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NRLN WORKS TO PROTECT YOUR RETIREMENT INCOME AND HEALTH CARE SECURITY

The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) is dedicated to senior Americans over age 50. Two million of us welcome you to our website and urge you to share www.nrln.org in emails, with your Facebook Friends and your Twitter Followers. We provide timely news, important information and tools that enable you to help us lobby Congress for reliable pension and Social Security Income and lower cost Health Care Benefits and Medicare. There are over 50 million of us over age 65 now, our children will join 75 million by 2035, and our great grandkids 100 million by 2060. We need to help each other now and they need us to insure their futures NOW!

The NRLN recently created the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) with a mission is to research, educate and inform retirees, future retirees and the general public on how best to protect and promote retirement income security and retiree health care. Donations to AREF are tax deductible. Learn more about AREF, at www.SeniorsAREF.org.

The NRLN regularly informs members by email about important information. If you did not receive an email with the NRLN President’s Forum message or an Action Alert posted on this home page, possibly you mistakenly “unsubscribed” on one of our emails or you have a new email address that is not in the NRLN’s database. You will no longer hear from us unless you “re-subscribe”. To “re-subscribe”, click here.

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PRESIDENT'S FORUM
And Other Important Messages
Postings from NRLN Facebook Page Are Often Included Here

Part 3 of 3: NRLN’s Proposal to Congress on Medicare Advantage

As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) works unabated toward privatization, the NRLN’s highest priority is to protect 19 million Medicare Advantage (MA) plan enrollees from having the rug pulled out from under them. Recent privatization plans call for MA plans to be dissolved into a regional market private plan scheme and that Traditional Medicare be converted from the fee-for-service to the MA plan capitation payment model. These 19 million retirees should be grandfathered, protected from future reductions in benefits and guaranteed the protection of baked in subsidies as of December 31, 2017.

Part 1 and Part 2 of this series made two very compelling arguments for requesting immediate action to prove or disprove the viability of Medicare Advantage Plans:

I - The 2018 Medicare Trustees, Kaiser Family Foundation and CMS reports show that in 2017:

The average cost for each of 39 million enrollees in Traditional Medicare Part A & Part B was $10,051.
The 19 million MA plan participant costs for medical services (A and B) were $11,053 per enrollee.

II - The October 2017 CBO report sent to the House Budget Committee reported that the projected results for Medicare premium support or privatization (using the MA plan model) would:

Lower net federal payments to all Medicare beneficiaries by 8 percent in 2024
However, total payments by all Medicare affected beneficiaries would rise by 18 percent.

Congress should direct the General Accountability Office (GAO), Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General to use the above in formation and investigate and report on MA plans and Traditional Medicare Part A and Part B independent financials. It should publicly disclose the cost effectiveness of MA with and without taxpayer subsidies, and with and without grandfathering of those under age 65 at the time of a planned privatization.

Congress and the above Executive Branch agencies must clearly define through rules, regulations and statutes that CMS may not authorize benefits afforded to MA private insurers that are not also included in traditional Medicare Parts A, B and D (prescription drugs) fee-for-service plans.

The 3.4 percent benefit subsidies planned for 2019 should be retracted.

According to the Congressional budget there were $141 billion wrong and improper payments in 2017 generated by all federal agencies ($90 billion attributable to Medicare and Medicaid). This level of unnecessary expenditures must be significantly reduced, sequester the savings and use them to eliminate the 75-year deficits of Medicare Part A (.82 percent of payroll salaries and wages) and then Part B.

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network


PHARMA CONTRIBUTIONS TO CONGRESS

money Learn About the Dollars Members of Congress Are Receiving from Pharma How much are your U.S. Representatives and Senators taking as campaign contributions from the Pharmaceutical and Health Products Industry? Could these be a reason why bills to reduce the price of prescription drugs are not being passed? Click here to see data that the NRLN has compiled from OpenSecrets.Org, Center for Responsive Politics. The contributions are for each 2-year election cycle. Note that Representatives run every cycle; Senators every 6 years (3 cycles), one third every 2 years. For the current election cycle we are showing contributions to all candidates, in congress now, and others.


READ MEMBERS COMMENTS HERE

NRLN members are saving big with the Free Health Savings Rx Card℠

The NRLN has arranged to offer you a Health Savings Rx Card™, at NO COST, that offers you and your family savings on prescription drugs, plus vision and hearing services and products.Click here to access the Rx Savings Card℠ website.If you do not already have a Health Savings Rx Card℠ you will need to create your personal login and then printout your free card. Savings information for prescription drugs, vision and hearing services and products is available through the links under the Savings Plus tab.


report card

NRLN Provides New “Report Card” Feature on Members of Congress

NRLN has introduced a “report card” for each state that shows whether the U.S. Representatives and Senators have supported bills in Congress advocated by the NRLN. Read all about it here.

instagramInvitation to View NRLN Photos on Instagram

You are invited to visit the new NRLN Instagram page at www.instagram.com/photosnrlnorg/. The page has photos from the NRLN’s September 2018 Fly-In and March 2018 Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. Click on each photo to read about who is in the photo and what is happening.

