Without a doubt the public is often justifiably confused about the convoluted workings of federal benefit programs. But the one thing we are all aware of is the amount of money we pay into Social Security, which includes taxes for both retirement AND disability insurance benefits. Social Security disability benefits are earned - same as retirement benefits. Of the 12.4% payroll tax paid by workers and employers, the retirement trust fund gets 10.6% and the disability insurance trust fund gets 1.8% of the revenues collected..In a letter of support, Art Cooper Chairman of The Senior Citizens League's Board of Trustees wrote: "As you know, millions of older Americans are afflicted with age-related hearing loss, low vision, and poor oral health … When left untreated, their conditions often cause much more serious injuries and health complications. But when successfully treated, the result is improved overall health and potentially lower costs for Medicare and patients.".It can happen because the patient got treated by a doctor not on the list of providers that contract with that person's health plan to provide care at negotiated rates. This can happen on visits to a hospital emergency room, when there's no option of which doctor to see, for example..Due to a loop hole in Social Security law, the pending controversial Totalization Agreement, signed in June 2004, would allow millions of Mexican workers, and dependents on their accounts, to become entitled to Social Security benefits that include credit for earnings received while working illegally. If allowed to take effect, TSCL believes hundreds of billions in Social Security benefits are at stake..Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens: Congressional Research Service, July 20, 2006, RL32004..Congress Still Working to Avoid Government Shutdown.Last November, President Obama bypassed Congress to halt the deportations of nearly 5 million unauthorized immigrants. Do you believe his executive orders have overstepped the constitutional limits and that they should be fully implemented?.Your Social Security benefits are affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision. It affects people who have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and other jobs in which Social Security taxes were not taken out of your pay - like some government jobs, or for employers in other countries. The good news is that the WEP does not apply to survivors benefits, and because your wife worked in a private sector job that was covered by Social Security, she's not affected by the Government Pension Offset - a similar provision that reduces spouses and survivor benefits.."The Underlying Causes Of Surprise Medical Bills," David Blumenthal and Shanoor Seervai, The Commonwealth Fund, April 26, 201"Surprise! Congress Takes Steps To Curb Unexpected Medical Bills," Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News, December 22, 2020, "Surprise Medical Bills Cost Americans Millions. Congress Finally Banned Most Of Them." Sarah Kliff and Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times, December 22, 2020.

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case feels just as crummy..According to the three Senators, under current law, the administration has the authority to allow pharmacists and wholesale retailers to import prescription drugs from Canada, where medicines are often half the price. The administration also has the power to issue an executive order that would allow individuals to import prescription drugs from Canada for their own personal use..TSCL Releases 2018 Loss of Buying Power Study … Continued

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It remains to be seen whether Republicans in the Senate will begin working with Democrats on legislation that would stabilize the health insurance markets, or whether they will shift their focus to other legislative priorities. Following the failed vote early Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his colleagues: "I regret that our efforts were simply not enough … It's time to move on.".The 2020 Medicare Trustees report recently estimated that the Hospital Insurance Trust fund will become depleted in six more years - 202"But the high level of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus for seriously ill Medicare patients may shorten the life expectancy of the Medicare Trust Fund," Johnson says..Senator Mitt Romney recently led a bipartisan Senate group in introducing legislation aimed at fixing Social Security and Medicare's funding shortfalls. If nothing changes, the programs' trust funds are expected to become insolvent in 15 years. If that should occur, benefits would be reduced by about 22 percent in order to match the amount of payroll taxes coming in. … Continued

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