If adopted, the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act would expand Medicare coverage to include essential hearing, vision, and dental care. Under current law, the traditional Medicare program is prohibited from covering these basic health care services, and millions of seniors living on fixed incomes cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for routine care or assistive technologies like hearing aids..The .5 billion for VA health care improvements will now be paid for with savings elsewhere in the budget. However, one Democratic aide said the funds used to pay for the program were gimmicks that do not harm spending in vital programs..The Bipartisan Policy Center points out in a recent blog, that each of these sources of revenues is negatively impacted by high unemployment. When people are out of work, no payroll taxes are withheld from earnings. A portion of Social Security benefits is taxable when a Social Security recipient has an income higher than ,000 or ,000 for a couple filing jointly. But the coronavirus recession has impacted both earnings from jobs and the value of retirement accounts, so that fewer retirees will meet the income thresholds that make their benefits taxable this year. Finally, the Federal Reserve has responded to the recession by cutting interest rates, which means that the yields on the bonds held by the Social Security Trust Funds are smaller and will provide lower interest income. A recession also causes a higher number of new claims when older workers are forced to retire earlier than planned, raising costs in the short term..For those who are "social butterflies," this is extremely hard. For those who do not have a problem being by themselves, maybe not so much..According to the new Medicare Trustee Report released in April of this year, Medicare Part B premiums for 2020 are expected to rise .80 from 5.50 to 4.30 in 2020. That would swallow the entire COLA of Social Security recipients with benefits of about 5 or less. According to Social Security data, roughly 4 million low benefit Social Security recipients could be at risk of seeing no growth in their net Social Security benefit due to rising Part B premiums..Lawmakers Reach Deal to Avert Fiscal Cliff.By Representative Elijah E. Cummings.TSCL Endorses New Social Security Bill.Visit to participate in TSCL's annual Senior Survey.

Report Section Medicaid Program Integrity And Current Issues Issue Brief

While seniors with Medicare aren't required to have an Obamacare health plan, they have worries too. Obamacare cut Medicare by more than 0 billion over ten years, and that's starting to impact seniors age 65 and older. In particular, the law cut reimbursements to Medicare Advantage plans by 6 billion..If Congress fails to prevent a default on the federal debt, older Americans will be impacted in two major ways. First, Social Security benefits would be delayed, and millions of seniors living on fixed incomes would suffer financially. Second, health plans that cover Medicare beneficiaries and providers who treat Medicare patients would likely see postponements in their reimbursements from the federal government. Access to quality medical care could become more difficult for older Americans if that occurs..Members of the Senate will return to Capitol Hill on September 6th, and Members of the House of Representatives will return on September 7th. TSCL would like to remind you to approach your Members of Congress at local events and request their support for a fair Social Security cost-of-living adjustment and other key issues. … Continued

Medicaid Issue Brief Proposed Rule On Medicaid Managed Care A Summary Of Major Provisions

A lot is at stake. Members of Congress and President Obama have been considering cuts to Social Security cost-of-living adjustments to lower government spending cuts that still remain on the bargaining table. In addition, the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund will be fully exhausted in just three years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. An immigration amnesty would give new access to Social Security for an estimated 11.5 illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., who would become eligible for benefits that potentially include credit for earnings under fraudulent Social Security numbers..There are important trade-offs to Medicare Advantage. Enrollees must use the network of hospitals and doctors who contract with the plan. In recent years as enrollment grows, more plan enrollees have been hit with surprise bills for out of network providers - often for thousands of dollars. While traditional Medicare is accepted by any willing doctor in every state, Medicare Advantage coverage tends to be accepted only in a specific geographic area. There are also more requirements for prior approval for certain procedures..With President Obama pushing for an immigration bill "by the end of the summer," Congress is rapidly moving major immigration reform legislation. Under the bill passed in the Senate, an estimated 8-11 million unauthorized immigrants would receive work authorization, giving them access to Social Security numbers and with it entitlement to Social Security and Medicare benefits with ten years of earnings. … Continued

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