New legislation passed in the House to repeal and replace Obamacare puts access to health care for the sickest, poorest, and even older Americans on Medicare at risk, warns The Senior Citizens League. Says TSCL's Medicare and Social Security policy analyst, Mary Johnson, "The GOP's American Health Care Act:.Year after year, physicians who treat Medicare patients are threatened with scheduled pay cuts that Members of Congress consistently override. While doctors, patients, and lawmakers have grown accustomed to the "doc fix," the ritual has grown unpleasant for all involved. Doctors are fed up with the looming pay cuts, patients are losing access to their trusted physicians, and lawmakers are tired of the political sparring that occurs each time a pay patch is needed.."These practices pose a risk of severe tissue damage and corrosive injury and should be strictly avoided," the CDC researchers wrote in a paper, published in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. "Although adverse health effects reported by respondents could not be attributed to their engaging in high-risk practices, the association between these high-risk practices and reported health effects indicates a need for public health messaging regarding safe and effective cleaning practices aimed at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in households.".Experts said the long-term effects of the virus on doctors and Medicare remain unknown. But the shortage of cash that many doctors are experiencing because of the coronavirus epidemic has revealed the shortcomings of how primary care doctors are paid..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..They are willing to pay more for Social Security, if necessary, to keep the program strong..Upon introducing the bill back in 2015, Congressman John Larson said: "Social Security remains the nation's bedrock retirement program and provides vital protection … Many Americans, however, do not believe it will be there for them when they retire. I am proud to announce a common sense path forward today that not only strengthens benefits now, but ensures Social Security will be here through the next century.".Consumer price index data show that the rate of inflation has changed significantly over the past decade, and has yet to return to the average rate during the decade prior to the 2010 Great Recession. From 1999 to 2008, COLAs averaged 3%. Since 2010, however, the COLA, which is tied to the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, has averaged just 1.4%. Since that year, inflation has been so low that there was no COLA payable three times - in 2010, 2011, and 201In 2017, inflation was almost zero at just 0.3 percentage point. This is not normal, and research on the costs experienced by older Americans indicates the COLA often doesn't reflect inflation that retirees actually experience..Democrats have delayed the start of the program in part because of its cost and an agreement to limit the overall spending in the Biden budget bill to .5 trillion. There is some talk on Capitol Hill of offering seniors limited vouchers to use toward dental benefits before 2028 as a compromise.

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The Senior Citizens League would like to remind you that both Houses of Congress have adjourned for the August recess. The Senate is expected to be back in session on September 6th, while the House of Representatives will return on September 7th..This creates problems especially in emergency room visits when the patient may require pricey services such as those from an air ambulance, doctor or other provider that does not have a contract with the patient's Medicare Advantage plan. When health plans get such bills, they can reject the claim and patients wind up on the hook for the "balance bill." While the average emergency room visit is just above 0, some patients have received surprise bills greater than 0,000 from out-of-network providers..When you simply claim benefits at age 66, Social Security will "deem" you eligible for both your own retirement benefit, and an ex spouse benefit. You receive your own benefit first, and the balance that you are eligible for as a divorced spouse would make up the difference. But by claiming at 66 you loose the advantage of delayed retirement credits that can boost your benefit by 8% per year from full retirement age to age 70. … Continued

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Even President Trump said this about his own party: "Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security," he said in one appearance. "They want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid..In the months ahead, The Senior Citizens League will continue to advocate tirelessly for the bipartisan Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act, and we hope to see it signed into law before the 115th Congress comes to a close at the end of this year. In the meantime, we encourage our supporters to contact their elected officials to request their support for H.R. 50For contact information, visit our website at. There, you can also share your story with The Senior Citizens League and tell us how you would benefit from the passage of the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act..According to Aging Committee Chairman Susan Collins, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death. In her opening statement, Chairman Collins said: "If we continue along this trajectory, Alzheimer's is projected to claim the minds of nearly 14 million seniors and surpass trillion in costs by 2050." … Continued

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