The Senior Citizens League supports legislation called the Fair COLA for Seniors Act that would strengthen the annual COLA by tying it to a "seniors" index, the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers, which over time is expected to provide modestly higher benefits than the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, which is used to calculate the COLA under current law. In addition, TSCL supports legislation that would provide a minimum COLA of no less than 3%. This would provide extra protection in years when inflation is below that amount..First, the bipartisan Consumer Price Index for the Elderly Act gained one new cosponsor in Representative Mark DeSaulnier, bringing the total up to fifty. If signed into law, the bill which was introduced by Representative John Garamendi last year would improve the adequacy of the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment by basing it on the spending patterns of older Americans..To begin with, it will apply only to some seniors, depending on which Medicare supplement program they enroll in, and it is completely voluntary on the part of both the supplement provider and the individual enrolled in Medicare..TSCL agrees, and we fear that if triggered, the IPAB's recommendations could lead to higher costs for seniors or decreased access to quality medical care. We are enthusiastic supporters of Rep. Roe's bill, and we were pleased to see it win passage in the House this week..Social Security beneficiaries received a 2.8% cost-of-living adjustment this year, but millions of older Americans with low benefits have seen their increases completely offset by higher Medicare Part B premiums. Do you support the Fair COLA for Seniors Act, which would give beneficiaries a more adequate Social Security COLA?.Recent healthcare reform legislation gradually reduces what beneficiaries must spend when they reach the Part D doughnut hole or gap in coverage. Medicare consumers who hit the doughnut hole receive a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs and a 7 percent discount on generics in 201While that's good news, don't breathe any sighs of relief just yet. Seniors and the disabled who hit the doughnut hole must still spend ,448 in total drug costs in 2011 before they reach catastrophic coverage period..Click here to learn more about the NASI survey..When it comes to the Social Security cost-of-living adjustments many, if not most, of you say that you feel the government is cooking the inflation data. The COLA seldom seems to reflect the growing costs you experience. Two factors are to blame; the choice of a consumer price index used to calculate your COLA, and the methodology that our government uses to calculate price inflation to begin with..Lowering drug prices is a singular area where bipartisan legislation could make it into law this year. On Monday, Senator Jeanne Shaheen in introduced legislation that would cut the cost of insulin by 75% compared with the level expected in 2020. The proposal would create a new pricing model that limits the use of rebates for Medicare Part D and the private insurance market, Sens. Tom Carper, Susan Collins and Kevin Cramer have already signed on as co-sponsors to the legislation.

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Also, we should be wearing masks outdoors as well as indoors at this time. While being indoors with others is far riskier, being outdoors is not risk free if you are with others you don't live with..While the CDC recommends that younger people can start getting the seasonal flu vaccine starting in August, it recommends seniors wait until at least September to get theirs. But everyone should have one by the end of October..TSCL delivered letters to Congress this week urging lawmakers in the House and Senate to become cosponsors of the bill, and to sign it into law before the end of this year. For progress updates on the CPI-E Act, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website or follow TSCL on Twitter. … Continued

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I've received numerous automated phone calls offering "free" Medicare-covered items like back braces and diabetes supplies. I'm not 65, not eligible for Medicare yet and I'm on the national DO NOT CALL list. Are suppliers allowed to do this?.Conferees Hit Budget Impasse.The President's order halts the collection of Payroll taxes from Sept. 1 through the end of the year. In addition, he instructed the Treasury Department to look into how the government can forgive the deferred tax payment permanently because as things stand right now the taxes must be repaid after the first of the year. … Continued

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