Q November 2018
Foster testified before our committee that changes included in the health care law will cut funding for hospitals, skilled nursing homes, diagnostic labs and many other services by more than half the levels under prior law. In addition, future Medicare payments will be considerably below the current relative level. These rates would cause a significant number of providers to leave the market. .Before the Affordable Care Act, seniors could deduct out-of-pocket medical costs that exceeded 7.5 percent of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Starting in 2017, however, the law increases this threshold to 10% of a person's AGI – effectively lowering how much can be deducted at the end of the year and increasing how much seniors will pay in taxes. .With that in mind we remind you that the Federal Trade Commission has warned that anybody offering a chance to jump ahead on the statewide priority list for a vaccination in exchange for money is a scammer. … Continued
Where Are All The Covid 19 Vaccines
At the time of writing this week's legislative update, lawmakers in the Senate had not yet voted on the CR, and a coalition of Democrats had vowed to block it unless Republicans agreed to include year-long funding for the health care benefits of coal miners. The House-passed package includes funding for only four months, and Members of Congress in that chamber left town shortly after its passage. .In addition, we will be urging lawmakers to adopt legislation that would result in more fair and accurate COLAs in the future. Several bills before Congress would accomplish this, including the CPI-E Act (H.R. 3351), the Guaranteed 3% COLA Act (H.R. 3588), the Social Security 2100 Act (S. 1904, H.R. 1391), and the Social Security Expansion Act (S. 731). TSCL believes each of these bills would go a long way in ensuring the retirement security seniors have earned and deserve. .In addition, the Social Security 2100 Act would improve the program's solvency by applying the payroll tax to income over 0,000 and by gradually increasing the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 7.4 percent – an extra fifty cents per week for the average worker. These two modest changes would ensure that the Social Security program remains solvent through the year 2100 and beyond. … Continued
Under the hospital price transparency rule, some 6,000 U.S. hospitals will have to publicly provide their negotiated rates with insurers for 300 common medical services, along with the discounted cash price they're willing to accept for those procedures. .Because of these risks, action will be required well before 2037 and the costs associated with delaying action grow each year. While TSCL understands that changes are needed to the Social Security system and some small changes are likely, harsh benefit cuts should not be tolerated. .Rural Americans who face unique challenges would also experience unique struggles under a one-size-fits-all healthcare plan. For years, the farmers, ranchers, and everyone living in our nation's breadbasket have endured inequitable access to quality care and medical services compared to their urban and suburban counterparts. .Proposals to reform Medicare have been floating around the halls of Congress since 2010, but none have been as radical or risky as one recently released by four prominent Senators. In an attempt to curb Medicare spending, the group came up with a plan that would phase out Medicare completely, and it would do so at the expense of current enrollees, beginning as early as 201The proposal, introduced by Senators Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Jim DeMint (SC), would transition beneficiaries into the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program – the same health program available to Members of Congress. .August Recess Continues for House Lawmakers ."The ability to withstand major downturns in the economy is particularly important in retirement, yet extraordinarily difficult for today's retirees and those nearing retirement," says Johnson. "There are a number of factors that are reducing available retirement income from traditional sources," Johnson says. .While employment plunged at the height of the recession in 2009, new data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) suggests that millions of illegal immigrant workers hung onto their jobs. Employers sent in 7.7 million wage reports of workers whose names and Social Security numbers (SSN) don't match those on the SSA's files for 200The "mismatched" wage reports are frequently caused when the SSA receives copies of W2s for illegals who work under stolen, false or invalid SSNs. Although employment among illegal workers appears to have declined in 2009, the number of such "mismatched" wage reports that the SSA received from 2000 - 2009 averaged 9.5 million per year. .The Social Security 2100 Act — In the 115th Congress, Congressman John Larson's (CT-1) Social Security 2100 Act gained the support of more than 170 cosponsors, but unfortunately it was not brought to the House floor for a vote. In TSCL's December meeting with Congressman Larson's staff, he agreed to re-introduce the bill at the start of the 116th Congress, and to convene several hearings on the bill as the new Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee in the 116th TSCL is confident that the bill will be advanced by the House of Representatives by the end of this year. .The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is provided to protect the buying power of Social Security benefits from rising prices. Yet for almost a decade, retirees have had to manage their household budgets despite COLAs that have been at unprecedented lows. During this period, typical retiree costs have continued to rise several times faster than overall inflation and, consequently, Social Security benefits have lost one-third of their buying power since 2000.