And remember, there is no plan anywhere on how to shore up Social Security, even if the Payroll tax deferment is not made permanent..Unfortunately, many Subcommittee Members seemed to agree with Rep. Burgess, who plans to introduce legislation that would provide a one-year pay patch for Medicare physicians. TSCL hopes that Congress will continue to work toward a permanent solution, and we will continue to monitor the SGR discussion in the coming months..Then, in September, our entire country was appalled when a 32-year-old former hedge fund manager, Martin Shkreli, jacked up the price of Daraprim - a drug used to treat a life-threatening parasitic infection in people with suppressed immune systems like cancer patients and people with HIV/AIDS - from .50 per tablet to 0, overnight..The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced that the standard Medicare Part B premium will be 8.50 in 2021, an increase of .90 per month from 4.60 in 2020. That increase, which I earlier feared would be considerably more, was restricted by legislation enacted last fall. But even with legislation.TSCL Plays Role in Preventing Part B Premium Spike in 2021 The annual Social Security cost of living adjustment is just 1.3% this year, making it one of the lowest ever paid. But the standard monthly Medicare Part B premium increased by a modest .90, from 4.60 to 8.50, much less than TSCL initially feared it would be. TSCL's efforts to inform Congress and the.New Legislation Limits Stiff Increase Expected for 2021 Medicare Part B Premium With Medicare outlays spiraling due to outlays for COVID-19, Congress recently passed legislation to head off an expected Part B premium spike, by restricting the increase for 202TSCL has been warning about the potential of a low cost of living adjustment and spiking Medicare premiums since July of this year.."And even then, half of the US population, at this point, is skeptical of even taking the vaccine," Osterholm said. "So, what we have right now is a major problem in messaging.".Supreme Court: Mandate Penalty is Tax, Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Money, June 28, 2012..Medical: Medicare recently reported the lowest growth in healthcare costs on record based on spending through 20But that's not the case for seniors. In fact, since 2000, Medicare Part B costs rose as fast as the cost of gasoline. Seniors will receive notification this month of their Medicare Part B premium for 201It's also important to check your Part D drug coverage. Medicare Part D's infamous drug coverage gap, aka the "doughnut hole," is slowly closing a widely touted benefit of the 2010 healthcare law. Several Part D costs, like the "standard" deductible, and the out-of-pocket costs thresholds, will be lower in 201But for the first time since Part D started, the initial coverage amount, the amount all seniors use when they fill a prescription, will be less generous by 0. That means you may hit the doughnut hole coverage gap sooner..Earlier this fall, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected that home-heating fuels would cost about 20 percent more during the upcoming heating season, but the most recent Consumer Price Index data from October 2017 through October 2018, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicates that heating-fuel costs appear to be climbing even faster and are now 26.2 percent higher than October 2017..In a controversial political maneuver, Members of the House passed a bill on Friday that would keep federal agencies funded through December 15th, but withdraw spending for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The bill is now in the hands of the Senate, where leaders will likely attempt to strip it of the language that defunds the health care law. When asked how he plans to move forward with the House bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said: "Any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead. It's a waste of time." The bill has also received numerous veto threats from the White House.

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I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail..Should Medicare change from a program that guarantees coverage for a fixed set of benefits, to one that guarantees a fixed federal payment to cover a portion of beneficiaries' healthcare expenses?.While 211 Members have signed onto the House bill, critics of the legislation worry about increasing the payroll tax rate - especially on lower income workers. Lawmakers are continuing to discuss alternatives, and TSCL continues to meet with Members of Congress. TSCL's Senior Survey has found 74% of survey participants support completely lifting the taxable maximum and applying the payroll tax to all earnings. About 61% of survey participants support increasing the payroll tax rate by 1% each for workers and employers. … Continued

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Another major piece of legislation that Congress is working on, one which has been passed and been signed into law by whomever has been President for the past 59 years, is the National Defense Authorization Act. As we explained last week, that's the annual bill that authorizes the pay for members of the U.S. military as well as other important issues dealing with the Department of Defense..The U.S. currently has 21 Social Security Totalization Agreements in effect with other nations. The agreements allow workers who split their careers working in two countries to avoid double taxation on the same work. In addition, workers are allowed to combine earnings from both countries in order to qualify for Social Security benefits under one or both systems. The agreement with Mexico presumably would have a very different impact, however, for a number of reasons, including the fact that no other totalization agreement is with a country where so many of its citizens are living and working in our country illegally..If it weren't for the coronavirus and the start of the vaccination program against it the top news story would probably be the fact that Congress still can't reach a final agreement to keep the government from shutting down. As we indicated in last week's update, they had to pass another one-week Continuing Resolution last Friday in order to give them more time to try and pass the needed legislation. … Continued

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