This week, House lawmakers remained in their home districts to continue the August recess. Meanwhile, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw support grow in the Senate for three bipartisan bills that would strengthen the Medicare program.
August Recess Continues for House Lawmakers
This week, lawmakers in the House remained in their home districts to continue the summer recess. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, September 4th. In the meantime, many Members of Congress will be attending local events and hosting town hall meetings in their home districts. The Senior Citizens League encourages its supporters to attend these events and to ask important questions of their elected officials, like the following five...
- Some lawmakers are advocating for paid leave legislation that would require new parents to trade their future Social Security retirement benefits for twelve weeks of parental leave. This would undermine the mission of the Social Security program, increase its insolvency, and permanently cut the retirement benefits of those who take paid leave. Do you think this is a responsible proposal?
- Social Security beneficiaries received a 2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) this year, but most have seen their benefit increases completely offset by higher Medicare Part B premiums. Do you support legislation that would give older Americans a more fair and adequate Social Security COLA?
- In April, more than 150 House lawmakers proposed a budget blueprint that would have reformed the Medicare program and cut Social Security benefits by adopting the “chained” CPI, eliminating the COLA for some seniors, and raising the eligibility age. Did you support this budget blueprint, and if so, why?
- The federal government negotiates prescription drug prices for Medicaid and for veterans, but it is barred from negotiating lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries. As a result, senior citizens enrolled in Part D often pay much higher prices for their prescriptions. What are you doing to correct this unfair policy?
- Medicare is currently prohibited from covering most hearing, vision, and dental services, even though millions of seniors are afflicted with age-related hearing loss, low vision, and poor oral health. When left untreated, these conditions often result in serious injuries and complications. What do you feel should be done about this?
For information about town hall meetings near you in the days ahead, call the local offices of your elected officials. For contact information, click HERE.
Three Key Senate Bills Gain Support
This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for three bipartisan bills that would improve the Medicare program and reduce prescription drug prices.
First, two new cosponsors – Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Senator Deb Fischer (NE) – signed on to the bipartisan Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553), bringing the total up to thirteen. If adopted, the bill would prohibit “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling patients when their prescriptions would be cheaper out-of-pocket than through their insurance plans.
Second, two new cosponsors – Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS) – signed on to the bipartisan Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer’s Needs to Get to an End (CHANGE) Act (S. 2387), bringing the total up to eight. If adopted, it would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to create programs that would promote early identification of Alzheimer’s disease, improve support for family caregivers, and provide continuous care for those battling many forms of dementia.
Finally, two new cosponsors – Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and Senator Deb Fischer (NE) – signed on to the bipartisan CREATES Act (S. 974), bringing the total up to thirty in the Senate. If adopted, the bill would increase competition in the prescription drug industry by encouraging generic and biosimilar drug manufacturers to introduce their products to the market more quickly.
The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports S. 2553, S. 2387, and S. 974, and we will continue to advocate for their passage on Capitol Hill in the months ahead. For more information about these and other bills that have been backed by The Senior Citizens League, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. For frequent progress updates, follow TSCL on Twitter.