Legislative Update Februarymarch 2017
On Tuesday, Senators on the influential Finance Committee held a hearing titled "Examining the Proposed Medicare Part B Drug Demonstration." Dr. Patrick Conway testified before the full committee on the status of the controversial demonstration program, which was proposed by CMS earlier this year and has not yet been implemented. The program will test new payment strategies for hospitals and physicians who administer prescription drugs to Medicare beneficiaries receiving outpatient care. It is a new attempt by the Obama Administration to move away from a medical system that rewards volume of care and towards one that values high-quality care. .Rep. Phil Roe (TN), who served as a witness at the Energy and Commerce hearing, introduced legislation in January to repeal the IPAB. The bill currently has bipartisan support and more than 160 cosponsors. While some, including President Obama and his Fiscal Commission, have proposed strengthening the authority of the IPAB, most at this week's hearings expressed their support for legislation that would eliminate it. ."Switching to a more slowly growing CPI is not the only change affecting seniors that deficit negotiators are looking at," notes Hyland. "Members of Congress from both parties are already considering changes that would make seniors pay a bigger share of their Medicare, and reducing government Medicaid payments at the same time," he adds. … Continued
Press Release 07072020
Three Ways Congress Can Pay For Notch Reform .More information available on our website: .Trustees Release Annual Social Security and Medicare Reports … Continued
Big Effort to Lower Drug Prices Once Again in Congress .If signed into law, this bill would repeal the windfall elimination provision (WEP) and establish a new formula to calculate benefits for those with non-covered earnings. The WEP currently affects more than one million seniors who collect Social Security benefits and have earned pensions from non-Social Security-covered employment. .While Ponzi relied on keeping his financing scheme secret, Social Security's financing is well known. The Social Security trustees issue a detailed report every year that outlines the projected financing and outlays and funding problems of the program. .On Wednesday, Senate Budget Chair Kent Conrad laid out a long-term plan to reduce the deficit. His proposal, called the Fiscal Commission Budget Plan, nearly mirrors the recommendations made in 2010 by President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. According to Sen. Conrad, it would reduce the deficit by .4 trillion over ten years. .There could be several reasons that can cause sticker shock at the pharmacy. Here are some tips for checking the charges and understanding the costs associated with your new drug plan: .Last year the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.), passed major drug legislation that would have allowed the government to negotiate directly with the drug companies, thus bringing the prices of drugs down. The major drug companies, and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), opposed the legislation and would not allow the House-passed legislation to even be considered. .While TSCL supports this first legislative step, more work will be needed in the years ahead to provide greater financial certainty for disabled Social Security recipients. What do you think about the recent legislation and fixes for Social Security disability? Take TSCL's 2016 Senior Survey. .The plan would reform the tax code by consolidating the six existing brackets into three, and by setting the corporate tax rate at an even 28 percent. It would also make some major modifications to Medicare, including a repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate for physician payments, and a strengthening of the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board. The proposal also includes a plan to restore Social Security to 75-year solvency by raising the retirement age, increasing the taxable maximum wage cap, and adopting a Chained Consumer Price Index, among other things. .Both Senate Leader McConnell and President Trump have said they are in no rush to pass another virus-related aid bill, but the Democrats believe it is necessary to get relief out to individuals and businesses as soon as possible.