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The Latest News on Social Security and Medicare

The 2016 Medicare Trustees Report shows that Medicare solvency remains greatly improved since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with the Hospital Trust Fund paying full benefits until 2028 and the increase in per enrollee spending continuing to be lower than the growth in overall per capita national health expenditures.


Experts and policy-makers will address the urgent need to update Medicare coverage to reflect the serious health issues that stem from hearing loss. Specific attention will be paid to Rep. Debbie Dingell’s (D-MI) bill, the Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2015 (H.R. 1653), which would allow Medicare to provide coverage for hearing aids.


What’s likely to be missing in headlines about today’s Social Security Trustees Report is that the program remains well-funded with total income, again, projected to exceed expenses. However, in order to head off a benefit cut in 2034 Washington should embrace the growing movement to lift the payroll tax cap and expand benefits for the millions of seniors struggling to get by on an average $1,300 retirement benefit. 


On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse your bill, H.R. 5342, the Fair COLA for Seniors Act of 2016.  Your legislation would offer Social Security beneficiaries a one-time emergency benefit payment equal to a 3.9 percent pay raise in response to no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2016.


Medicare beneficiaries who received denials of Medicare coverage for various types of medical services and who appealed but did not receive an ALJ decision to within the specified 90-day period, a settlement on behalf of a nationwide class has been proposed. 


Nearly 51 years ago Medicare - one of our nation's most popular and successful programs - was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.  Since then, Medicare has helped lift generations of Americans out of poverty.  Before the enactment of Medicare in 1965, only 50 percent of seniors had health insurance and 35 percent lived in poverty. 


On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse H.R. 5396, the “Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act of 2016.” It is our hope that action will be taken on your legislation during the current 114th Congress.


The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a Fiscal Year 2017 budget appropriations bill that completely eliminates the $52.1 million in funding for the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Medicare Rights Center, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and National Council on Aging (NCOA) strongly oppose this move because it would leave 55 million people with Medicare without the only program that provides free, personalized, unbiased counseling on the growing complexities of Medicare coverage.


The Social Security and Latino’s Summit, a joint venture between the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and AARP, is designed to bring awareness to the importance of safeguarding Social Security's future by finding commonsense, non-partisan solutions that extend the solvency of the program while expanding benefits. 


The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare will hold a daylong thought leadership symposium in Boston on June 7 entitled 10K/Day: Medicare's Future as 10,000 Americans Turn 65 Every Day. This symposium will explore the current state of Medicare and Medicaid at their 50-year marks. Experts in the fields of health care, advocacy, economics and aging will discuss the future challenges facing an ever-growing beneficiary population and explore an array of opportunities to meet the needs of the aged and the aging.

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Each day 10 thousand Americans become eligible for Medicare. The aging of the baby boom generation certainly isn’t a surprise to anyone and yet, instead of boosting programs to serve this increased need, Republican Congressional leaders continue to slash and now eliminate programs designed to help millions of aging Americans and their families.

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