AMAC provides legislative commendations to safeguard seniors

by | May 21, 2020 | Opinion

WASHINGTON, DC, May 18 – AMAC Action has pro­vided the Congress and the Administration a series of recommendations aimed at safeguarding seniors’ interests within the flurry of legislative proposals designed to cope with COVID-19’s aftermath.

Senior Americans are among those most impacted by the virus, not just from a health susceptibility standpoint, but from an economic impact per­spective. We believe our rec­ommendations will be helpful to the Congress in addressing issues seniors face.

Among the recommenda­tions:

Make the healthcare system more transparent.

• Replace “surprise medical billing” with a fair and equita­ble arbitration process. AMAC supports enactment of legisla­tion such as HR 3502, a strong bipartisan bill that comprehen­sively and properly addresses the surprise bill issue.

• Order compelling price transparency between hospi­tals and insurers. The health care system is in dire need of transparency and the freedom for patients to experience the individualized care they want for themselves and their fami­lies.

• Enact the “Lowering Prescription Drug Prices for America’s Seniors and Fami­lies Act of 2020” (S. 3384) which would require Medi­care Part D plans to include real-time benefit information. Knowing what’s covered and how much they would have to pay out-of-pocket would empower seniors to take more control over their prescription costs.”

Increase long-term health for individuals and society.

• Increase Access to Prima­ry Physician Care for Medic­aid-Eligible Americans. Enact the Physician Pro Bono Care Act (H.R. 856). This biparti­san bill increases access for low-income patients to receive chronic healthcare at physician and clinical offices, rather than expensive hospital ERs. By offering physicians the oppor­tunity to take a charitable tax deduction for seeing Medicaid eligible patients in their offices and clinics, Medicaid and the Children›s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could see bil­lions of dollars in savings. The cost of this self-executing tax deduction pales in comparison to the level of Medicaid and CHIP reimbursements for the same services, particularly the costs for chronic care in ER visits – a 95% savings.

• Enact the Personalized Care Act of 2019 (S. 3112), which would expand HSAs to pay for direct primary care, health sharing ministries, in­surance premiums and medi­cations.

• Enact the “Protecting Se­niors Through Immunization Act of 2019” (H.R. 5076) which would eliminate out-of-pocket vaccine costs for Medi­care beneficiaries.

Improve Social Security during the coming recovery.

AMAC Actions advocates several Social Security poli­cies to help seniors:

• Guarantee a minimum So­cial Security COLA for 2021 and beyond, based on MAGI to ensure the lower income beneficiaries with greater need are helped, not by a one-size-fits-all CPI formula.

• Enact the bipartisan Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act (H.R. 3971) to eliminate the unjust double-tax on middle-income seniors’ Social Secu­rity benefits.

• Protect Social Security benefits from federal govern­mental garnishment.

Protect small businesses and their employees.

More than 1.5 million of the 6.5 million of the new busi­nesses created each year are started by seniors. Congress should act to:

• Ensure seniors are not locked out of SBA programs providing quick and easy ac­cess to credit, debt forbearance and targeted debt forgiveness.

• Protect at-risk seniors who are still working and who want to return to work by help­ing small businesses to afford personal protective equipment.

• Delay tax filing until mid-October, which would allow small businesses a cash cushion during these fragile months.

For more stories like this, see the May 20 issue or subscribe online.

By Bob Carlstrom, president of AMAC Action, the advocacy affili­ate of the 2.1 million-member Asso­ciation of Mature American Citizens

0 Comments

Related News

Why we need a community forum

Why we need a community forum

I am not sure what I expected our country to look like in 2021, but I certainly did not expect it to be so fractured and so bogged down in hate. My oldest son was a year old on September 11, 2001. The wave of patriotism following that day gave me hope for the America...

read more
Rural America needs sound, predictable tax policy

Rural America needs sound, predictable tax policy

They say that nothing is certain in life ex­cept death and taxes. While those two certainties are undeniable, we need to make sure that family-owned busi­nesses, including farms and ranches, aren’t taxed to death. Texas boasts more than 248,000 farming and ranch­ing...

read more
Supporting local journalism supports this community

Supporting local journalism supports this community

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA) was recently introduced in the House and has now been introduced in the Senate – and will benefit every member of this community! Unlike many issues in Wash­ington, this legislation has bi­partisan support and is focused...

read more
We’re global now

We’re global now

No matter how hard we try, we really can’t avoid one another. We live in a world where what takes place some­where else on the globe has a very good chance of affecting us, along with many others. The pandemic, of course, is a useful – if sobering – ex­ample. A virus...

read more
Texans’ right to know should be front and center

Texans’ right to know should be front and center

With state lawmak­ers immersed in the COVID-19 pandemic response and Texas’ electricity failures, the public’s access to information must be at the forefront of the Legis­lature’s actions. Information allows citizens to watch over their government, to speak out and to...

read more
Legislators can help prevent trafficking

Legislators can help prevent trafficking

The COVID-19 pan­demic has produced too many tragedies to tally, but here is one that does not get talked about enough: It has worsened conditions that leave children and youth especially vulnerable to com­mercial sexual exploitation, a human trafficking crime. Human...

read more
Texans urged to roll up their sleeves

Texans urged to roll up their sleeves

Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas leaders are rolling up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to encourage the public to follow suit. “I will never ask any Texan to do something that I’m not willing to do myself,” Abbott said before getting vaccinated at a...

read more