Congressional Corner Senator Tim Kaine Outlines Steps Improve Medicare Coverage Affordability Every Older American
Since the tax brackets and the standard deduction wouldn't grow as fast as in the past, more people will get pushed into higher tax brackets more quickly when their income rises. The legislation would use a more slowly growing measure of inflation, the Chained Consumer Price Index, to make adjustments. .However, in tough economic times, our seniors — many of whom live on fixed incomes — get hit the hardest. From increasing medical expense costs to the rising cost of living, our seniors are facing greater economic insecurities. This is why we must protect Social Security from cuts and work to lower medical costs for this generation and the generations to come. .Retirees' budgets take a beating when prescription drug prices rise faster than the annual cost – of – living adjustments (COLAs). But new legislation moving in the Senate would address that problem. The drug bill would require drug manufacturers to pay rebates when prices rise faster than inflation. Lobbying groups for drug manufacturers don't like the idea. … Continued
Congressional Corner Theres Need Cut Privatize Social Security
Give yourself a Benefits Check Up: If your savings are gone, and you aren't able to get a side job, you might qualify for programs that can help pay for Medicare Part B premiums, drug costs, meals, heating and cooling your home, rental subsidies and other costs. Using the National Council on Aging's Benefits Check Up online tool is simple. You answer a few screening questions and you can get the contact information for programs in your area. ."For the third year in a row, millions of older Americans will once again see no increase in their net operating Social Security payments, particularly if Medicare Part B premiums remain 4 per month in 2018, as currently forecast by the Medicare Trustees," says TSCL's Social Security and Medicare Policy Analyst, Mary Johnson. "The problem is that a substantial portion of beneficiaries currently are paying a Part B premium that is about less than that now," Johnson says. .The Social Security Trustees estimated last year that SS payroll taxes in 2020 would be about 3.8 billion under average economic conditions. Thus the 6 billion cost of the payroll tax provision in the CARES Act appears to be as much as 42% of all anticipated Social Security revenues for 2020. … Continued
Sen. Sherrod Brown Introduces CPI-E Bill .TSCL is working for legislation that would provide an emergency COLA. The Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act (S. 2251, H.R. 4144) introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Representative Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), would provide Social Security beneficiaries with a one-time emergency COLA of 3.9 percent. For the average retiree, the emergency COLA would amount to around 0 dollars. To learn more, visit . .To identify people in the country illegally, Medicare relies on information from the Social Security Administration in order to deny claims. The Social Security Administration receives data from the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies but CMS doesn't always receive information relating to unlawful presence in a timely manner, according to the Inspector General. .On Wednesday, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing titled "Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits: What You Need to Know." The Committee heard from a panel of experts, including Virginia Reno – Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration (SSA) – and William Meyer – CEO of Social Security Solutions, Inc., a private firm that provides financial advice to retirees. .How have you been affected by COVID-19? Share your story with us at . .This is a new issue that has popped up on our radar and TSCL will be studying it in greater depth as we learn what might be done to insure lower prices and greater security for the prescription drugs that are so important for so many of us, especially the nations senior citizen population. .At Wednesday's hearing, key witnesses made several recommendations for improving the process. Sita Nataraj Slavov – Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University – suggested that SSA stop using the term "retirement age" since it suggests that individuals should claim benefits immediately after they stop working. She also recommended that SSA begin referring to age 70 as the "full" retirement age since it is the age at which benefits are the highest. In addition, William Meyer of Social Security Solutions, Inc. suggested that SSA notify individuals of the annual difference in benefits they would receive if they delayed filing for one year. .TSCL believes the regulations could be costly to seniors and to Medicare. Alternative therapy and medical approaches are used by millions of Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated, that the U.S. public spent between billion to billion on CAM therapies in 1997, an amount that was more than the U.S. public paid out-of-pocket for all hospitalizations in that year, and an amount that was approximately one-half of that paid by the U.S. public for all out-of-pocket physicians' services. .The Senior Citizens League agrees that the Social Security 2100 Act is a fair and responsible solution to the financing challenges facing the program, and we are proud to have endorsed the it. In the months ahead, we will advocate for its passage tirelessly, and we hope to see it signed into law before the end of this year.