Medicare Part B Premiums To Rise More Than 4 Times Faster Than Your Cola
The CPI-W gives less weight to medical care and housing costs — two categories that have climbed by more than 7 percent and almost 5 percent, respectively, over the past 12 months — and more weight to gasoline, which has deeply plunged over the past year. Older Americans tend to use more medical services and spend more of their budgets on housing than younger workers. Because the CPI-W excludes the spending patterns of people over the age of 62, it does not include things like rising Medicare premiums, which are one of the fastest growing costs in retirement. .The pending cuts are due to a rule, the PAYGO Act, which was passed in 2010 and which corrects for additions to the federal deficit by automatically cutting funding from certain departments and programs. .The Social Security Expansion Act (H.R. 1114) gained one new cosponsor in Congressman Donald Payne (NJ-10), bringing the new cosponsor total up to thirty-one. If signed into law, H.R. 1114 would enhance Social Security benefits by basing COLAs on the CPI-E, increasing monthly checks by around per month, improving the Special Minimum Benefit, applying the payroll tax to income above 0,000, and applying a 6.2% tax on investment income for wealthy individuals. … Continued
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However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) refused to bring the bill up in the Senate for debate or a vote. As a result, Congressional leaders have been struggling over the past few weeks to come up with legislation to deal with those issues to help those Americans who have been hurt so badly by the virus and the horrible economy that has resulted. .That's because COLAs are currently based upon the way young, urban workers, rather than seniors spend their money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses an inflation index called the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). It regularly underestimates the spending inflation that seniors experience since it fails to capture the rising costs of medical care, upon which older Americans spend a disproportionate share of their income. .In addition, if any efforts to transition to private accounts based Social Security succeed TSCL fears that, among other things, a new Notch could be created in the transition. Also, TSCL members generally believe that such approaches could further drain the Social Security Trust Fund. Finally, it is thought that a private accounts venture would be at least partially financed by cutting the benefits of current or soon-to-be retirees. Because TSCL believes that Social Security was developed and implemented to be a safety net, insurance and pension system, it strongly opposes changes to the current system which entail private accounts. … Continued
While President Obama spent much of his speech to the nation discussing economic policies, he did take the time to direct a message to legislators in attendance. The President pleaded that lawmakers send him immigration reform legislation that would enable illegal immigrants to earn their citizenship so he could "sign it right away." President Obama said he is "prepared to make reforms" that would "rein in the long-term costs" of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs. .Upon introducing the Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries Act, Sen. Wyden said, "Today's fix will protect over 370,000 Oregonians and millions of seniors across the country from an abrupt and dramatic increase in Medicare costs. It is urgent that Congress take decisive action to ensure vulnerable Americans aren't harmed by this archaic policy." .(Washington, DC) – A budget proposal to switch to an alternate consumer price index, for calculating the annual Social Security cost – of - living - adjustment (COLA) is a bad deal for older and disabled Americans, says The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). The proposed "chained" consumer price index (CPI) would grow even more slowly than the conventional one that is currently used to determine the annual COLA. .This week, The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL) Board of Trustees and legislative team held meetings with several Members of Congress and their top staff. In addition, the Board of Trustees presented one Member of Congress – Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC-7) – with the 2012 Seniors Advocate Award. TSCL also saw support grow for a critical piece of legislation this week. .At Wednesday's hearing, many of the Subcommittee members expressed their support for this model of paid family leave, while others spoke about the detrimental impact it would have on the Social Security program. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) – Ranking Member of the Subcommittee – said in his opening statement: "Using your retirement security to fund paid time off from work when you have a child is not paid family leave at all – it's robbing from your retirement to be able to care for loved ones now … I want to work together, but a plan that's a first step toward privatizing Social Security – the bedrock of our social safety net – is no place to start." .According to the group, the plan would reduce the deficit by trillion and it would save enrollees approximately ,500 per year, but it's controversial for two major reasons. First, it would completely eliminate traditional Medicare, whereas many other reform proposals would keep it as an option. Second, those already enrolled in Medicare would be affected by the transition, which would have a 2014 start date. Other reform proposals would delay implementation to protect seniors from any drastic or sudden changes. .If the COLA were calculated using the methodology used in 1990, this year's COLA would not be 1.7 percent – it would be 5.2 percent. And if the COLA were calculated using the 1980 methodology, this year's COLA would be 9.4 percent. As a result of the CPI's manipulation over the past three decades, Social Security beneficiaries have lost over 20 percent of their purchasing power, according to our research. Next year's projected zero COLA will put them even further behind. .We urge you to be cautious. You should not be charged just for being put on a list. If you receive a contact like this you should call your doctor's office or your local health department to try and verify that such a list exists. .Medicare alone does not cover all the costs you will have. Most people also get either a Medicare supplement to cover out-of-pocket costs and Part D plan for prescription drugs, or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan with Part D coverage.