You do not need an Instagram account to visit the NRLN’s page. Instagram can be accessed with an electronic tablet, smartphone or computer. If you have an Instagram account, I encourage you click on the “Follow” button.


thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, a Time to 'Heal the Wounds of the Nation'

Historians tell us that the first Thanksgiving was organized by William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony, after the Pilgrims' first harvest in October 1621. The three-day celebration was with members of the Wampanoag Native American tribe. The food included bread made from maize, pumpkin, squash, berries, smoked fish, lobster, clams, mussels, venison, waterfowl and wild turkey. Few tables today will have such a feast.

In 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States. In it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the conclusion to the country's war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

In 1863, at the height of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November to "heal the wounds of the nation". Thanksgiving was celebrated on that day every year until 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. His plan was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the he signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November, as it remains to today.

The plea of President Lincoln to "heal the wounds of the nation" also applies today with the division in our country highlighted during the mid-term election earlier this month. Because I follow politics and see the politicians in action during my trips to Washington, DC a number of times each year, I witness the ruthless quest for political power. This has weakened our nation.

May our prayers for this Thanksgiving include a request that our nation's leaders see the division in our nation and work together to bring our country together. Also, in our prayers ask that the Americans who have lost their homes in hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires find ways to rebuild their lives. And pray for the safety of our men and women in uniform, those in our military, peace officers, firefighters and other first responders.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network


Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles for 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced Medicare Parts A and B premiums and deductibles for 2019.

The Medicare Part A inpatient deductible that beneficiaries will pay when admitted to the hospital is $1,364 in 2019, an increase of $24 from 2018. About 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care services.

The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium for 2019 will be $135.50, an increase of $1.50 per month over 2018. The annual deductible for Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $185 in 2019, an increase of $2 from 2018. Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and certain other medical and health services not covered by Medicare Part A.

An estimated 2 million Medicare beneficiaries will pay less than the full Part B standard monthly premium amount in 2019 due to the statutory hold harmless provision, which limits certain beneficiaries’ increase in their Part B premium to be no greater than the increase in their Social Security benefits. High earners pay significantly more. Medicare uses modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) from a participant’s tax return from two years ago to determine premiums.

For a fact sheet on the 2019 Medicare Parts A & B premiums and deductibles, click here.


Social Security Checks Will Increase 2.8% in 2019

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced on Oct. 11 that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019 will be 2.8%, the largest increase since 2012 when the boost was 3.6%. The increase in 2018 was 2.0%.

For those who are collecting an average Social Security benefit of about $1,400 a month, the 2019 COLA will amount to an extra $39 per month. The Medicare Part B premiums for next year have not yet been announced.

The size of a COLA is linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation. The announcement from the SSA comes after the release of the CPI for September which showed a 2.3% increase in the cost of all items over the past year.

The SSA said that the maximum amount of income subject to Social Security taxes in 2019 will be $132,900, up from $128,400. The NRLN’s Legislative Agenda calls for amending tax codes to eliminate federal and state taxes on all Social Security income and/or allow a tax credit for taxes withheld.

The NRLN’s “Grand Bargain” proposal would close the Social Security and Medicare funding deficit of 3.66% and save both programs for the next 75 years.


IN THE NEWS...

The articles and opinion pieces below are for information and are not necessarily a reflection of the NRLN’s position on issues. The NRLN is nonpartisan and its positions on retirement issues are presented in its Legislative Agenda and white papers that can be accessed from the Legislative Agenda tab.

On ‘Medicare-for-All,’ Democrats Tread Lightly. It polls well. But Dems say the proposal isn’t ready for floor action
By Mary Ellen McIntire; Roll Call ~ Nov 20, 2018

Buyers Of Short-Term Health Plans: Wise Or Shortsighted?
By Anna Gorman; Kaiser Health News ~ Nov 20, 2018

House Democrats target DOJ decision not to defend Obamacare
By David Morgan; Reuters ~ Nov 20, 2018

Tech giants plunge again, pushing market into red for year
By Marley Jay; The Associated Press ~ Nov 20, 2018

Struggling multiemployer plans see help ahead at expense of healthy funds
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Nov 20, 2018

Lawmakers consider multibillion-dollar bailout for troubled pensions, retirees
By Erica Werner & Damian Paletta; The Washington Post ~ Nov 20, 2018

Drug industry nervous about Grassley’s new role
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Nov 20, 2018

Volatile stock market spooking some older workers, retirees
By Andrew Soergel; The Associated Press ~ Nov 19, 2018

Opinion: Obamacare's Looking So Good Insurers Are Fighting To Sell It
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Nov 19, 2018

4 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries expected to be on Medicare Advantage plans by 2028
By Eli Richman; FierceHealthcare ~ Nov 19, 2018

Opinion: House Democrat agenda, led by $15 minimum wage, threatens economic prosperity
From Alfredo Ortiz, ; The Hill ~ Nov 19, 2018

Opinion: How Obamacare Will Carry Nancy Pelosi To U.S. House Speakership
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Nov 18, 2018

