This week, lawmakers in the House and Senate adjourned for a week-long recess. In addition, The Senior Citizens League saw three key Social Security and Medicare bills gain support in the House.
Lawmakers Adjourn for Recess
This week, lawmakers remained in their home states and districts for a week-long recess. They are scheduled to be back in Washington on Monday, May 7th. In the meantime, many Members of Congress will be attending local events and hosting town hall meetings.
The Senior Citizens League encourages its supporters to attend these events and to ask important questions of their elected officials, like the following three…
- 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?
- In April, House lawmakers voted on a balanced budget amendment to the constitution that would have been disastrous for Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries if adopted. Did you support this drastic measure, and if so, why?
- Most Americans contribute 6.2 percent of every paycheck to Social Security, but due to the payroll tax cap, people earning more than $128,400 contribute nothing over that amount. Eliminating the payroll tax cap would extend the solvency of the program responsibly, without cutting benefits for seniors. Do you agree?
For more information about town hall meetings near you, click HERE. You can also call the local offices of your Members of Congress to request information about upcoming town halls. For contact information, click HERE.
Three Key Bills Gain Support in House
This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for three key bills.
First, one new cosponsor – Representative Conor Lamb (PA-18) – signed on to the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 1902), bringing the total up to 172. If adopted, H.R. 1902 would strengthen Social Security benefits by improving the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), increasing monthly benefits by 2 percent, creating a new Special Minimum Benefit equal to 125 percent of the poverty line, and providing a tax cut to millions of Social Security beneficiaries. To cover the cost of these changes and to extend the solvency of the program through the year 2100, it would apply the payroll tax to annual income over $400,000 and gradually increase the payroll tax rate by 0.25 percent.
In addition, one new cosponsor signed on to the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2575), bringing the total up to eighteen. The new cosponsor is Representative Seth Moulton (MA-6). If signed into law, the BENES Act would simplify the Medicare enrollment process and better inform those approaching Medicare eligibility about their future benefits and the application process.
Finally, four new cosponsors signed on to the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act (H.R. 4841), bringing the total up to eighteen cosponsors. The new cosponsors are: Representative Pete Sessions (TX-32), Representative Walter Jones (NC-3), Representative Doris Matsui (CA-6), and Representative Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-9). If adopted, H.R. 4841 would allow for and standardize electronic prior authorization for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
TSCL was pleased to see support grow for H.R. 1902, H.R. 2575, and H.R. 4841 this week, and we will continue to advocate for them tirelessly in the months ahead. For more information, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. For updates on the progress of these and other bills, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter.