Congressional Corner Fighting Nations Seniors
Medicare and many state Medicaid programs are in the process of transitioning to value-based medicine that would change the way government healthcare programs pay for care. Doctors and healthcare providers are given incentives to improve health and to reduce the incidence of chronic disease — in order to lower spending on healthcare and provide better care at a lower cost. There's emphasis on giving providers single payments for a "bundle of services" instead of paying for each service, checkup or X-ray. This reimbursement system differs from traditional fee-for-service Medicare, as well as Medicare Advantage plans' "capitated" payments, in which providers are paid more for sick patients, regardless of health outcomes. .Medicare's Fall Open Enrollment Period started on October 15th and will run through December 7th. For the past 14 years, I have volunteered to help neighbors and friends learn about changes in their current Part D prescription drug or Medicare Advantage coverage during this period. We compare options, track down the lowest costing plans and pharmacies, and often switch to a lower-costing plan when there's a better deal. .Emergency 3% COLA, Social Security And Medicare Issues Land on the Congressional Priority List … Continued
Legislative Update For Week Ending June 14 2013
To find contact information for your Members of Congress, to learn about important issues affecting seniors, or to sign a petition to Congress, visit the ACTION CENTER of our website. ."For the third year in a row, millions of older Americans will once again see no increase in their net operating Social Security payments, particularly if Medicare Part B premiums remain 4 per month in 2018, as currently forecast by the Medicare Trustees," says TSCL's Social Security and Medicare Policy Analyst, Mary Johnson. "The problem is that a substantial portion of beneficiaries currently are paying a Part B premium that is about less than that now," Johnson says. .A new online survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) finds that older Americans overwhelmingly want Congress to take action to lower the cost of prescription drugs by reducing Medicare Part D's out-of-pocket spending requirements. Fifty-six percent of participants in the survey indicate that they spend more than 2 a year on prescription drugs. About one-out-of-five retirees spends more than 0 per month on prescription medications. … Continued
America's immigration policy may make a dramatic shift in the coming months. According to press reports, the new Congressional leadership may push for an immigration plan that grants amnesty to illegal immigrants residing in the U.S., and America's senior citizens are paying close attention. .As with the start of any new Congress, TSCL is encouraging Senators and Representatives to reintroduce and co-sponsor key legislation for seniors, like the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act, the Notch Fairness Act, the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act, and the Social Security Fairness Act. In addition, with comprehensive Social Security and Medicare reform on the minds of many deficit hawks, TSCL is working diligently to prevent harmful cuts for beneficiaries. .TSCL feels strongly that the Guaranteed 3 Percent COLA Act would go a long way in ensuring the retirement security seniors have earned and deserve. We lend our enthusiastic support to H.R. 3588, and we look forward to working with Congressman Engle through the remainder of the 114th Congress to help build support for his important new bill. .House Democrats did not pre-negotiate terms with the GOP-Senate or the White House, so it is unlikely that the bill, called the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act will become law in its present form. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.) has already pronounced the bill dead. But most observers believe it is the opening bid on the part of the House leaders to begin a process that will eventually lead to a fifth virus-related relief bill. .The measure has bipartisan backing in the Senate, as well as support from some moderate House Democrats. However, it is facing opposition from House leaders who say the legislation is a roundabout way to cut Social Security benefits. .The approach taken in the Scott bill is also the approach favored in the Senate bills. Ways and Means Chairman Neal said they will start negotiating a compromise between the two House bills that will also be agreeable to the Senate and he is optimistic they can reach a solution soon. This approach is opposed by conservative groups such as the National Taxpayers Union, which have opposed what they call "rate-setting." .Since 2000, cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) increased Social Security benefits a total of just 43 percent. Meanwhile typical senior expenses have jumped 86 percent, according to TSCL's 2017 Loss of Buying Power Study. The following table illustrates ten of the fastest growing costs since 2000. .TSCL strongly supports legislation like the Notch Fairness Act that would provide Notch babies with modest compensation, and we were pleased to see support grow this week. ."We need to get committees working again. We need to recommit to a rational, functioning appropriations process," McConnell said on the floor of the Senate during the first full day of his Senate leadership. "We need to open up. the legislative process in a way that allows more amendments from both sides."