Congressional Corner By Representative Ted Deutch Fl
The Senior Citizens League strongly believes allowing the HHS Secretary to negotiate with the drug companies is one important way to reduce the costs of drugs for seniors. We will be continuing our efforts to get Congress to pass legislation that would make this possible. .At the hearing, the Ranking Member of the Committee – Senator Bob Casey (PA) – presented a bill he introduced called the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act. If adopted, his bill would simplify the Medicare enrollment process and help those nearing eligibility avoid costly penalties for late enrollment. .If adopted, S. 61 would allow for the personal importation of safe and affordable drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada. … Continued
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Low-income "dual eligibles" — Medicare beneficiaries whose incomes are so low that they are also eligible for Medicaid. Part B premiums are paid on their behalf by their state Medicaid program (about 19% of beneficiaries). .Medicare Advantage, and its predecessor Medicare+Choice —both known as Medicare Part "C" — however, has no clear track record of saving the government money. In fact, for a number of years, Medicare Advantage cost more than traditional Medicare. .Diversify if you can. If you have the savings, it might be wise to spread your investment between two companies or consider having a portion of yours savings in fixed annuity and a portion in a variable annuity. … Continued
Minimal Workplace Enforcement—A Contributing Factor .While Congress continues to discuss similar changes to the Social Security benefit formula today, Notch Reform remains a legislative priority for TSCL. TSCL estimates that 2.7 million Notch babies and their spouses or widows would benefit from passage of The Notch Fairness Act. The legislation would provide Notch Babies, born 1917 through 1926, ,000 payable in four annual installments, or an improved monthly benefit. Representative Mike McIntyre (NC-7) introduced the legislation in the House where it has 17 cosponsors, and Senator David Vitter (LA) has introduced a corresponding bill in the Senate. TSCL continues to work for passage. .During the recent government shutdown, a group of feisty World War II vets managed to do what Congress failed miserably to do for another 15 days – reopen a part of our shuttered government. The National Mall and parks in Washington D.C. were closed to visitors. But on day one of the shutdown, CNN reported that "busloads of World War II vets, many in wheel chairs, broke past the barricades to visit the World War II Memorial as onlookers applauded." As the cameras rolled and several Members of Congress were busy trading blame, a line of vets rolled past security officers "who willingly stepped aside," CNN reported. .With so many grandparents becoming more involved in the day – to - day care of their grandchildren you may learn that you qualify for other programs that can reduce healthcare, food, and other expenses. We recommend that you take time to try the National Council on Aging's online "BenefitsCheckUp" screening tool to learn about benefit programs in your area. .In addition, Avik Roy – Co-Founder and President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity – suggested that lawmakers focus on increased transparency in the pharmaceutical industry. He said if action is not taken reduce prescription drug prices, "the poor, vulnerable, and elderly have the most to lose." .Lawmakers compromised on the policy parameters of a long-term solution more than a year ago, but since then, they have been unable to come up with an offset to cover the cost of the 4 billion package. This week, Rep. Tom Price (GA-6), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, said, "We spend .6 trillion a year in this town – to come up with a pay-for ought to be relatively easy. There are things we have used before. There are areas in federal pensions … and rescission money that's available out there. We ought to be able to find some resources to pay for this patch." .But that's not all Congress must do before October The Secretary of the Treasury has warned that if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling very soon the government will default on its bills sometime in October. The "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government is at stake here and the repercussions of a government default are not totally known but they could be disastrous. .TSCL opposes these cuts for a number of reasons. Medical practices in particular have been hurt by the pandemic and should not have to face lower Medicare reimbursements. .Accurate earnings estimates: It's important to accurately estimate your earnings. If you worked for someone else, Social Security will need your gross earnings prior to deductions for taxes. In addition, Social Security counts when the wages are earned, NOT when they are paid. This includes accumulated sick or vacation pay and bonuses.