It’s Official: The 2019 Standard Deduction Is Getting Even Larger
By Matthew Frankel, CFP; The Motley Fool ~ Nov 18, 2018

Democrats ran and won on health care. Now what?
By Grace Sparks; CNN ~ Nov 17, 2018

Pelosi angers left by proposing supermajority requirement for raising income taxes on the middle class
By “Allahpundit”; Hot Air ~ Nov 17, 2018

As predicted, GOP tax cuts prompt record tax revenues
By Andrew Malcolm; Hot Air ~ Nov 16, 2018

GE Pensioners And Stockholders Contemplate The Unthinkable
From Ken Kam; Forbes ~ Nov 16, 2018

Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs in January
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Nov 17, 2018

Bipartisan Senate bill would penalize illegal robocalls
By Tal Axelrod; The Hill ~ Nov 17, 2018

Opinion: Never mind the Social Security increase, seniors are in trouble — here’s why
From Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Nov 17, 2018

Tax law failed to save GOP majority
By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ Nov 16, 2018

Private Health Insurance Use Rises in HealthCare.gov States
The privately insured rate for working-age adults is falling in the state-based exchange states, according to the CDC.

By Allison Bel ; ThinkAdvisor ~ Nov 16, 2018

Opinion: Congress must address the looming tax on seniors in Medicare Advantage
From Former Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-Pa.) ; The Hill ~ Nov 16, 2018

PBGC financial conditions improve, but multiemployer programs still at risk – annual report
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Nov 16, 2018

The Health 202: Progressive Democrats ready to push 'Medicare for all' with new House leadership
By Paulina Firozi; The Washington Post ~ Nov 16, 2018

Opinion: Small Fees Can Have A Big Impact On Retirement Accounts
From John Scott; Forbes ~ Nov 16, 2018

Left wants a vote on single-payer bill in new Congress
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Nov 15, 2018

Allowing Medicare To Negotiate Drug Prices Is A Top Priority, Says Likely Chairman Of Energy And Commerce Committee
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Nov 15, 2018

Column: Is Healthcare Better or Worse Than A Decade Ago?
Via “Liberty HealthShare; The Daily Caller ~ Nov 15, 2018

Opinion: 2 million people hope Congress can compromise on pensions
From Joshua Gotbaum; Brookings ~ Nov 15, 2018

Seniors want drug prices in ads. Young people? Eh, whatever: survey
By Beth Snyder Bulik; FiercePharma ~ Nov 14, 2018

Doctors Are Fed Up With Being Turned Into Debt Collectors
Physicians, hospitals and medical labs are grappling with the rise in high-deductible insurance

By Blake Dodge; Bloomberg ~ Nov 15, 2018

Opinion: Medicare Part D Changes: Empowering The Plan, Not Necessarily The Beneficiary
From Joshua Cohen; Forbes ~ Nov 15, 2018

Opinion: A Patient Complained About The Cost Of Her Medical Care. Here's How Her Doctor Responded.
From Peter Ubel; Forbes ~ Nov 14, 2018

Opinion: Health care is now a major liability for Republicans. Will they dig the hole deeper?
From Andy Slavitt; USA TODAY ~ Nov 14, 2018

Something Happened to U.S. Drug Costs in the 1990s
By Austin Frakt, New York Times – Nov 12, 2018

Opinion: Short-Term Insurance Plans Offer A Much-Needed Escape From Obamacare
From Sally Pipes; Forbes ~ Nov 13, 2018

Opinion: Kamala Harris's Plan Would Cut Taxes For Many But Could Add Trillions To The Debt
From Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Nov 14, 2018

U.S. senators introduce bill to rein-in proxy advisers
By Michelle Price; Reuters ~ Nov 14, 2018

Incoming Dem chairman: Medicare negotiating drug prices is a priority
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Nov 14, 2018

CDC doubles recommended weekly exercise time for Americans
By Tauren Dyson; United Press International ~ Nov 14, 2018

DNC head can't say how Dems plan to pay for universal healthcare: 'I don't think we're there yet'
By Jessica Chasmar; The Washington Times ~ Nov 13, 2018

Drug pricing group launches six-figure ad buy pressuring Congress to act
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Nov 13, 2018

More And More, Americans Must Make This Choice: Take On Debt Or Forgo Insurance And Hope For The Best
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Nov 13, 2018

Opinion: Medicare Costs Drop As Humana Shifts Doctors To Value-Based Models
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Nov 13, 2018

Trump administration loosens restrictions on mental health treatment
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Nov 13, 2018

Express Scripts looks to limit rebate model, lower drug costs in 2019
By Alex Kacik; Modern Healthcare ~ Nov 13, 2018

3rd blood pressure drug recalled in recent weeks over impurity
By Clyde Hughes; United Press International ~ Nov 13, 2018

Opinion: How The Midterm Elections May Steer Retirement Policy
From Teresa Ghilarducci; Forbes ~ Nov 11, 2018

Online tool explores assumptions for pension liabilities
By James Comtois; Pensions & Investments ~ Nov 12, 2018

