Top executives of the big drug companies have requested a meeting with White House officials this week to discuss how they can lower drug prices..Yet incredibly, despite the grim statistics, members of both parties are seeking common ground on deficit reduction, and COLAs remain the target of cuts. TSCL is fighting back and plans to deliver thousands of petitions protesting the cuts later this year..Even with the vaccine there is still a 1 in 20 chance of getting the virus. The vaccine will prevent the symptoms of the virus from occurring. In other words, it will prevent you from becoming sick, or at least horribly sick. But you could still carry the virus and pass it on to others who are not yet vaccinated..The prospects for an adequate Cost-of-Living Adjustment boost for 2013 are dimming. The rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, is decelerating at the fastest pace in three years. A low COLA would leave the seniors, especially those with the lowest Social Security benefits, with less money to cover Medicare premiums that are automatically deducted from monthly payments..The federal government will work with the private sector and Congress to implement the recommendations and develop a strategy to create a robust and resilient pharmaceutical and active pharmaceutical ingredient supply chain, including facilitating adoption of novel methods for commercial production of pharmaceuticals and biologics..According to Michael Astrue, the Commissioner of Social Security, the report "contains troubling, but not unexpected, projections about Social Security's finances." Income including interest to the combined OASDI Trust Funds totaled 5 billion in 2011, while total expenditures amounted to 6 billion. Non-interest income fell below program costs, however, and should continue to do so through the remainder of the 75-year period. The Trustees estimated that 158 million people paid Social Security payroll taxes in 2011, while approximately 55 million collected Social Security benefits..Congressional Recess Begins.Seniors have earned their Social Security benefits. It is our duty as elected representatives to protect them, which strengthens the fabric of our nation, making our society healthier and our communities stronger..This week, one new cosponsor Rep. Alcee Hastings signed on to Rep. Grace Meng's Notch Fairness Act. The bill now has ten cosponsors. If signed into law, it would provide modest compensation to victims of the Social Security Notch, or those who were born between 1917 and 192Just years before they were set to retire, these individuals learned that they would have significantly lower benefits than originally anticipated. The problem has grown and compounded over time, and TSCL believes that in order to make the program more equitable, some compensation for the injustice should be provided. We enthusiastically support Rep. Meng's Notch Fairness Act, and we were pleased to see one more lawmaker sign on as a cosponsor this week.

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The study examined the increase in costs of 39 key items between 2000 and January 201The items were chosen because they are typical of the costs of most Social Security recipients, and include expenditures like Medicare Part B premium, that are not measured by the index currently used to calculate the COLA. Of the 39 items analyzed, 26 increased faster than the COLA over the same period. "This study illustrates why Congress should enact legislation to provide a more fair and adequate COLA," says The Senior Citizens' Executive Director, Shannon Benton. "To put it in perspective, for every 0 worth of groceries a retiree household could afford in 2000, they can only buy worth today," Benton adds..Even small tweaks in inflation can save the government hundreds of billions over time. Using the chained CPI would reduce the measured rate of inflation, and the amount of money you would receive in your COLA every year. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that moving to the chained CPI would cut government spending on Social Security by 2 billion over the first 10 years alone..More than 5 million Social Security recipients with the lowest benefits are unlikely to see any net growth in their monthly checks after deduction of the Medicare Part B premium in 2019, according to a new analysis released by The Senior Citizens League. This will occur despite their receiving the highest cost-of-living adjustment in seven years. Those affected have a gross Social Security benefit of about 5 per month or less before deduction of the Part B premium. According to the analysis, the dollar amount of their Part B premium increase will be more than the dollar amount of their COLA. "This would make the fourth year in a row that this particular group has not seen a boost in their net Social Security benefits after the deduction for Medicare Part B premiums," says Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for the League.\ … Continued

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However, he has apparently given up his demand..According to a recent story by Judith Graham, a journalist for Kaiser Health News, abrupt terminations of home health therapy services are hitting families across the nation. The terminations are in response to a January 1, 2020 change in how Medicare pays for home health services. Some home health agencies are suggesting that Medicare no longer covers certain home health services. But please note: That is NOT the case..Social Security and Medicare Part A would have to rely solely on the payroll tax revenues they collect each year to pay out benefits or pay medical providers like physicians. … Continued

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