The Senior Citizens League Update 12 20 2019
"Americans face major retirement challenges," Johnson says. The Senior Citizens .Protection of the Social Security Trust Fund – Ensuring that the program's assets are locked out of the general budget. .Most of the negotiators seem relieved to have reached a compromise, but it's clear that neither party is thrilled with the concessions they had to make. In a telling statement, one of the twenty conferees, Rep. Henry Waxman (CA-30), said of the deal: "It's not so bad that I would vote against it." Another conferee, Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8) stated however, "At the end of the day, we have prevented a disruption to our economy, avoided a tax increase on working families. and ensured our local doctors will not be punished merely for treating seniors in Medicare." … Continued
July 2013 Social Security Report 2
This week, Senate Budget Chair Kent Conrad (ND) released his Fiscal Commission Budget Plan, which would overhaul the tax code and make major changes to both Social Security and Medicare. In addition, TSCL saw support grow for the Social Security Fairness Act. .Provide Social Security beneficiaries with an emergency COLA. Medical costs are on the rise, and many seniors are currently experiencing excessive prescription drug price increases of 1,000% or more. Those increases are not reflected in the COLA since it is based on the way young, urban workers spend their money, using the CPI-W. TSCL feels strongly that a modest one-time payment of 0 would give seniors much-needed relief next year. ."The group of Democrats blocked one committee from advancing their party's drug-pricing legislation, with two members arguing it was too far-reaching and could stymie innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. Some of those Democrats also want to rein in a proposal to expand Medicare to include dental coverage, a high priority for progressives such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)." … Continued
Policy experts question how patients will make up postponed care (some services can't be made up) and the degree to which delays in getting care will have adverse health consequences. Both of these concerns suggest that another type of surge for hospitals—the aftermath of postponed care — may be coming next. Cutting hospital reimbursements now could potentially limit access to care when Medicare beneficiaries need it the most. .Members of Congress receive their benefits through the District of Columbia's small business health options program (SHOP) exchange that was established under the 2010 health law. Effective January 1, 2014, Members of Congress had to give up their previous health benefits received through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) and get their insurance through the exchange. However, they remain eligible for employer contributions from the federal government (i.e., U.S. taxpayers) toward coverage, just as they previously received for their FEHB coverage. ."Social Security Stops Trying To Collect On Old Debts By Seizing Tax Refunds," Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, April 14, 2014. .In 2017, there was a tiny 0.3% COLA and raising Sally's benefit from ,000 to ,00But in 2017 the Medicare Part B premium took a stiff jump to Once again, because the COLA was so low, Sally's share of the Medicare premium was adjusted downward so that her Social Security benefit would not be reduced. However, virtually all of her .00 per month COLA was put toward the increased Part B premium, and today Sally pays a monthly Part B premium of 7.90. .In a recent high profile Medicare fraud takedown, actor and entrepreneur Roberto F. Marrero, who played bits parts on Miami Vice, America's Most Wanted, and Unsolved Mysteries, was arrested for massive Medicare fraud. Marrero, who became a Medicare-licensed healthcare provider in 2007, is accused of submitting million in bogus bills for supplying purported home healthcare services for diabetic patients. .The report continues, "Two House panels last week approved legislation adding vision, hearing and dental coverage to Medicare. Dental is by far the most expensive and complicated of the three to roll out: the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office previously estimated that such coverage would cost 8 billion over 10 years, compared with billion for vision and billion for hearing coverage. ."This is a major reason why Social Security checks don't keep up with rising Medicare costs," explains Johnson. "In fact, Social Security benefits have lost 34 percent of buying power since 2000," Johnson adds. .Also, this week the Trump administration announced plans to keep 90 days of medical supplies on hand to help gird against future flare-ups of the outbreak, something that we think should have been made national policy a long time ago. .There's no need for such radical changes to the system in order to preserve Social Security for future generations. The Social Security system can be made solvent for generations to come by adopting some of the relatively modest policy changes proposed by the Social Security Trustees. We certainly shouldn't undermine the entire Social Security program with some harebrained privatization scheme that bankrupts Social Security in the short run and offers no guarantee of decent benefits in the long run.