Legislative Update for Week Ending April 25, 2014

Legislative Update for Week Ending April 25, 2014

Action on Capitol Hill remained slow this week as the spring recess continued. However, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) did announce its support for one new piece of legislation.

Spring Recess Continues

Members of the House and Senate remained in their home states and districts this week for the final week of the spring recess. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Monday, April 28th. Through this weekend, many Members of Congress will attend local events and hold town hall meetings. The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) urges its members and supporters to attend town halls in the coming days, since they are an excellent opportunity for constituents to voice their concerns and have their most pressing questions answered.

The following Members of Congress, among others, will hold town halls before returning to Capitol Hill on Monday, April 28th: Sen. Joe Manchin (WV), Sen. Michael Crapo (ID), Sen. Mike Lee (UT), Rep. Mike Pocan (WI-2), Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-3), Rep. Diane Black (TN-6), Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-6), Rep. Donna Edwards (MD-4), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23), Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-4), and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-5).

For more information, or to see if your Members of Congress have scheduled town halls this weekend, contact their local offices. You can find contact information HERE.

TSCL Supports New Bill

This week, TSCL announced its support for the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act (S. 569 and H.R. 1179). The bill was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) in the Senate, and by Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-2) in the House. If signed into law, the bill would amend current Medicare policy to count hospital stays under “observation status” towards the three-day hospital stay requirement for skilled nursing care.

Currently, "inpatient" hospital stays of at least three days are required before the program will cover post-hospitalization skilled nursing care. Those under "observation status" don't qualify for the benefit, even when their stays last longer than three days. They are often hit with large, unexpected bills after receiving necessary medical care.

Upon introducing the bill, Senator Brown stated, "When seniors are transferred from a hospital to a nursing home for further care, they should be able to focus on their recovery instead of technicalities that could lead to sky high medical bills. My bipartisan legislation would help seniors receive the care they need without incurring unexpected and unfair costs."

TSCL enthusiastically supports the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act, and we look forward to working with Sen. Brown and Rep. Courtney in the coming months to help build support for it.