New Congress must keep its foot on the economic gas pedal
From Joseph Semprevivo; The Hill ~ Nov 12, 2018

‘Magical Thinking’ About Vitamin D’s Effect On Cancer And Fish Oil’s Effect On Heart Health Upended In Sweeping Study
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Nov 12, 2018

Bye bye Cadillac tax, hello Congressional health care gridlock
By Dan Cook; BenefitsPRO ~ Nov 12, 2018

Opinion: With GOP Losses, Obamacare Heads For Expansion And Calm
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Nov 11, 2018

Pelosi says she'll be Speaker ‘to protect the Affordable Care Act’
By Michael Burke; The Hill ~ Nov 11, 2018

Drug price controls will be more pain than gain
From Robert D. Atkinson; The Hill ~ Nov 10, 2018

Democrats Won a Mandate on Health Care. How Will They Use It?
By Robert Pear; The New York Times ~ Nov 10, 2018

HealthCare.gov breach compromised applicants' financial, immigration data
By Andrew Blake; The Washington Times ~ Nov 10, 2018

FACT CHECK: Are Republicans Trying To Eliminate Social Security, Medicare And Medicaid?
By Shane Devine; Check Your Fact ~ Nov 09, 2018

Opinion: Congress should broaden legislation to curb medical price gouging
From George A. Nation III; The Hill ~ Nov 10, 2018

Opinion: What the midterm election results mean for your taxes
By Bill Bischoff; MarketWatch ~ Nov 09, 2018

How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Nov 09, 2018

Seniors are big winners in House elections
From Max Richtman; The Hill ~ Nov 09, 2018

Column: Before the post-election bonhomie fades, Congress should fix pensions
From David Von Drehle; The Washington Post ~ Nov 09, 2018

Pelosi-Trump overtures making Big Pharma sweat bullets
By Joe Williams; The Washington Examiner ~ Nov 09, 2018

Medicare expands access to in-home support for seniors
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Nov 09, 2018

House Dems plan key vote on pre-existing conditions
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Nov 08, 2018

Opinion: An economist’s policy wish list for House Democrats: Government debt, Social Security, health care
By Laurence J. Kotlikoff; MarketWatch ~ Nov 08, 2018

Democrats’ House Win Is Likely End For Republicans’ Years-Long ‘Repeal And Replace’ Battle
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Nov 08, 2018

What the 2018 midterm elections mean for healthcare: predictability
By Paige Minemyer; FierceHealthcare ~ Nov 08, 2018

Opinion: Is Your Local Hospital About To Close? Here Is How Congress Can Help
From Peter Ubel; Forbes ~ Nov 08, 2018

General Electric Retirees Contemplate Selling GE Stock
From Ken Kam; Forbes ~ Nov 08, 2018

Opinion: 5 ways the midterm election results will affect your health care
By Jacob Passy; MarketWatch ~ Nov 07, 2018

Opinion: What The New Congress Will Mean For Tax And Budget Policy
From Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Nov 07, 2018

Midterm election power shift could bolster retirement legislation efforts
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Nov 07, 2018

The Democrats took the House, here’s what that means for your retirement
By Alessandra Malito; MarketWatch ~ Nov 07, 2018

‘Fox & Friends’ host tells Eric Trump that GOP ‘blew it’ by not having ObamaCare replacement plan
By Chris Mills Rodrigo; The Hill ~ Nov 06, 2018

American Hospital Association plans to sue CMS over final site-neutral payment rule
By Rose Meltzer; FierceHealthcare ~ Nov 05, 2018

Opinion: Yes, Social Security Is An 'Entitlement'
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Nov 05, 2018

Opinion: The growing pension black hole is pulling us all in
From Olivia S. Mitchell; The Hill ~ Nov 05, 2018

Retirees donate more to Dems than GOP for first time in years
By Megan Keller; The Hill ~ Nov 05, 2018

Experts agree that Social Security numbers need to change — but there's no solution in sight
By Brandi Vincent; NBC News ~ Nov 04, 2018

Opinion: Obamacare Has Managed to Survive, But Can It Thrive?
From Max Nisen; Bloomberg ~ Nov 04, 2018

You don’t need ObamaCare to help people with pre-existing conditions
From Charlie Katebi; The Hill ~ Nov 02, 2018

Opinion: Rescinding Obama-era guidance on ACA waivers invites states back to the reform table
From Rea S. Hederman Jr., ; The Hill ~ Nov 02, 2018

Opinion: Prescription Drug Prices: A Bitter Pill In The Midterm Elections
From Richard Eisenberg; Forbes ~ Nov 02, 2018

GOP Candidates Are Hearing It From Constituents With Pre-Existing Conditions
By Emily Kopp; Roll Call ~ Nov 02, 2018

Trump, top House Republican admit there's no chance of a middle class tax cut this year
By Donna Borak; CNN ~ Nov 02, 2018

Opinion: Republicans' Public Opposition To Social Security And Medicare
From Teresa Ghilarducci; Forbes ~ Nov 02, 2018

