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NRLN WORKS TO PROTECT YOUR RETIREMENT INCOME AND HEALTH CARE SECURITY

The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) works to enact federal legislation to protect employer-sponsored pensions, health care benefits and keep Social Security and Medicare strong. With support from more than 2 million members and Washington, D.C. staff, the NRLN identifies and rallies support for federal legislation that will guarantee fair and equitable treatment of retirees from the private and public sectors. Learn more about the NRLN and legislation important to retirees by clicking on the "About Us" and "Legislative" links above.

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

We Must Defend Medicare in 2018

Even before President Trump signed into law H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, on December 22, 2017, some members of Congress were already talking about cutting what they call “entitlements” to reduce the at least $1 trillion the new legislation is expected to add to the deficit. This is in addition to the “pay as you go” or “paygo” provision in the tax reform bill that is estimated to cut Medicare by $25 billion, starting in 2018.

I want to share with you a segment of an interview that our House Speaker did on Dec. 6, 2017 with Ross Kaminsky, a Denver radio station talk show host.

Kaminsky: “Are you thinking about trying to do any reforms with Medicare and Social Security?”

Speaker Ryan: “You cannot use what we call budget reconciliation for Social Security. It is exempt from those rules. Frankly, it is the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt. We are going to spend more time on the health care entitlements because that is where the problem lies fiscally speaking.”

Kaminsky: “In your private conversations with President Trump do you get the sense that you are making a little bit of an impact on him when you talk to him about the importance of Medicare reform?”

Speaker Ryan: “I do. As you know, Ross, because you and I have known one another for years, this has been my big thing for many, many years. I think it is the biggest entitlement that’s got to have reform. What it really is, we need to convert our health care system to a patient centered health care system so that people have more choices; we have more competition. Choice and competition brings down prices and improves quality. Government in health care is the opposite of that. So, I think these reforms that we have been talking about, that we are still going to keep pushing that will not just help make Medicaid less expensive and health care itself, but it will help Medicare as well. I think the President understands that choice and competition work everywhere in health care, especially in Medicare.”

When Speaker Ryan talks about Medicare reforms he means his “voucher” or “premium support” plan that he has been advocating for years. As Chairman of the House Budget Committee he pushed his “voucher” plan through the House in 2011. The “voucher” plan ignited a firestorm of opposition from many Senators, America’s seniors (including the NRLN) and the general public. Fortunately, the Senate had the wisdom to kill the “voucher” plan.

In 2011, an analysis of his proposal by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that adding private insurance plans into the mix would result in seniors paying twice as much for their care, would raise administrative costs and would not keep medical inflation as low as traditional Medicare has done. How could a CBO analysis be any different for the plan that Speaker Ryan now calls “premium support”?

The “premium support” plan is an insurance company scam to get federal subsidies that would privatize and completely destroy Medicare. The plan is to refund insurers who would lowball premiums but get to take in huge multi-billion dollar subsidies, a form of price fixing subsidized by billions of taxpayer dollars. The result is that traditional Medicare A & B will appear less competitive when actually they are a better deal. ELIMINATING MEDICARE A & B IS THE PLAN! Paying subsidies to Medicare Advantage (MA) plan insurers was the starter, only now they want to double down with our tax dollars. Several well-known insurance companies have been sued by a number of states for cheating to get larger MA plan subsidies and the federal government has also opened investigations.

Senators Marco Rubio (FL) and Orrin Hatch (UT) have also recently talked about constraining America's spending on “social welfare programs”. They know that today’s 50 million people (12% of our population) over age 65 will grow to 100 million (24% of projected population) by 2060. Senator Rubio was quoted in a December 6, 2017 Washington Post article saying, “You also have to bring spending under control. And not discretionary spending. That isn't the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries.”

In another December 6 article, this one in The Hill, a prominent Capitol Hill newspaper, reported that Senator Orrin Hatch while speaking on the Senate floor during the tax reform bill debate said he had a “rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger and expect the federal government to do everything.”

Back to our House Speaker’s comment that he thinks the President understands that choice and competition work everywhere in health care, especially in Medicare, I think the Speaker has been working hard to sell President Trump “a pig in a poke”.

