Advocacy

House of Representatives Will Consider Several Bills Important to Seniors

kevin-mccarthyby Bob Carlstrom

In the coming weeks, the House of Representatives will consider several bills important to seniors.  Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)  highlights these bills in the following excerpt from his briefing memorandum of May 29 to House Republicans:

June 15th – 18th

“With the economic downturn and rising health care costs, seniors, like so many other Americans, have seen their finances spread thin. Obamacare makes it even worse. Beyond Obamacare’s added costs, reduced choice and access to Medicare Advantage plans for seniors, the law’s 15 person Independent Payment Advisory Board acts as a de facto rationing body through arbitrary cuts to providers that can effectively stop access to care in order to control costs.

“In the name of helping seniors, Obamacare is actually hurting them by weakening Medicare and increasing costs. The House is acting this week to uphold our promise to defend America’s seniors with a combination of the following bills from the Ways and Means Committee that reduce the costs of Obamacare, stop Medicare rationing, and improve the Medicare Advantage (MA) program:

  • H.R. 160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act (Paulsen), which repeals the onerous 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers which not only harms jobs and innovation but also seniors who rely on these life-saving devices.
  • H.R. 1190, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (Roe), which repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel of 15 unelected and unaccountable government bureaucrats tasked with reducing Medicare costs through arbitrary cuts to providers, limiting access to care for seniors.
  • H.R. 2505, the Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act of 2015 (M. Kelly), which requires greater transparency by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to annually report on enrollment data in MA plans.
  • H.R. 2506, the Seniors’ Health Care Plan Protection Act of 2015 (Buchanan), which delays the authority to terminate MA contracts for plans failing to achieve minimum quality ratings under the Medicare Advantage STARS rating system – allowing seniors to choose and keep the plan that fits their needs.
  • H.R. 2507, the Increasing Regulatory Fairness Act of 2015 (K. Brady), which expands an annual regulatory schedule for MA payment rates so that stakeholders have the necessary time to review and provide feedback to ensure seniors continue to have access to quality low-cost plans of their choosing.
  • H.R 2579, the Securing Care for Seniors Act of 2015 (Black), which requires CMS to reevaluate and as appropriate make changes to the MA risk adjustment model to ensure that it is accurate, evidence-based and transparent so that seniors can maintain the choice and access to low-cost quality plans. The legislation also includes a Sense of Congress regarding ongoing efforts to reform the Medicare Advantage STARS program.
  • H.R. 2570, the Value Based Insurance Design for Better Care Act of 2015 (Black), which establishes a demonstration program that removes barriers and allows plans to innovate and incentivize high-value care that promotes better health outcomes through  varying their plan benefits based on beneficiary population.

“The House may also consider H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act (Upton). This important bill aims to make sure government doesn’t get in the way of, but rather enables, innovation through streamlining and accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of medical cures for patients.

June 23rd – 26th

“The House will end the month with several bills from the Energy and Commerce Committee which will protect consumers from burdensome & costly EPA regulations, keep the decision power in the hands of the states, and help modernize outdated laws:

  • H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act (Whitfield), which addresses EPA’s pending carbon dioxide (CO2) regulations for existing power plants. It would allow for judicial review of any final rule before states would be required to comply and would empower states to protect families and businesses from electricity rate increases, reduced electric reliability, and other harmful effects.
  • H.R. 1734, the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act (McKinley), which is a bipartisan bill that provides job-creators, and over 300,000 workers, with certainty by putting states in charge of the enforcement authority to implement the standards set by EPA regarding the safe disposal of coal ash.   …

 

“Finally, let’s see who can be the first to correctly answer this month’s trivia question:  Which President’s birth name was Leslie King Jr.?”

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John W Laverty
5 years ago

Dismantle Congress and send them all back to their Districts. The Den of Thieves are huddled together with way to easy access by the Lobbyst who overwhelm them with gifts, money and promises to promote them in Office and get them re-electd. We do not our Represenatives to be in Washington…they need to be home where they were Elected to serve with dignity, truth and valor! We have Electronic Conferncing, I Pads, computers and real time Communications…so why do we need anyone to take a seat in the Big House, have a expensive Office wiht a staff that caters to their every whim and need, and extra home in the Washington Suburbs with the most expensive Real Estate and cost of living in the Nation. Send them home, so we can watch them, and listen to the People, not the Lobbyist!