Healthcare Experts Propose Both Market and Regulatory Changes to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs Amid the Trump Administration’s Call to Cut Medicare Drug Prices
Via “Business Wire”; The Associated Press ~ Nov 01, 2018

In Search Of Insurance Savings, Consumers Can Get Unwittingly Wedged Into Narrow-Network Plans
By Steven Findlay; Kaiser Health News ~ Nov 01, 2018

Federal health care website up and running after slow start
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Nov 01, 2018

As ACA Marketplaces Open, The Effects Of GOP Changes To Insurance Rules Will Come Into Focus
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Nov 01, 2018

Many Current Retirees Enjoying More Treats Than Tricks
Via “Business Wire”; The Associated Press ~ Oct 31, 2018

List of struggling multiemployer plans grows in 2018
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Nov 01, 2018

Obamacare Markets Stabilize as Premiums Remain High for Many
By John Tozzi & Blake Dodge; Bloomberg ~ Oct 31, 2018

Medicare head tweets 'scariest Halloween costume' would be Medicare for all
By Christal Hayes; USA TODAY ~ Oct 31, 2018

Trump, House GOP pledge to push middle-class tax cut next year, miss president’s promised timeline
By Damian Paletta; The Washington Post ~ Oct 31, 2018

Health Industry Invests Big In Campaign While Pharma Braces For Possible Change In House Leadership
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 30, 2018

Opinion: A Moderate Republican Plan To Fix American Healthcare: 'Medicare For All'?
From Peter Ubel; Forbes ~ Oct 30, 2018

GOP’s Latest Campaign Punch On Health Care Relies On Classic Hook: Medicare
By Julie Rovner; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 30, 2018

Opinion: What do voters want in health care? Hint: Not partisan politics
From Former Del. Donna M. Christensen (D-V.I.) ; The Hill ~ Oct 30, 2018

Study: Democrats could expand Medicaid to millions if they win six key governor's races
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Oct 30, 2018

How to Review Your Medicare Plan's Prescription Coverage
By David Levine; US News & World Report ~ Oct 30, 2018

Does your doctor need to know what you buy on Amazon?
By Mohana Ravindranath: Politico ~ Oct 30, 2018

Opinion: Open enrollment 2018: Getting better, but needs improvement
From Tim Rice; The Hill ~ Oct 29, 2018

'Flurry' of activity has many optimistic over spate of new legislation
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Oct 29, 2018

These Retirees Are Pushing To Save Their Pensions
From Chris Farrell ; Forbes ~ Oct 29, 2018

Social Security Warns On New Phone Spoofing Scam
From Kelly Phillips Erb; Forbes ~ Oct 29, 2018

Opinion: Trump's Proposed Medicare Drug Pricing Experiment Stokes Fears Of Price Controls
From Joshua Cohen; Forbes ~ Oct 28, 2018

7 Changes to Social Security in 2019
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Oct 28, 2018

Americans stressing out over soaring healthcare costs this enrollment season
By Jeff Lagasse; Healthcare Finance ~ Oct 26, 2018

My patients deserve to know what they’re paying for
From Dr. Marc Siegel; The Hill ~ Oct 26, 2018

Health secretary warns pharma: Administration will push ahead with drug pricing reforms
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Oct 26, 2018

Trump Tax Cuts Will Wait Until 2019, Brady Says in Plot Twist
By Niels Lesniewski; Roll Call ~ Oct 26, 2018

Fact Check: GOP Targets Social Security
By Brenton Smith, FedSmith,Com - Oct 25,2018

Social Security benefits too low? It's mostly your own fault

Trump, Azar Advance Ambitious Health Agenda
By Jeffrey Cimmino &d Matthew Continetti; The Washington Free Beacon ~ Oct 25, 2018

Opinion: The fate of American health-care reform is on the ballot this November
From Mark Litow & Marc Goldwein; The Hill ~ Oct 25, 2018

In Days Of Data Galore, Patients Have Trouble Getting Own Medical Records
By Judith Graham; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 25, 2018

Social Security, The FICA Tax Cap, And Having Your Cake And Eating It, Too
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Oct 25, 2018

As Employers Successfully Lower Health Costs, Senators Are Listening
From Leah Binder; Forbes ~ Oct 24, 2018

Majority of young Americans want expanded government services, single-payer health care: poll
By Michael Burke; The Hill ~ Oct 24, 2018

Database details drugmakers' contributions to Congress
By Emmarie Huetteman & Sydney Lupkin, KHN; CNN ~ Oct 25, 2018

Trump says new proposal will lower some US drug prices
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar & Deb Riechmann; The Associated Press ~ Oct 25, 2018

Inheriting an IRA? Here's What You Need to Know
By Kailey Fralick; The Motley Fool ~ Oct 21, 2018

Opinion: How to plan for taxes in retirement
By Anna Bahney; CNNMoney ~ Oct 25, 2018

Trump insists GOP will 'totally' protect pre-existing conditions, despite ObamaCare repeal efforts
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Oct 24, 2018

Opinion: Treat Social Security the way President Roosevelt intended, as an insurance program not an entitlement
From Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.) ; The Hill ~ Oct 24, 2018

