Drug prices in the U.S. are much higher than in other developed countries, because there are no federal laws regulating prices. In fact, the law specifically forbids Medicare from negotiating prices on behalf of its beneficiaries. Allowing the importation of prescription drugs from countries such as Canada, where drugs are less expensive, has the potential to lower drug costs for both U.S. consumers and the federal government..While most prescription drugs are paid for by beneficiaries and their Medicare Part D plans, Medicare Part B spends about billion on pricey drugs that must be given intravenously or by injection by trained healthcare professionals. Medicare pays the healthcare provider the average sales price, plus 6% for the costs associated with the purchase and storage of the medications. For example, if a drug costs ,000, the doctor would receive an additional 6% payment, or , but if a similar drug costing ,000 were used instead, the doctor would receive 0 instead..Will money borrowed from the Social Security Trust Funds be repaid in full?."At the time of enactment, The Congressional Quarterly referred to this revenue change as 'taxing the benefits of high-income recipients'" says Johnson, citing the publication's summaries of major Social Security changes from 1983-198Social Security's archives state that "Congress intended that the taxation of benefits should not affect 'lower income' individuals." The revenues from the tax on Social Security benefits are credited to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds and provide a growing share of the programs' financing..Three Key Bills Gain Support.Obesity and diseases related to it, such as diabetes, have also been shown to be high risk factors for negative outcomes for those who contract the coronavirus..Social Security's finances depend largely on payroll taxes, tying the strength of Social Security to the strength of the U.S. economy. The U.S. unemployment rate was more than 13.3% through May. That was worse than the 2009 Great Recession, when the unemployment rate reached a peak of 10.6% in January 20With 20.5 million people out of work, combined with a higher number of new claims for benefits as older unemployed workers turn to Social Security, there will be a significant impact on the finances of the Social Security Trust Funds. The degree of the impact depends on how long it takes to get our economy safely up and running again..Lawmakers in the House and Senate have adjourned for a month-long recess, and most of them will be reaching out to their constituents by hosting town hall meetings or attending local events in their home states and districts. We encourage our members and supporters to attend these events, since they are excellent opportunities for constituents to make their voices heard. To best be prepared, it's a good idea to jot down some questions that you would like to ask your elected officials. Below are ten examples feel free to take them with to your next town hall meeting..The Senior Citizens League is pleased that lawmakers acted swiftly and responsibly to avert a government shutdown and an unprecedented default on the federal debt. Failing to do so could have resulted in delayed Social Security checks and reimbursements for health care providers who treat Medicare patients. Lawmakers now have until early December to negotiate a broader funding bill to keep the federal government operating. For progress updates, follow TSCL on Facebook or Twitter.

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TSCL will be letting Congressional leaders know of our opposition to a payroll tax cut and we will continue to advocate both in opposition to any payroll tax cut, and also for a fairer and more accurate way of calculating what the COLA should be each year..Here is more from the report: "Pfizer, which played arguably the biggest role in 2020's vaccine race, also had a frenzied year politically. In addition to giving roughly million to members of Congress, Pfizer also wrote checks to 1,048 individual candidates in state legislative races..The findings represent a significant one-year loss of 4 percentage points in buying power, with the loss increasing from 30% to 34% from January 2017 to January 201The loss occurred even though beneficiaries received a 2% annual cost-of-living adjustment for 201Housing and medical costs - particularly for home heating expenses and Medigap premiums - were among the most rapidly-rising costs over the past year. The study examines the growth, since 2000, in the price of goods and services that are typical for retired and disabled households, and compares that to the growth in Social Security benefits due to annual COLAs. … Continued

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The purpose of this update each week is to give our supporters like you information about issues that are important to seniors, but that do not make the headlines. They are usually issues we are working on to ensure our elected officials keep faith with the commitments that were made to each of us during our lifetimes of work, especially concerning Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid..McCaskill is calling on drug companies and doctors to scale back their financial relationships, and believes that, if necessary, Congress should step in to stiffen federal laws banning doctors from receiving gifts from such companies..This week, a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to the White House urging executive action on prescription drug prices. In addition, two key bills gained support in the House. … Continued

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