Legislative Update For Week Ending August 23 2013
3 Social Security scenarios show vastly different results .Some Members of Congress question whether the federal government would replace borrowing for Defense with borrowing for Medicare. Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) said the savings from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would "offer a unique and limited opportunity to resolve this problem that grows every month." Other legislators warn, however, that it is misleading to think that these savings could be used as a "doc fix" offset. .The President's proposal is likely to increase the already-escalating tension between the drug industry and his administration. The new order comes on the heels of the four executive orders he issued regarding drug prices two weeks ago. … Continued
Will Social Security Last As Long As You Do 2
As a result of the new rule, consumers will have to pay more for their prescriptions, as a growing number of people rely on the programs offered by drug makers to lower their copays. .This week, four new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 973), bringing the total up to 10The new cosponsors are: Reps. Kathleen Rice (NY-4), Andre Carson (IN-7), Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-8), and Brendan Boyle (PA-13). .Both my wife & I are Notch Babies, and should have had higher Social Security benefits than we got. Instead of Congress fighting amongst themselves, we would be better served if they would pass a bill to catch up on our money. Are they waiting for us to die? I am 91, and my wife is 8It's a struggle to live on our benefits. … Continued
The lack of growth in Social Security benefits, together with the inexorable rise in healthcare costs, is causing financial dilemmas for Medicare beneficiaries that may be jeopardizing their health. The situation is leaving both seniors and disabled adults who are living longer lives without adequate financial resources for their retirement, survey participants say. .Apply for pharmacy assistance programs from your drug manufacturer. Medicare maintains a list of pharmacy assistance programs by drug name. To learn if there is a program for your drug visit: http://www.medicare.gov/pharmaceutical-assistance-program/index.aspx. .Sources: Testimony: The Social Security Disability Insurance Program, Joyce Manchester, The Congressional Budget Office, March 14, 201"Challenges Facing The Next Commissioner Of Social Security," SSA Office of Inspector General, April 26, 2012013 Social Security Trustees Report, May 31, 2013. .The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act (H.R. 275), which was introduced by Congressmen Peter Welch (VT) and Francis Rooney (FL-19), would require the federal government to negotiate lower Medicare Part D prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. .The Senate has been back in session for a few weeks and has held votes on some legislation but what we at TSCL are watching is what's been happening in both the Senate and House committees that deal with legislation of major concern to seniors. .This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for three key bills that would improve the Social Security and Medicare programs if adopted. .New Medicare enrollees, higher -income beneficiaries, people age 65 and older who have not started Social Security benefits (about 11% of beneficiaries). .The number of older taxpayers who find that a portion of their Social Security benefits are taxable tends to grow over time. Unlike income brackets that are adjusted for inflation, the income thresholds that subject Social Security benefits to taxation have never been adjusted since Social Security benefits became taxable in 198When the law was first passed, less than 10 percent of all Social Security recipients were estimated to have incomes high enough to be affected by the tax on benefits. But today, even retirees with modest incomes can be affected by the tax. .TSCL's research has consistently found that Medicare Part B premiums rank as one of the fastest growing senior costs. Yet Medicare premium costs are not included in the measure currently used to determine the annual COLA — one major reason why COLAs do such a poor job of keeping up with rising healthcare costs. TSCL continues to lobby for a more fair and accurate COLA and supports legislation that would use a seniors' index — like the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) — to determine the annual boost.