Antidote to rising drug prices languishes on the Hill
From Scott Knoer, M.S., Pharm.D. ; The Hill ~ Oct 23, 2018

Fixing Obamacare’s ‘Family Glitch’ Hinges On Outcome Of November Elections
By Shefali Luthra; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 23, 2018

Brady Says Ways and Means Will Work With Trump on 10 Percent Middle-Class Tax Cut
By Lindsey McPherson; Roll Call ~ Oct 23, 2018

Drug Companies, Not 'Middlemen', Are Responsible For High Drug Prices
From Avik Roy; Forbes ~ Oct 23, 2018 Forbes Staff

Don't Count Pensions Out Yet, PBGC Chief Says
By Melanie Waddell; ThinkAdvisor ~ Oct 23, 2018

Dems blast Trump rule changes on ObamaCare
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Oct 22, 2018

Politicians Hop Aboard ‘Medicare-For-All’ Train, Destination Unknown
By Elisabeth Rosenthal & Shefali Luthra; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 22, 2018

Opinion: Yes, Social Security Does Indeed Add To The Federal Deficit
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Oct 22, 2018

Trump says he will push for new round of tax cuts after midterms
By Jordan Fabian; The Hill ~ Oct 22, 2018

GOP senator on potential additional tax cuts: 'We can't go further into debt'
By Brett Samuels; The Hill ~ Oct 21, 2018

How today's low taxes can help nurture your retirement nest egg
From Arielle O’Shea, NW; USA TODAY ~ Oct 21, 2018

Opinion: Publicized drug prices will be meaningless to the average consumer
From Todd Ruppar; The Hill ~ Oct 21, 2018

What Big Pharma Fears Most: A Trump Alliance With Democrats to Cut Drug Prices
By Robert Pear; The New York Times ~ Oct 20, 2018

Opinion: How to figure out Medicare and choose the right plan
From Sally Squires; The Washington Post ~ Oct 20, 2018

This retirement expense has hit $100,000 annually — and it's continuing to rise
By Darla Mercado; CNBC ~ Oct 20, 2018

Both Parties Seek to Energize Base Voters on Health Issues
By Mary Ellen McIntire; Roll Call ~ Oct 19, 2018

Renewed Repeal Talk Puts GOP Leadership On Collusion Course With Candidates Under Attack Over Health Law Stances
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 19, 2018

8 Myths About Aging And Long-Term Care
By Carol Levine; Forbes.com ~ Oct 19, 2018

Opinion: Does Anyone Really Know What ‘Medicare for All’ Means?
From Elisabeth Rosenthal & Shefali Luthra; The New York Times ~ Oct 19, 2018

Time to get started on year-end tax planning under GOP tax cuts
By Ray Martin; CBS News ~ Oct 19, 2018

Commentary: Bill Nelson, Rick Scott Mum's the Word on Social Security
By Brenton Smith, Orlando Sentinel - Oct 16, 2018

Healthcare.gov hit with data breach impacting 75,000 people
By Evan Sweeney; FierceHealthcare ~ Oct 19, 2018

Medicare Part B Drug Payments Vexing for Docs, CMS
By Joyce Frieden; MedPage Today ~ Oct 19, 2018

Opinion: Social Security Does Not Add To The Federal Deficit
From Teresa Ghilarducci; Forbes ~ Oct 19, 2018

GOP’s Talk About Medicare Cuts Provides Democrats With Tried-And-True Talking Point Weeks Before Midterms
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 18, 2018

McConnell Breaks With GOP Midterm Rhetoric To Talk Obamacare Repeal
By Evie Fordham; The Daily Caller ~ Oct 18, 2018

McConnell defends Trump-backed lawsuit against ObamaCare
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Oct 18, 2018

Poll: Majority of voters say health care 'very important' to them in midterms
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Oct 18, 2018

SEC Commissioner Warns: A Retirement Crisis 'Tsunami' Is Approaching
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Oct 18, 2018

The Five Companies Responsible For More Than Half Of Drug Ads On TV Would Bear Brunt Of Trump’s Proposal
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 17, 2018

McConnell: GOP could try to repeal ObamaCare again after midterms
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Oct 17, 2018

Dems go on offense against GOP lawsuit on pre-existing conditions
By Reid Wilson; The Hill ~ Oct 17, 2018

Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Oct 17, 2018

Rising drug prices widen gap between have, have-not patients
By Linda A. Johnson; The Associated Press ~ Oct 17, 2018

Proposed rule on prescription drugs offers the wrong approach to seniors with complex medical conditions
From Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.); The Hill ~ Oct 17, 2018

Drugmakers Funnel Millions To Lawmakers; A Few Dozen Get $100,000-Plus
By Emmarie Huetteman & Sydney Lupkin; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 16, 2018

Wave Of GOP Ads Promising To Protect Preexisting Conditions Coverage Highlight Potency Of Campaign Issue On Midterms
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 16, 2018

Here's Why You Can Feel Optimistic About The Future Of Healthcare
By Erika Fry; Fortune ~ Oct 16, 2018

Opinion: Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers
From David Bossie; The Hill ~ Oct 16, 2018

