• November 7 2020

    Second, six new cosponsors signed on to the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act (H.R. 4841), bringing the total up to twenty-six cosponsors. The new cosponsors are: Representative Adam Schiff (CA-28), Representative Joe Kennedy (MA-4), Representative Greg Walden (OR-2), Representative Kevin Kramer (ND-1), Representative Dan Webster (FL-11), and Representative Don Bacon (NE-2). If adopted, H.R. 4841 would allow for and standardize electronic prior authorization for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. .In a statement issued early this week, America's Health Insurance Plans, an advocacy organization for insurers, wrote: "Reports from leading industry analysts show broad consensus that the CMS proposal, if finalized, would result in Medicare Advantage payment cuts of at least 4 percent in 2015 and likely much higher once other changes are factored in." But in a statement of their own, representatives from CMS countered: "The proposed changes for 2015 for Medicare Advantage are smaller than those implemented in 2014 – a year in which CMS expects to exceed its 5 percent enrollment growth projection." They went on to claim that the 2015 MA cut will actually result in lower premiums and better care for seniors. ."The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry." That was authored by 18th century poet Robert Burns, and served as the inspiration for the title of John Steinbeck's book, Of Mice and Men, but aptly describes the economic situation facing today's seniors. … Continued

  • Benefit Bulletin February 2013

    PhRMA, the drug industry's lobbying group, called the bill "the wrong approach to lowering prescription drug prices" and said it "imposes harmful price controls in Medicare Part D." But with drug prices for many brand and specialty drugs running into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars for a single fill, TSCL believes that restricting the rate of increase on prescription drugs, and capping out-of-pocket costs, could help save lives and improve the health of older Americans. .If adopted, H.R. 1170 would strengthen and expand the Social Security program by providing beneficiaries with a monthly benefit boost, basing cost-of-living adjustments on the CPI-E, and setting the Special Minimum Benefit at 125 percent of the poverty line. It would also apply the payroll tax to all income – including investment income – over 0,000. .The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) has concerns about a number of elements outlined in the revised Simpson-Bowles plan – namely the adoption of the "chained" CPI, since seniors are already being short changed by the COLAs they receive. The plan released this week is not likely to be adopted in its entirety, but it will serve as an important comparative tool in the coming weeks as leaders in Washington continue to search for sequester alternatives. The automatic cuts are scheduled to hit on Friday, March 1st, but leaders have said they believe the deadline is flexible and their best chance at redesigning it might come at the end of the month, when the continuing resolution to fund the government expires. Until then, TSCL will continue to monitor the negotiations, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. … Continued

What can you do? .Last year, under Shkreli's direction, Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines for buying the rights to a decades-old anti-infective drug and hiking its price from .50 per pill to 0 per pill. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had tough questions for Turing's representatives at Thursday's hearing, and each of them expressed their dismay for the price gouging that is occurring in the pharmaceutical market. .A Humana Medicare Advantage plan in Florida improperly collected nearly 0 million in payments in 2015 by overstating how sick some of its enrollees were. A new audit by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is seeking to get the money back. If successful, the audit penalty would be what has been described as "by far the largest" ever imposed on a Medicare Advantage company. But Humana has sharply disputed the OIG's findings, and has said that the recommendations "do not represent final determinations, and Humana will have the right to appeal." .Perhaps the single biggest difference between Ponzi schemes and Social Security is you and your vote. Voters have a tremendous influence in the choices that elected Members of Congress make to ensure that the program remains sound today and in the future. Social Security has been in continuous operation since 193Ponzi's scheme lasted barely 200 days. .The resolution's authors wrote, "Our plan would strengthen Medicare by offering future seniors guaranteed-coverage options – including traditional Medicare – regardless of pre-existing conditions or health history. All seniors will have the support they need to get the care they deserve." .What can you do? Sign one of TSCL's current petitions. .Employers are only required to check SSNs and report wages, but aren't required to verify whether individual workers have legal authorization to work in this country. When employers submit wage reports with SSNs that don't match those of Social Security, the reports wind up in the Earnings Suspense File until they can be reconciled. .The absence of confirmed transmission is not necessarily evidence that fliers are safe. Instead, the lack of data reflects the fact that the U.S. has a higher infection rate relative to other countries, said Chen. Since the U.S. has so many confirmed cases, it's more difficult to determine exactly where somebody contracted the virus. ​ .The "grandparent scam" has been around for a while, where a scammer poses as a relative, often a grandchild, in a desperate situation in urgent need of money. Due to the economic crisis created by the pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission has worked to raise the awareness of the grandparent scam.