Legislative Update: August 2014

Legislative Update: August 2014

Ten Questions To Ask At Your Next Townhall

By Jessie Gibbons, Legislative Assistant

Members of Congress have adjourned for a month-long recess, and most of them will be busy preparing for the upcoming elections by hosting town hall meetings and attending local events in their home states and districts.  We encourage our members and supporters to attend these events, as they present excellent opportunities for constituents to make their voices heard.  To best be prepared, it's a good idea to jot down some questions that you would like to ask your elected officials.  Below are ten examples - feel free to take them with you to your next town hall meeting.

1. Research shows that the current Social Security COLA does not accurately represent the inflation that seniors experience. Do you support basing the COLA on an index specifically for the elderly?

2. Seniors have lost more than 30% of their purchasing power since 2000. Do you support the adoption of the "chained" CPI for the calculation of COLAs, which would put the purchasing power of Social Security benefits even further behind?

3. The Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in just two or three years. What do you feel should be done to restore this program's solvency?

4. The Social Security Trustees project that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund will become fully exhausted by 2033. Do you think changes are needed, and if so, what?

5. Under current law, noncitizens can qualify for Social Security benefits based on work that was done prior to gaining work authorization, under invalid Social Security numbers. Once they receive green cards, they become entitled to benefits based on prior "illegal" work. If elected, would you support legislation to modify this policy?

6. Many lawmakers feel that major Medicare reform is needed in order to reduce government spending and debt. Do you agree, and if so, what changes do you think must be made?

7. Experts estimate that fraud, waste, and abuse within Medicare costs more than $60 billion each year. What efforts do you support to ramp up prevention?

8. Medicare Advantage plans have faced steep cuts in recent years due to Obamacare, and many enrollees have been forced to change doctors or pay higher out-of-pocket costs as a result. What will you do to address this issue?

9. In recent years, many doctors have stopped accepting seniors as patients out of frustration with the faulty Medicare payment system. If elected, will you work to repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate formula once and for all?

10. Many seniors under the age of sixty-five have said that the insurance options available to them under Obamacare are too few and too costly, even with subsidies. What do you feel should be done about this?