Opinion: Never mind the Social Security increase, seniors are in trouble — here’s why
From Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Oct 16, 2018

Investigation On Medicare Advantage Plans Finds Widespread, Persistent Problems Related To Denials Of Care
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 15, 2018

Companies With Newly Flush Pensions See Chance to Unload the Risk
By Tatyana Shumsky; The Wall Street Journal ~ Oct 15, 2018

Sears' Bankruptcy, The PBGC's Debt And Your Retirement
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Oct 15, 2018

Half Of Democratic Ad Spending Hits GOP On Healthcare
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Oct 15, 2018

‘Somebody Needs To Fix It’: As Each Party Locks In Health Care Rhetoric, Many Voters Just Want A Solution
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 15, 2018

Opinion: How The “A-Word” Might Affect Your Finances
From Buddy Gore III; Forbes ~ Oct 15, 2018

Opinion: Employers serve a key role in employee retirement plans
From Jack Towarnicky; The Hill ~ Oct 15, 2018

When does the ‘affordable’ in the Affordable Care Act kick in?
From Merrill Matthews; The Hill ~ Oct 14, 2018

Here's What Medicare Part B Premiums Will Be in 2019
By Matthew Frankel, CFP; The Motley Fool ~ Oct 13, 2018

Medicare Advantage Plans Found to Improperly Deny Many Claims
By Robert Pear; The New York Times ~ Oct 13, 2018

Opinion: Medicare-for-all? Without action, there won’t be Medicare at all
From Carter Eskew; The Washington Post ~ Oct 13, 2018

Why Not Just Expand Social Security?
From Teresa Ghilarducci; Forbes ~ Oct 13, 2018

Trump Administration Opened Door To Step Therapy And Insurance Giant Plans To Rush In
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 12, 2018

Premiums Drop For First Time On Most Popular ACA Plans, Possibly Muddling Health Care Rhetoric Just Before Midterms
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 12, 2018

Lawmakers Publicly Shame Drug Distributors For Role In Opioid Crisis. But As Candidates They Welcome Their Money.
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 12, 2018

Trump set to force drugmakers to post prices in ads
By Dan Diamond & Sarah Karlin-Smith; Politico ~ Oct 12, 2018

The bipartisan PACT Act would ensure access to life-saving bone marrow transplants for Medicare beneficiaries
From Brian Lindberg; The Hill ~ Oct 12, 2018

Opinion: 10 Things Everyone Must Know About Taxes
From Maryalene LaPonsie; US News & World Report ~ Oct 12, 2018

Social Security Benefits Will Rise 2.8% In 2019, While Maximum Taxable Earnings Will Increase 3.5%
By Ashlea Ebeling; Forbes ~ Oct 11, 2018

Obamacare premiums will get cheaper for the first time
By Katie Lobosco & Tami Luhby; CNN ~ Oct 11, 2018

Patients want doctors to talk to them about more than just physical symptoms, medications
By Joanne Finnegan; FierceHealthcare ~ Oct 11, 2018

Higher rates both a sign of US economic might and risk to it
By Josh Boak; The Associated Press ~ Oct 11, 2018

Social Security checks will grow in 2019 as inflation rises
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Oct 11, 2018

Justice Department approves $69B Aetna-CVS merger
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Oct 10, 2018

Opinion: Donald Trump: Democrats 'Medicare for All' plan will demolish promises to seniors
From Donald J. Trump; USA TODAY ~ Oct 10, 2018

Senate defeats measure to overturn Trump expansion of non-ObamaCare plans
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Oct 10, 2018

Opinion: Trump administration rigging the game, and your retirement fund could be the loser
From Paul Bland; The Hill ~ Oct 10, 2018

Trump Signs Bills Banning 'Gag Clauses,' Helping Consumers Save on Drugs
By Lisa L. Gill, Consumer Reports – Oct. 10, 2018

Dems to force health care vote weeks before Nov. midterms
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Oct 10, 2018

Opinion: What Older Voters Want In The Midterm Elections
From Richard Eisenberg; Forbes ~ Oct 10, 2018

Social Security beneficiaries set to get biggest bump in seven years
By Jeffry Bartash; MarketWatch ~ Oct 10, 2018

Trump officials plan maintenance downtime for healthcare.gov during ObamaCare sign-ups
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Oct 09, 2018

Republicans Adopt A Health Care Vision
From John C. Goodman; Forbes ~ Oct 09, 2018

Republicans Are Campaigning to Save a Part of Obamacare They Fought to Destroy
By Emily Price; Fortune ~ Oct 09, 2018

Nearly Half Of Democrats’ 2018 Ads Mention Health Care, While GOP Candidates Shy Away. Either Way, Many Don’t Name The ‘ACA.’
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 09, 2018

As Open Enrollment Begins, Record Medicare Advantage Growth Expected
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Oct 09, 2018

Opinion: Why retirees should feel very worried right now
From Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Oct 09, 2018

Medicare Advantage Plans Shift Their Financial Risk To Doctors
By Phil Galewitz; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 08, 201

