Ask The Advisor September 2021
In February, after lawmakers allowed two government shutdowns to briefly take effect, Members of Congress finally passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 201The massive budget deal set spending levels for two years and lifted the debt ceiling through March of next year. It came as a surprise to many in Washington – including The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) – and the agreement put an end to cycles of funding extensions that temporarily and irresponsibly funded the federal government for years. .The CBO recently estimated that the two options with the biggest potential for reducing government spending on Medicare in the next ten years include raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, and increasing the portion of the basic Part B premium that seniors pay from 25% of the cost to 35%. The latter proposal would increase this year's basic monthly Part B premium — currently 4.90 — by about per month. ."The high cost of prescription drugs forces people to do what we shouldn't have to do, like ordering drugs from Canada," says Susan. "I have a friend who went without one of her prescriptions because she didn't have the money, and she died of a stroke. Our government is not doing what it's supposed to do. It's a constant struggle and my husband hasn't retired yet because of our concern about the costs of his prescription drugs for which he currently gets good coverage from his job." … Continued
Comparing Drug Plans Saves Senior More Than 3000
Many on Capitol Hill consider the proposal to be a political document and deemed it "dead on arrival," though Congress could use the proposal as a road map while forming their own fiscal 2013 budget. TSCL will keep a close eye on this debate over the coming months. .By Representative Al Lawson (FL-05) .Why ban the use of earnings from unauthorized work to determine Social Security benefits? Under current law Social Security uses all earnings to calculate Social Security benefits. That means earnings of unauthorized immigrants from jobs worked under invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers (SSN) can be used both to qualify for benefits and for the calculation of the initial retirement benefit. There is no official published data on the amount of wages on file attributable to aliens working without authorization, but the Social Security Administration maintains an earnings suspense file that represents an estimated 3.5 billion in wages from 2000 through 2010, most of it believed to be attributable to illegal workers. Under immigration reform, that could mean a huge new liability for Social Security in the future, triggering more rounds of cuts and higher taxes. … Continued
The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports H.R. 3302 and H.R. 1114, and we will continue to advocate for them tirelessly in months ahead. For more information, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .House Democrats also Unveil Proposals to Lower Drug Prices .On Wednesday, TSCL's Board of Trustees, along with former Congressman David Funderburk and Mrs. Betty Funderburk, and legislative analyst Jessie Gibbons, held meetings on Capitol Hill in six Congressional offices. TSCL's dedicated, all-volunteer Board of Trustees consists of the following members: chairman Larry Hyland, vice-chairman Tom O'Connell, secretary Charlie Flowers, treasurer Ed Cates, political action committee (PAC) treasurer Michael Gales, and board liaison and president of The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) Arthur Cooper. .Can your husband do the work he did previously? If he can, your husband would not qualify. .Also this week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) expressed optimism that he will gain support for the bill to lower prescription drug prices that he and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have written. Grassley's remarks came in the light of President Trump's State of the Union speech where he thanked Grassley for his work on the drug price issue and urged Congress to get a bill passed and sent to him. .Eyeglasses, however, are not covered. If you are having difficulty affording a pair of glasses from brick and mortar stores, you may want to try shopping online. Zenni optical.com has eyeglasses starting as low as .95 for basic frames. Costco the wholesale club has high ratings for their optical section. According to Consumer Reports, the median price for a complete pair of eyeglasses, frames and lenses at Costco Optical is 4, the cost of membership not included. .While the policy will mean that Medicare would spend less, patients will spend more— often, a lot more, and the charges would broadside most beneficiaries, coming as a complete surprise. TSCL is strongly opposed to this type of backdoor benefit cut, and has written a letter to President Biden urging him to rescind this CMS rule. Please sign our petition! .Shoring up the Medicare Part A Trust Fund will be more difficult. Simply cutting payments to hospitals would not be in the best interests of patients or hospitals, because many medical centers are already faltering financially. .As prices increase, those who depend on Social Security benefits experience a decline in the buying power. In fact, according to my research, Social Security benefits have lost 30% of buying power over the past 20 years. For some retirees, that means a decline in their standard of living.