GOP members of the House Ways and Means Committee held an all-Republican roundtable on the future of the program on June 29. That’s a little like holding an all-Red Sox roundtable on the future of the Yankees. Republicans have spent four decades devising ways to undermine Social Security – including their triad of terrible ideas: raising the retirement age, means-testing benefits, and privatizing the program
Deb Gordon’s piece in Forbes entitled, 88% Of Medicare Advantage Enrollees Are Happy With Their Health Insurance, New Study Shows, is more like an industry press release than a bona fide news story. The writer herself is a representative of the insurance industry, hardly an objective author for a piece about the insurance industry.
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans – the privatized alternative to traditional Medicare – are coming under growing scrutiny for a number of questionable practices that undermine patient care and overcharge taxpayers.
Social Security’s trust fund received a one-year reprieve in the 2022 Social Security Trustees report, released late Thursday afternoon. The Trustees project that the combined disability and retirement trust fund will become depleted in 2035 – one year later than predicted last time – if Congress doesn’t take preventative action. When the trust fund becomes insolvent, the Trustees say, Social Security will only be able to pay 80% of scheduled benefits.
The takeaway from the latest Social Security Trustees report is this: Congress must strengthen the program’s finances without delay. The Trustees project that the combined Social Security retirement and disability trust fund will become depleted by 2035.
If you are represented by a Democrat in the U.S. House, chances are that your member of Congress has already cosponsored a piece of landmark legislation to boost and strengthen Social Security: Rep. John Larson’s Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust. In fact, the bill currently has 202 Democratic cosponsors (and zero Republicans). But some Democrats have not signed on as cosponsors.
Witness after witness at Tuesday’s Congressional hearing on Social Security Administration (SSA) customer service testified that the agency is in dire need of additional resources in order to properly serve the public. The hearing was held by the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Larson (D-CT), with testimony from a variety of witnesses from SSA and advocacy groups.
Medicare Part D prescription drug beneficiaries can be in for a rude surprise after they sign up for coverage. In an article this week in Kaiser Health News, Susan Jaffe writes that the price of a drug may jump within a month of a patient enrolling in the Part D drug plan
We have been sounding alarm bells for many years about Medicare Advantage (MA), the privately-run health plans for seniors that are growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional Medicare. This week, an eye-opening report by the Inspector General’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed some key criticisms by the National Committee and other seniors’ advocates - namely, that MA plans are denying legitimate claims and refusing to authorize reasonable medical procedures.
Some two decades ago, seniors had a Congressional committee dedicated solely to safeguarding their interests. Then the Republicans, led by Speaker Newt Gingrich, took control of the House for the first time in 40 years and shut down the House Select Committee on Aging. Today, there is a movement to revive that committee – and there truly is no moment since 1994 when it has been so sorely needed.