The NRLN is a strong non-partisan advocate for competition and eliminating fraud and waste, but Medicare has a proven 51-year track record of providing cost effective health care. Private insurers with 12-to-16% overhead and profit margins will never improve upon Medicare as the low-cost provider when Medicare's total overhead is just 3-4%. They both purchase from the same health care product and service providers and Medicare (if allowed to take competitive bids) has the larger purchasing leverage. The NRLN agrees with the CBO's analysis that concluded adding private insurance plans into the mix would raise administrative costs and would not keep medical inflation as low as traditional Medicare has done.

Congressional leaders have not disclosed all the facts and are taking a low road on this issue. Many other members of Congress either are not aware of the facts but should be and/or they are also in the game conceived by their own leadership. Tell-tale sets of facts are on record:

  1. The 2017 annual Medicare Plan Trustees report to Congress with actuarial data shows that if Medicare were funded by another .64% of taxable payroll starting in 2017 and each year thereafter Medicare A would be actuarially funded for 75 years, through 2092. Medicare B is paid for by premiums and deductibles and is mostly self-sustaining.
  2. The House Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution baked into the tax reform bill clearly states on page 52 that in FY 2016 Improper Payments made by Government Programs totaled $144.3 billion vs $107.1 billion in 2012! Medicare’s chunk was $59.7 billion and Medicaid’s was $36.3 billion. Folks, this is an every year amount that is growing. Medicare savings as a percent of payroll to be secure for 75 years is less than $10 billion per year. The House recommendation was to form an independent commission to study the problem and find ways to reduce the $144.3 billion amount by 50% over 5 years!

Can you believe it? Did Congress use the 50% savings projected from Medicare’s and Medicaid’s combined $96 billion in waste to fix these plans’ respective financial needs or was the money booked somewhere else? Why do we need another commission appointed and then only seek a 50% reduction, why not 90%?

In 2017, the NRLN and our grassroots advocates sent letters to members of Congress and signed petitions to President Trump when it appeared that Congress might try to harm Medicare by slipping a “premium support” plan into the tax reform legislation. We now know that didn’t happen, but it is clear from statements on a radio interview and elsewhere that leaders of Congress want to come after Medicare in 2018. The NRLN will need your continued support to fight for the Medicare benefits that have served us well and we must do our best to preserve those benefits for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We will push for savings of waste and to use these savings to save Medicare and Medicaid.

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network


ACTION ALERT Pass Bills to Reduce Cost of Prescription Drugs

The NRLN has been advocating legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. There are several prescription drug bills in committees in the U.S. House and Senate that the NRLN supports and, if passed, would result in savings for Americans and in some cases also for Medicare. Click here to send the NRLN’s sample letters to your Representative and Senators to urge them to pass the bills which best address skyrocketing drug costs.


alysonHappenings on the Hill: December 2017
By Allyson Parker, NRLN Executive Director

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held its third hearing regarding drug prices on December 12th. This hearing focused on the National Academy of Sciences report on drug prices, which just was released on November 30th. There were three witnesses:

  • Mr. Norm Augustine, Chair of Committee On Ensuring Patient Access To Affordable Drug Therapies, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine;
  • Mr. David Mitchell, President And Founder Patients for Affordable Drugs, and
  • Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of American Action Forum.

All the solutions proposed by the three witnesses were not new and many are already part of legislation that has been introduced. Some of the proposals discussed included limiting out of pocket costs for Part D beneficiaries; ending pay for delay and other manipulations of the market; increased transparency in the pricing of prescription drugs, and allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. One interesting proposal was ending the tax breaks that pharmaceutical companies receive for their advertisements and commercials that make consumers feel that they have to use the name brand drug.

A positive that came out of the hearing is some of the Senators agreed that there is common ground that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on to get something done to alleviate high drug prices. You can watch the full hearing on the Senate HELP Committees’ website here.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) had an industry meeting at the beginning of December to review the status of the multi employer and single employer plans. No surprises - multis are in horrible shape and single plans are improving. The multis have $67 billion in liabilities and only $2 billion in assets; whereas, the deficit for the single plan was cut in half this year to $10 billion. The PBGC expects this to be erased within the next five years, but cautioned, however, that this could change because there is a lot of underfunding by companies right now. They attributed the cut in deficit to the raised premiums, low claims, no major plan termination and good returns.

