Will income thresholds that subject Social Security benefits to taxation be adjusted so that fewer beneficiaries will be subject to taxes on their Social Security in the future?.The data certainly suggests this is the case. The years in which inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Workers has been the highest, the difference in the chained CPI was the greatest. The average difference between the CPI-W and the chained CPI is 0.3 tenths of a percentage point. But in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina sent gas prices through the roof, the CPI-W paid a COLA of 4.1% the following year. The chained CPI would only have paid 3.4% - a difference of 0.7 tenths of a percentage point. In 2008 the CPI-W paid a COLA of 5.8% the following year. The chained CPI would have only paid 5.2%, a difference of 0.6 tenths of a percentage point..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..The coronavirus has caused a dramatic decline in home mortgage rates, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good time for everyone to refinance. The good news is that, in many areas of the country, lenders and states are making the process safer for your physical health. That said, refinancing in retirement is still a process that carries risk to your fiscal health..You would be FAR better off waiting until after you turn 66 to start benefits at your full retirement age. After reaching full retirement age, you can receive benefits and earn as much as you want with no reduction to your benefits..While that is certainly better than 2010 and 2011 when inflation was so low that no COLA was paid for two years in a row, it's unlikely to cover seniors' real cost increases. Earlier this year we surveyed our readers and 89% reported that the 1.7% COLA in 2013 increased benefits by less than per month. On the other hand, almost the same number, 88%, reported that their total monthly expenses rose by more than Unfortunately the majority of those people, 40%, said that their monthly costs rose by more than 9..The House of Representatives returned from break this week and the Senate will follow suit beginning next week. New co-sponsors have been added to two key bills, and the effort to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program moves one step closer..for home care, adult day care, as well as assisted living and nursing home care..Conservatives and budget hawks have long sought to roll back large government programs like Medicare and Medicaid to rein in the debt.

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Administration Making Efforts To Rein In Medicare Fraud.The legislation fully covers the cost of providing the emergency payments by closing corporate compensation loopholes, which provide enormous tax breaks for the CEOs of the nation's top corporations. By closing the loophole, the bill also would add substantial new revenue to Social Security, extending the solvency of both the retirement and disability insurance trust funds..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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Medicare has recently made revisions to its payment rules, but those changes do not drop the three day of inpatient care for nursing home coverage, or require hospitals to tell patients when they are getting observation care. Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would count observation stays as part of the three hospital days required for nursing home coverage..It remains to be seen whether a deal will be reached before the December deadline Congressional Quarterly reports that the prospects for an agreement are "dimming." Discussions will likely continue behind closed doors over the upcoming weeks, and TSCL will continue to monitor the negotiations. Check back for updates every Friday..Just days remain before voters across the country will elect 435 lawmakers to the U.S. House, 34 to the U.S. Senate, and one new president to the White House. By now, most registered voters have a good idea who they will vote for on November 8th. But how much do you really know about the party positions? Before heading to the polls on election day, TSCL recommends taking one last look at the platforms that were adopted by the Democrats and the Republicans earlier this year. Here are the Social Security reform positions laid out by the two major political parties at their conventions back in July. … Continued

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