George B
6 years ago

When will the general public finally realize that communicating with your “sorry” representative is a total waste of time – it just plays into their hand of kicking cans down the road while they amass a fortune off the backs of John Q Taxpayer.
The only solution is to enact term limits on congress ( one – six year term would be ideal, no chance for re-election to any federal office would eliminate career politicians and low life lobbyists in one fell swoop).
The only current presidential candidate calling for term limits is Rand Paul. Unfortunately he apparently is so busy fund raising that he has neglected to set up a campaign website whereby us “subjects” can actually contact him with some ideas on how to actually implement term limits.
Our founding fathers never envisioned career politicians – they have to be nauseous in their graves!!

Chrys Desmond
6 years ago

It’s always the middle class that gets stuck footing the bill.

raleigh
6 years ago

Why is it that we are running out of Social Security and Medicare money, but we never run out of welfare and food stamp money?

Chrys Desmond
6 years ago
Reply to  raleigh

Because the money we pay into SS and Medicare is used to fund welfare and food stamps. The baby boomers that paid into the system for 40 years or more are now being told that we are going to bankrupt the system as we become eligible to collect benefits but seems there isn’t much discussion about cutting benefits paid to recipients of welfare and food stamps that have never paid into the system.
Remember when welfare and food stamps were “temporary” assistance programs to help people through difficult times? Now people can collect indefinitely.
Why work when you get a check for doing nothing? After all, there are plenty of “rich”
that go to work every day so the government can keep those EBT cards coming. Just doing something to eliminate the fraud in the welfare system would help to keep SS and Medicare viable

Douglas
6 years ago

I am always dismayed when I see articles like this. Has adequate attention been paid to compare apples to apples. When comparing tax rates for the wealthier among us to those of us, less compensated, it seems to me that possibly not all the tax on the wealthier side of the formula gets counted.

The difference in large part comes from Capital Gains/Dividends for the weathy side of the ledger versus wages for the poorer side. This article puts the tax at 22% for the wealthy 28% for the rest of us. However, in most cases there is risk to CapitalGains/Dividends. If you take the risk you should get the reward or the pounding you earn. Also, Dividends are usually paid with taxed dollars. I may be wrong but probably not included in the 22%.

I have been investing since I was 18 and scraped together $300 to buy my first shares of stock. It was a good learning experience but stunk financially. Not long after that I was earning money like the wealthy although on a much smaller scale. If I will assume some risk and invest in a stock paying a 3% yield. Instead of responding, I’m only getting paid 0.05% from my bank, it not fair he’s getting 3%, tax him, you should be asking yourself, how do I get some of that 3%?

I started small and am still working at it but my objective isn’t to bring the wealthy down to my level (That hurts them and won’t help me) but to raise myself up to their level. The path up for most of us is hard work and smart living and investing. Of course, if you can invent the next big thing you may get there faster. However, if you don’t develop your smarts, the path down may be just as fast.

If we’d replace the current tax system with the “FAIR Tax” most if not all of these issues would go away.

Don Brown
6 years ago

As long as our got is full of socialists the taxing to death of struggling seniors will continue.Soc. Sec should never have been taxed .it’s hard enough to make it on that small income.thanks democraps!politicians only care about themselves.they look out only for themselves.

Cliff Smith
6 years ago

Your poll this week wanted suggestions for new content. I think a weekly agenda such as the one on this page: “House of Representatives Will Consider Several Bills Important to Seniors” by Bob Carlstrom (only real-time-forward, rather than seeing what most of us missed historically) would be an excellent new regular feature. We as a group could be much more effective at addressing issues with our sorry elected representation by being able to light fires under their butts on impending proposals, and putting the brakes on most of the drivel they allow to get through unchallenged. It would give us a much larger and louder voice to let them know they may be able to run, but they can no longer hide, and we’re just the group who is ready, willing and able to out…AND OUST them! Y’all (like me) want to take our country back?? This is how it’s begun!

wanda holt
6 years ago

Who introduced this bill? What group of people in our Senate/Congress is responsible for taxing seniors while letting the uber wealthy be taxed at a lower level? Thank you!

dan
6 years ago

HR-25—— (fairtax.org) solves it all.

Dick Bartlett
6 years ago

Gerald Ford

Don Brown
6 years ago
Reply to  Dick Bartlett

Actually AL gore cast the deciding vote to financially rape senior citizens.

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