Benefit Bulletin: January 2021

Benefit Bulletin: January 2021

Congress May Be Politically Divided, But Large Majority of Retirees Support These Five Important Issues

By Rick Delaney, Chairman of the Board, TSCL

The year 2020 will go down in history as one of our nation’s most bitter, and politically divisive.  Surprisingly though, most journalists who contacted us were interested in learning the issues for which there is widespread levels of agreement among retirees — regardless of party affiliation.  According to TSCL Senior Surveys, there are more such areas of consensus than you probably realize.

We think these areas of agreement merit special attention from Members of Congress on both sides of the political spectrum.  The issues provide a road map for the type of legislative solutions that can strengthen funding for Social Security and Medicare, while improving the living standards and health of all older adults.

Here are five top areas of consensus from TSCL’s 2020 Senior Survey:

  1. To save government spending on Medicare and out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries, Congress should allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices by tying U.S. prices to prices paid in other industrialized countries like Canada, Great Britain and Japan where prices are lower. —85% Support
  2. Congress should strengthen Social Security benefits by boosting payments about 2% (roughly $30 per month on average) and tie the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) which would yield a modestly higher COLA in most years. — 83% Support
  3. To save money for Medicare and Medicare beneficiaries, Congress should restrict price increases of prescription drugs to no more than the rate of inflation. — 83% Support
  4. To save money for Medicare beneficiaries, Congress should prohibit “surprise medical bills.”  Congress should require healthcare providers and insurers to accept fees no greater than 20% more than the Medicare approved fees as settlement. — 82%  Support
  5. To increase revenues coming into Social Security, Congress should change the law to apply the Social Security payroll tax to all earnings, instead of the first $137,700 of earnings (Recently adjusted to $142,800 in 2021). — 72%  Support

This edition of The Social Security and Medicare Advisor features TSCL’s 2021 Senior Survey.  We urge each and every one of you to take this new survey.  The answers to these questions are not only critical to our legislative work and meetings with Members of Congress, but your opinions help the public to understand the issues and your support for legislative options to address those problems.  Please take TSCL’s 2021 Senior Survey.