Social Security and Medicare defenders often say that the public doesn’t understand the threat that Republicans pose to these programs. Indeed, many Republicans proclaim support for both while pushing proposals to undermine them. But lately it seems as if Republicans are going out of their way to lay bare their intentions – or, as some put it, “to say the quiet part out loud.” Earlier this week, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said during an interview that Social Security and Medicare should no longer be mandatory spending programs
News of a deal between Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer for a broader reconciliation package including climate, inflation, and prescription
Senator Joe Manchin has once again pulled the proverbial football away from Chuck Schumer just before the kick. After negotiating with the Senate Majority Leader over a pared-back version of the Build Back Better bill, Sen. Manchin has once again withdrawn his support - not for the entire plan, but for key components that would have helped seniors. He declared on Thursday that he would not support any new tax provisions. One of these provisions would have closed a loophole, compelling the wealthy to pay a 3.8% investment tax. The revenue would have been directed to the Medicare Part A trust fund, which is currently projected to run dry in 2028.
The negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) over a new budget reconciliation deal have been great fodder for political journalists, but they are also incredibly important to American seniors. Senators Schumer and Manchin are haggling over a pared-down version of the Build Back Better legislation, which the West Virginia Senator effectively killed earlier this year, designed to pass with only Democratic votes via the reconciliation process. The new package reportedly retains some crucial items for older Americans: prescription drug pricing reform and Medicare solvency.
More than 100 members of the U.S. House have sent a letter to the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in an effort to expand Medicare dental coverage. (Traditional Medicare only covers “medically necessary” dental care in a narrowly defined way that excludes not only routine care, but many illness-related treatments.) The members implored CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to broaden the definition of “medically necessary” to cover many more types of dental care.
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.