Trump's Executive Order On Retirement Security: What To Know
From Brian Menickella; Forbes ~ Oct 08, 2018

Possible Removal Of Pre-Existing Conditions Protections
From Joshua Cohen; Forbes ~ Oct 08, 2018

Opinion: As Midterms Approach, Republicans Flee Their Anti-Obamacare Past
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Oct 07, 2018

The Smart Social Security Move President Trump Just Made
By Dan Caplinger; The Motley Fool ~ Oct 06, 2018

This Retiree Trap Can Send Your Social Security Benefits to the IRS
By Dan Caplinger; The Motley Fool ~ Oct 05, 2018

New Era of Rising Rates Finally Dawns On U.S. Treasury Investors
By Emily Barrett; Bloomberg ~ Oct 06, 2018

An Unusual Strategy: This PAC On Drug Prices Is Sinking Millions Into Races It Knows It Can’t Impact
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 05, 2018

Study: Insurers returning to pre-ObamaCare profitability
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Oct 05, 2018

Opinion: Why Cyber-Criminals Are Attacking Healthcare -- And How To Stop Them
From Kate O'Flaherty; Forbes ~ Oct 05, 2018

Opinion: Is A Hike In Social Security Retirement Age Really Just A Benefit Cut?
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Oct 05, 2018

Opinion: How To Avoid A Healthcare Surrogate Tragedy
From Alan Gassman; Forbes ~ Oct 04, 2018

Why retirees' tax rates may be higher than they expect
By Darla Mercado; CNBC ~ Oct 05, 2018

New Trade Deal Blocks Prescription Drug Imports to U.S.
By Byran Bowman, The Global Post.com – Oct 2, 2018

Some Voters Skeptical Of Republicans’ Promises To Protect Preexisting Conditions As GOP Tries To Dismantle Health Law In Court
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 04, 2018

Focus On ACA Or Go All In For ‘Medicare For All’? Democrats Divided Over Path To Take On Health Care
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 04, 2018

Without Safety Net Of Kids Or Spouse, ‘Elder Orphans’ Need Fearless Fallback Plan
By Judith Graham; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 04, 2018

Regular aspirin use can lower risk for ovarian, liver cancers
By Allen Cone; United Press International ~ Oct 04, 2018

Pharma Holds Breath, Bracing For A Possible Blue Wave To Take The House
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 03, 2018

The Health 202: Here's where Democrats are going wrong in campaigning on preexisting conditions
By Paige Winfield Cunningham; The Washington Post ~ Oct 03, 2018

Why Congress is poised to give the drug industry a $4B windfall
By Sarah Karlin-Smith; Politico ~ Oct 02, 2018

One Of Nation’s Largest Dialysis Providers Agrees To $270M Settlement Over Medicare Advantage Fraud
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 02, 2018

One Of Nation’s Largest Dialysis Providers Agrees To $270M Settlement Over Medicare Advantage Fraud
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 02, 2018

Social Security, Medicare oversight posts vacant for 3 years
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Oct 02, 2018

Why Americans Are Retiring Later
From Peter R. Orszag; Bloomberg ~ Oct 02, 2018

Can Bonds Disrupt Your Retirement?
From Nick Guida; Forbes ~ Oct 02, 2018

Why Social Security’s annual increase doesn’t actually keep up with cost of living
By Paul Salmon, PBS News Hour – Oct 2, 2018

Trump Tells Voters Preexisting Condition Protections Are Safe Even As His Administration Works To Get Rid Of Them
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 01, 2018

Opinion: Inequality Looms As Dark Cloud For Economy, Warns Financial Crisis CFTC Chief
From Ted Knutson; Forbes ~ Oct 01, 2018

Opinion: How To Choose A Health Insurance Plan This Fall
From Erik Carter; Forbes ~ Oct 01, 2018

Medicare upgrades its website ahead of sign-up season
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Oct 01, 2018

Why the most important Social Security date of the year is Oct. 11
By Sean Williams, TMF; USA TODAY ~ Oct 01, 2018


amazon smile AmazonSmile Program to Benefit the American Retirees Education Program (AREF)

The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) board created the American Retiree Education Foundation (AREF) in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible, nonprofit education foundation to expand the research and educational reach of the NRLN and to enable NRLN to sharpen its focus as an organization lobbying for the passage of federal legislation and regulations that benefit retirees.

The AREF is always seeking ways to increase its funding through individual tax-deductible contributions, grants from public and private foundations, individual tax-deductible bequests and non-traditional ways. AREF funds pay for a number of tasks previously paid for by the NRLN. For example, the updating this month of the white paper on Protecting Pension Assets which is used to educate members of Congress on the need for legislation to prevent pension plan sponsors from using plan assets for non-pension expenses. Access the white paper here.

The AREF has identified a non-traditional way that you can help fund the AREF without costing you anything extra if (when) you make a purchase online from Amazon through its AmazonSmile program designed to provide a percentage of a purchase price to qualified non-profit organizations, such as the AREF. I urge you to read the following information and help provide funding to the AREF should you make an Amazon purchase. Click here to learn more about AmazonSmile.


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