There is a major push on the Hill currently to fix the multi plan deficit. Two bills, S. 2147, the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), and H.R. 4444, the Rehabilitation for Multi Employer Pensions Act introduced by Representative Richard Neal (MA-01) have received a lot of attention by industry and some on the Hill. This legislation proposes the creation of a Pension Rehabilitation Trust Fund and a Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Department of the Treasury and to make loans to multi employer defined benefit plans. The NRLN, the Pension Rights Center, AARP and several other advocate organizations have signed joint appeal letter (sent to members of Congress) in support of S.2017. If any pension legislation moves that addresses the multi-employer issue, this may be an opportunity to attach one of NRLN’s legislative proposals.


Dates Set for NRLN Spring and Fall 2018 Meetings in Washington, DC

Grassroots advocates of the NRLN retiree associations and chapters will meet in Washington, DC with members of Congress and their staffs in 2018 during the spring Annual Leadership Conference and the fall Fly-In. The Annual Leadership Conference will be Monday, March 12 through Wednesday, March 14, 2018. The Fly-In will be Monday, Sept.10 through Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.

The Holiday Inn Capitol Hotel, at 550 C Street SW, Washington, DC, was selected again for its very competitive nightly room rate and being near Capitol Hill. The rate for March is $259 per night and the rate for Sept. is $279 per night. Both rates are subject to additional tax and fees.

Both meetings will begin on Monday afternoon with a session at the hotel. Attendees will spend the entire day of Tuesday and part of Wednesday meeting with their Representatives, Senators and members of their staffs.

The spring Conference and the fall Fly-In are open to all NRLN grassroots advocates. Advocates who are affiliated with a retiree association or chapter should notify the president of their organization if they are interested in attending.

Presidents of retiree associations and chapters affiliated with the NRLN are encouraged to solicit as many of their Grassroots State and Congressional District leaders as possible to attend the Conference and Fly-In. The sooner the NRLN is notified of intentions to attend the meetings the better it will be for the NRLN to make plans for the meetings. Email intentions to attend and/or questions to contact@nrln.org.


Take the NRLN Survey

Please Take the NRLN Survey so we can learn your needs on retirement issues. Survey responses are kept anonymous and confidential. Survey results (no personal information) will be emailed to those who take the survey. This survey is intended for website visitors and individuals who have recently signed up to receive NRLN emails. Current NRLN retiree associations and chapters members should not participate in this survey. You will be able to provide your input in the NRLN’s Future Directions survey to be conducted again in 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.


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.


READ MEMBERS COMMENTS HERE

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.

Senate committee advances Trump's nominee for HHS secretary
By Adam Cancryn, Politico – Jan 17, 2018

Those Corporate Pensions Weren't Always So Great
From Justin Fox; Bloomberg ~ Jan 17, 2018

Opinion: If politicians can’t pass a budget, what makes them think they can do the hard stuff?
From Caroline Baum; MarketWatch ~ Jan 17, 2018

Lawmakers weigh measure to fight high drug prices
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jan 17, 2018

Report: Medicaid And Obamacare May Be Incentivizing Opioid Trafficking And Abuse
By Steve Birr; The Daily Caller ~ Jan 17, 2018

Shortage of public health workers possible as baby boomers retire, researchers say
By Ed Adamczyk; United Press International ~ Jan 17, 2018

Home Care Agencies Often Wrongly Deny Medicare Help To The Chronically Ill
By Susan Jaffe; NPR ~ Jan 17, 2018

Senate Dems push for health center funding in spending bill
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jan 17, 2018

Democrats move to offense on health care; seek ‘big ideas’
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Jan 08, 2018

Why We Fight Over Money So Much, And How To Stop
From Jennifer Barrett; Forbes ~ Jan 17, 2018

Azar Poised To Head Back To HHS, But This Time Around Health Landscape Looks A Lot Different
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 16, 2018

Gallup: Number of uninsured Americans rose by 3.2 million last year
By Susan McFarland; United Press International ~ Jan 16, 2018

Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year
From Melissa D. Kalensky; The Hill ~ Jan 16, 2018

How Overdue Taxes Can Jeopardize Passports
From Robert W. Wood; Forbes ~ Jan 16, 2018

The Best Way To Spend Money Safely In Retirement
From Steve Vernon, F.S.A.; Forbes ~ Jan 16, 2018

Health care deals could make you healthier but may not save you money
By Jayne O'Donnell; USA TODAY ~ Jan 15, 2018

Medicare Coverage: Wellness Visit vs. Physical
By Lindsay Hoffman; Fox 17 ~ Jan 15, 2018

