Legislative Update for Week Ending March 16, 2018

Legislative Update for Week Ending March 16, 2018

This week, The Senior Citizens League’s (TSCL’s) Board of Trustees visited Capitol Hill to build support for legislation that would strengthen and protect Social Security. In addition, two key bills gained support in the House and Senate.

Board of Trustees Visits Washington

This week, TSCL’s Board of Trustees traveled to Washington from across the United States to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and to discuss their legislative priorities for the year ahead. The volunteer members of TSCL’s Board of Trustees are all retired veterans and selflessly give their time to helping seniors. Our Board positions are as follows: Arthur Cooper (Chairman), Richard Delaney (Vice Chairman), Thomas O’Connell (Secretary), Deb Oelschig (Treasurer), Joseph Kluck (Legislative Liaison), John Adams (National President of The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA)), and Ed Cates (Immediate Past Chairman).

TSCL’s Board of Trustees attended a hearing on Wednesday morning where Mr. Adams – National President of TREA – testified before the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees. Following the hearing, the board visited several congressional offices to build support for legislation that would strengthen and protect Social Security benefits.

On Thursday, TSCL’s Board of Trustees reflected on recent legislative successes, including the passage of the Social Security Fraud Prevention Act, the expansion of the Medical Expense Deduction in last year’s tax reform package, the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the closing of Medicare Part D’s “doughnut hole,” and the permanent repeal of Medicare therapy caps.

The members of the Board of Trustees also discussed their legislative priorities for the year ahead on Thursday. The following issues, among many others, remain at the top of TSCL’s legislative agenda: making the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) more fair and adequate, reforming and expanding Social Security responsibly – without cutting benefits for seniors, allowing the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices on behalf of Medicare Part D beneficiaries, and preserving access to Medicaid for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.

For more information about TSCL’s legislative agenda, click HERE. To read the biographies of TSCL’s volunteer Board of Trustees members, click HERE. To view photos from this week’s meetings in Washington, visit our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Key Bills Gain Support

This week, TSCL was pleased to see support grow for two key bills. First, the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act of 2018 (H.R. 4841) gained one new cosponsor in Representative David Young (IA-3), bringing the new cosponsor total to seven. If signed into law, H.R. 4841 would allow for and standardize electronic prior authorization (ePA) for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.

The CREATES Act of 2017 (H.R. 2212, S. 974) gained four new cosponsors in the House of Representatives in Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-1), Representative John Duncan (TN-2), Representative John Culberson (TX-7), and Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), bringing the new cosponsor to thirteen. In the Senate, the bill gained new cosponsors in Senator Angus King (ME), Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI), Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Senator Steve Daines (MT), bringing the cosponsor total to twenty.  If signed into law, the CREATES Act would increase competition in the prescription drug industry by encouraging generic and biosimilar drug manufacturers to introduce their products to the market more quickly.

TSCL enthusiastically supports H.R. 4841, H.R. 2212, and S. 974, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For more information, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website.