Legislative Update Week Ending August 17 2018
In a letter of support to Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8) – the sponsor of H.R. 711 – TSCL's Chairman Ed Cates wrote: "According to a recent study completed by TSCL, Social Security beneficiaries have lost over 20 percent of their purchasing power since 2000. Those who are subject to the WEP have undoubtedly fallen even further behind. It is now more important than ever for Congress to address the inequities that have been created by the WEP, and TSCL believes the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act is a fair and responsible solution." .Includes new and stronger penalties for Social Security fraud by attorneys, physicians, and others who receive fees for advising disability applicants. .The SEC chairman would appoint a director to lead the task force, which would include staff from several offices at the commission. Task force members would not receive additional compensation. … Continued
Legislative Update February 2011 Advisor Feed
Fifty-one percent said they put off trips to the doctor and other routine medical care, some for months on end. Forty-four percent said they postponed filling prescriptions or were taking less of their medication than prescribed to make it last. .Second, four new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 141), bringing the total up to 16The new cosponsors are Representatives Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Bradley Byrne (AL-1), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-2), and Josh Harder (CA-10). This bipartisan bill, if adopted, would make the Social Security program more equitable by repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). These two provisions of law unfairly cut the Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, police officers, and other state or local government employees, often by 40 percent or more. By repealing both provisions, the Social Security Fairness Act would ensure that public servants receive the Social Security benefits they have earned and deserve. .To make the Social Security COLA more adequate, The Senior Citizens League believes Congress must adopt the CPI-E Act (H.R. 1251). This bipartisan bill would base Social Security COLAs on the spending patterns of older Americans – not the spending patterns of young, working Americans – using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). … Continued
On Thursday, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that beneficiaries will receive a 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 201It will be the largest Social Security COLA since 2012, but around 5 million seniors with the lowest Social Security benefits are expected see no net increase in their monthly checks after Medicare Part B premiums are deducted. Those with benefits of around 5 per month or less are expected to see no net increase. .Please take time to participate in TSCL's much anticipated Senior Survey. TSCL's surveys have helped burst the all too common perception that Social Security benefit cuts are inevitable in order to achieve program solvency. TSCL surveys indicate that there is little support among older adults for proposals that would cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, or to replace these programs with private versions. TSCL will fight attempts to cut benefits, and that includes cutting COLAs reducing Social Security benefits or increasing Medicare costs. .A 2.5% COLA would boost an average monthly benefit of about ,500 by an additional ,000 over the next ten years through 2030. An emergency 2.5% COLA would boost a monthly ,500 benefit by an extra .50 (0 per year) in 2021, but it would grow to an extra .30 per month by the end of ten years. Another way to think about this, if retirees do not receive a 2.5% COLA, that would be like loosing ,000 in Social Security income over the next ten years. .Medicare Advantage — Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are popular because they tend to have much lower, or even zero premiums. In addition, many MA plans offer drug coverage. These plans may have deductibles, and charge co-pays for most services, leaving you at risk of more in out-of-pocket costs when you use services. Starting in 2011 for the first time, all plans include a limit on out-of-pocket spending that cannot exceed ,700. .This year, I am currently gathering support for the Medicare Advantage Quality Payment Relief Act, which would require the HHS Secretary to take Medicare Advantage Quality Incentive payments out of the calculation of the Medicare Advantage benchmark cap. This will allow high performing plans to receive the quality payments that they rightfully earned and to use those payments to improve beneficiary care. .Finally, one new cosponsor – Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) – signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795) this week, bringing the total up to one hundred and fourteen. If signed into law, the bill would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – two federal provisions that unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of state and local government employees each year. .What should you do? If you still use paper tax returns, don't wait for the forms and instructions to show up in your mailbox. The IRS did not send any out this year. Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov for forms, instructions, and to file online. Free tax assistance services may be available in your area, or call your local IRS taxpayer assistance office. .But last Monday the drug company executives announced they would not be going to the White House meeting. A spokesman for PhRMA, the giant lobbying group for many of the biggest drug manufacturers, said the White House talks were a distraction. .The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide a case in June that could have far -reaching implications for Social Security and Medicare. The Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate its executive action plan on immigration. The plan would give temporary relief from deportation and work permits to almost 5 million unauthorized immigrants. Should the Supreme Court find in favor of President Obama, his Administration would have 7 months to implement the program before his term ends.