The Super-Easy Retirement Investing Plan
By Wendy Connick; The Motley Fool ~ Jan 07, 2018

The ABCs Of Inherited IRAs
From Eric Vogt; Forbes ~ Jan 14, 2018

Opinion: Student loans and Social Security combined in toxic brew
By Brenton Smith, Blasting News – Jan 12, 2018

How Tax Reform May Impact Near-Retirees And Retirees
From Mark Avallone; Forbes ~ Jan 13, 2018

An Ominous Sign for Social Security From Congress
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Jan 13, 2018

Congressional Advisory Group Supports Changes In Medicare Doctor Payments
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 12, 2018

For Elder Health, Trips To The ER Are Often A Tipping Point
By Judith Graham; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 11, 2018

Ryan suggests room for bipartisanship on ObamaCare
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Jan 12, 2018

44% of Voters Believe Repealing Any Part of Obamacare Is a Good Start
By Ali Meyer; The Washington Free Beacon ~ Jan 12, 2018

Drugmakers see a pricing blueprint in an $850,000 gene therapy
By Caroline Humer; Reuters ~ Jan 12, 2018

Long-Term Care Insurance And The Importance Of Developing A Plan
From Joel Johnson; Forbes ~ Jan 12, 2018

Robert Powell: How to deal with debt in retirement
By Robert Powell; USA TODAY ~ Jan 12, 2018

Corporations may dodge billions in U.S. taxes through new loophole: experts
By David Morgan; Reuters ~ Jan 12, 2018

IRS Can't Afford to Prep for New Tax Law: Taxpayer Advocate
By Bernice Napach; ThinkAdvisor ~ Jan 12, 2018

Feds Collect Record Income Taxes Through December; Still Run $225 Billion Deficit
By Terence P. Jeffrey; CNS News ~ Jan 12, 2018

Trump administration to let states adopt Medicaid work requirements
By Yasmeen Abutaleb; Reuters ~ Jan 11, 2018

Here is an American solution to universal health care
From Richard Kirsch; The Hill ~ Jan 11, 2018

Representatives outline hybrid multiemployer plan design bill to be introduced
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Jan 10, 2018

In shift, GOP eyes more funding for IRS to implement new tax law
By Erica Werner & Jeff Stein; The Washington Post ~ Jan 10, 2018

The Health 202: Here's one legal and political battle you didn't expect: Republicans versus health insurers
By Paige Winfield Cunningham; The Washington Post ~ Jan 10, 2018

Opinion: Tax Reform: Facts Instead Of Partisan Positioning
From Milton Ezrati; Forbes ~ Jan 10, 2018

HHS Nominee Sticks To Conservative Talking Points On Drug Prices: ‘There’s No Silver Bullet Here’
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 10, 2018

How One Woman Is Reducing Healthcare Costs And Improving Quality
By Geri Stengel; Forbes ~ Jan 10, 2018

Amazon drug sales could 'blow the entire ecosystem apart'
By Brittany De Lea; Fox Business ~ Jan 10, 2018

The time is now to ensure multiemployer pension plan security
From Sean McGarvey & Stephen Sandherr; The Hill ~ Jan 09, 2018

Experts, Industry Push Back on Health Insurance Proposal
By Lauren Clason; Roll Call ~ Jan 09, 2018

Hospital groups to appeal dismissed case against Trump administration
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Jan 09, 2018

U.S. pharma executives expect deals to pick up after tax overhaul
By Caroline Humer & Carl O'Donnell; Reuters ~ Jan 09, 2018

5 Questions To Ask Your Estate Planner After The New Tax Law
From David Robinson; Forbes ~ Jan 09, 2018

HHS Nominee Vows To Tackle High Drug Costs, Despite His Ties To Industry
By Emmarie Huetteman; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 09, 2018

Pro-ACA group urges 'no' vote on Trump health nominee
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jan 08, 2018

Health Insurer Sues Trump Admin Over Slashed Subsidies For Low-Income Patients
By Alice Ollstein; Talking Points Memo ~ Jan 08, 2018

HHS Nominee Talks Tough Against Pharma’s Profit Tactics, But History At Drugmaker Tells Different Story
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 08, 2018

HHS nominee Azar needs to come clean on Obamacare, Medicare in Senate hearings
From Margarida Jorge & Ethan Rome; CNBC ~ Jan 08, 2018

