If you're preparing for a long sea journey and about to set sail in stormy waters would you knowingly board a ship without adequate lifeboats or an emergency plan? Dumb question, I agree, but this is what the nation's retirees and Baby Boomers are getting ready to do,. The upcoming election will be one of the most important votes we ever make to determine the future of our Security and Medicare benefits. But voters are headed to the polls with frustratingly few details about candidates' plans..The health premium subsidy will be paid on your behalf directly to your selected insurance plan, and you will get tax credits that reduce the total amount of tax you owe to the IRS. This can mean a bigger refund if you don't owe. The credit begins with insurance that starts January 1, 2014 or later..In most years, seniors receive a small increase in their Social Security checks, intended to help them keep up with rising costs. But since 2000, the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment has increased benefits just 38 percent while typical senior expenses have jumped 81 percent, more than twice as fast. Inflation has been at historic lows in recent years and seniors received a 1.7 percent COLA this year..In fact, unlike the additional Medicare tax on high earners, this 3.8% net investment tax was not even a specific provision of the Affordable Care Act. It was a provision of a separate bill, the Health Care Education and Reconciliation Act of 2010 which was passed about two days after the Affordable Care Act. By setting up the revenues so that they would flow to the General Fund, Congress by-passed earmarking those revenues for Medicare Part A or Part B Trust Fund. That means when the funds are used for other government spending, the Medicare Trust Funds are not earning any interest from the federal government for the use of those funds..List prices increased by an average 4.6% in January, which is the largest amount in years. Most list price increases end up trickling down to patients in the form of higher cash and net prices, which is especially important for those who have high deductibles and the uninsured.."The side effects of the drug, to be sold as Aduhelm by maker Biogen, are troubling and the cost is staggering, at ,000 per year 'forever,' doctors told STAT. More than one-third of trial participants developed brain swelling and 17% to 19% had small bleeds in their brains.".So, while we like the news that they still want to act this year, TSCL is taking a wait-and-see position..Congress Adjourns for Summer Recess.Since the start of the first CPI in 1940, the BLS has made changes to how it calculates price inflation - most recently announcing changes to how they collect price data. A new paper reports that the BLS has undertaken several pilot projects in an attempt to supplement and/or replace its traditional field collection of price data with "alternative sources." If that sounds suspicious, you have good reason to ask questions. The BLS Handbook of Methods lists more than 21 changes that economists have made to how they calculate the CPI since 198In most cases the so-called "improvements" tend to slow the measured rate of inflation. That means the growth in COLAs is cut and Social Security benefits grow more slowly over time. In short, this boils down to an erosion in the buying power of your Social Security benefits when, in reality, prices are actually going up.
TSCL believes that in the lame-duck session following the November elections, Congress must prioritize the passage of legislation that would make the Social Security COLA more fair and accurate. In the weeks ahead, our legislative team will continue to advocate for the CPI-E Act, as well as for legislation like the SAVE Benefits Act, which would make up for this year's zero COLA with a one-time emergency 3.9 percent increase. For progress updates, follow TSCL on Twitter or Facebook..In April, more than 150 House lawmakers proposed a budget blueprint that would have reformed the Medicare program and cut Social Security benefits by adopting the "chained" CPI, eliminating the COLA for some seniors, and raising the eligibility age. Did you support this budget blueprint, and if so, why?.[iii] The Social Security Disability Insurance Program, testimony of Joyce Manchester before the Subcommittee on Social Security Committee on Ways and Means, March 14, 2013. … Continued
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Most Americans contribute 6.2% of every paycheck to Social Security, but due to the taxable maximum earnings cap, wealthy individuals earning more than 8,500 pay nothing above that amount. Do you support increasing or eliminating the maximum taxable earnings limit to make the program more solvent?.Even though Congress passed and sent to the President this week an emergency supplemental spending bill to deal with the coronavirus, the issues caused by the outbreak may result in the failure to pass other legislation that had been planned on.."More good news: More than 90% of beneficiaries reported following advice on hand washing, social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding large groups and sick people." … Continued