the hearing, the witnesses explained the intricacies of the prescription drug price-setting process and the drivers of rising costs. Doctor Anderson told the committee members, "Drug pricing is extremely complex … When a company has a monopoly, it sets the price that maximizes its profit and that's not the price that allows all people to get access to the drug." Doctor Howard urged Congress to "create incentives that reward providers who use medicines and technology to deliver care as efficiently as possible, while also empowering patients with the information they need to identify high-quality providers." .Regarding Social Security, TSCL was pleased to see that the President's proposal did not include the "chained" CPI, as it did last year. Many in Congress were also relieved by its absence. Shortly after the blueprint was released, Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) – founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus – said, "I am especially proud that the President did not renew his proposal to cut Social Security benefits. With … more people living in poverty than ever before, we cannot afford to make life even more difficult for seniors." .In 2016 there was no COLA at all, and in 2017 the COLA was just 0.3 percent. During that time a special provision of law known as "hold harmless" protected about 70 percent of Social Security recipients from reductions to their Social Security benefits due to increasing Medicare Part B premiums.