CMS Leader Confirmed by Senate.This week, the American Health Care Act continued to advance through the House, and lawmakers in the Senate voted to confirm Seema Verma as the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services..Making matters worse, many who are impacted by the WEP and GPO are unaware of their existence until they file for benefits and retire. Chairman Johnson said on Tuesday, "The Social Security statement that is required by law shows them … the amount of Social Security benefits they would receive if the WEP and GPO didn't exist. These workers, just like every other American, have a right to know what their Social Security benefits will be so they can best prepare for their retirements."."This is an important perspective to have in our current legislative environment," says Johnson. Some Members of Congress are discussing indexing the COLA to the more slowly growing "chained" consumer price index. "The current index used to calculate the COLA already understates inflation experienced by retired beneficiaries, because it doesn't adequately represent the spending of older consumers," Johnson explains. "A more slowly growing index would only exacerbate the problem of maintaining the buying power of Social Security benefits over time," she says..If enacted, this bill will make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible to American families. It will encourage drug companies to put people before profits, not the other way around..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 tough decision, for which you need independent advice from someone other than the marketing agent of a MA plan. TSCL strongly recommends that you contact your area agency on aging or senior services department and ask for one-on-one counseling available through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. The service is available at no charge..For information about town hall meetings near you during the final days of the spring recess, call the local offices of your elected officials. You can find contact information for your Members of Congress right here..Support for the legislation has grown significantly, nearly doubling over the previous six Congressional sessions in which it's been introduced. TSCL is encouraging seniors and their younger family members to contact their Members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor "The Notch Fairness Act, " H.R. 1001 and S. 118.

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In fact, the fastest growing cost for seniors Medicare Part B premiums is not accounted for at all in the CPI-W since young workers are not enrolled in the Medicare program. Since 2000, Medicare Part B premiums have increased by 195 percent and prescription drug spending has increased by 184 percent. However, COLAs have increased Social Security benefits by just 43 percent since 2000..Check community health centers or senior services department. Low - cost dental services may be available to low-income people age 62 and up, but services may be limited and there may be long waiting lists. To learn more, check with your area agency on aging to learn if there are programs near you..Will money borrowed from the Social Security Trust Funds be repaid in full? … Continued

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In January, one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries could see a Part B premium increase of 22 percent the highest increase in 27 years. Do you believe Congress should take action like it did last year to prevent the dramatic increase?.He noted that a vaccine's rarer side effects are often not recognized until it is put into broad use. To discover an adverse outcome that only occurs in one person in 100,000, for instance, a company would need to test it in 384,250 people from broad backgrounds and with a variety of medical conditions..Most Americans contribute 6.2% of every paycheck to Social Security, but due to the taxable maximum earnings cap, wealthy individuals earning more than 8,500 pay nothing above that amount. Do you support increasing or eliminating the maximum taxable earnings limit to make the program more solvent? … Continued

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