Blue-state officials plot response to GOP tax law
By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ Jan 07, 2018

Fund managers shouldn't try to save the world at pensioners' expense
From Jared Whitley; The Hill ~ Jan 08, 2018

Insurers Show Little Interest In Selling Trumpcare Policies
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Jan 07, 2018

Pfizer ends research for new Alzheimer's, Parkinson's drugs
By Elizabeth Dilts; Reuters ~ Jan 07, 2018

Retirement Tips for the Age of Trump
From Charles J. Sykes; The New York Times ~ Jan 06, 2018

Opinion: Alex Azar is bad medicine for HHS
By Hilary McQuie, The Hill – Jan 6, 2017

Opinion: For Retirees, Rising Interest Rates a Double-Edged Sword
From Mark Miller; Newsmax ~ Jan 06, 2018

Opinion: A New Strategy for Health Care
By Paul Starr, American Prospect – Jan 4, 2018

Opinion: The Case for More Medicare
From David Leonhardt; The New York Times ~ Jan 05, 2018

Conservatives press for ObamaCare repeal ahead of Trump meeting with GOP
By Rachel Roubein; The Hill ~ Jan 05, 2018

A Retirement Resolution Plan That Does Not Involve Diet, Exercise Or Money
From Joseph Coughlin; Forbes ~ Jan 05, 2018

Tax law’s pass-through provision could harm 401(k) plans
By Greg Iacurci; Pensions & Investments ~ Jan 05, 2018

January surprise of vanishing Social Security COLA
By Mary Beth Franklin; InvestmentNews ~ Jan 05, 2018

Susan Collins Moves The Goalposts (Again) On Her Health Care Demands
By Alice Ollstein; Talking Points Memo ~ Jan 04, 2018

A Top House Republican Doesn’t Concede Defeat On Health Law Repeal
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 03, 2018

Credit rater predicts stable year for ObamaCare markets
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Jan 03, 2018

With Hatch’s Retirement, Pharma Will Lose A Friend In Congress
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 03, 2018

The January Talk Every Family Should Have
From John Wasik; Forbes ~ Jan 03, 2018

Pension plans can't be the next big taxpayer bailout in America
From Tom Schatz; The Hill ~ Jan 03, 2018

A Top House Republican Doesn’t Concede Defeat On Health Law Repeal
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 03, 2018

Credit rater predicts stable year for ObamaCare markets
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Jan 03, 2018

With Hatch’s Retirement, Pharma Will Lose A Friend In Congress
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jan 03, 2018

The January Talk Every Family Should Have
From John Wasik; Forbes ~ Jan 03, 2018

New AARP Tool Helps Investors Choose an Advisor
By Emily Zulz; ThinkAdvisor ~ Jan 03, 2018

5 ways to assess whether the GOP tax plan is delivering
By Josh Boak; The Associated Press ~ Jan 03, 2018

Pharma, under attack for drug prices, started an industry war
By Carolyn Y. Johnson; The Washington Post ~ Jan 02, 2018

The Health 202: Generic drugs had a great 2017
By Paige Winfield Cunningham; The Washington Post ~ Jan 02, 2018

Hospital groups dig in after cuts to discount drug program
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Jan 02, 2018

Democrats in High-Tax States Plot to Blunt Impact of New Tax Law
By Ben Casselman; The New York Times ~ Dec 31, 2018

Five ways Trump can undermine ObamaCare in 2018
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Dec 30, 2017

12 Financial Goals For Each Month Of 2018
From Maya Kachroo-Levine; Forbes ~ Dec 30, 2017

Transcending politics, ObamaCare has saved millions of lives
From Dr. Eugene Gu; The Hill ~ Dec 29, 2017

The Most Important Year-end Talk You Should Have About Elder Care
From John Wasik; Forbes ~ Dec 29, 2017

Family caregivers need a voice in our political debate
From David Kendall & Jacqueline Lampert; The Hill ~ Dec 29, 2017

A secure retirement may be in jeopardy for millions of Americans
From Charles Jeszeck & Frank Todisco; The Hill ~ Dec 29, 2017

Final ObamaCare sign-ups tick down slightly due to cancellations
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Dec 28, 2017

What Makes the U.S. Retirement System a Bad Example
From Justin Fox; Bloomberg ~ Dec 28, 2017

When You Shouldn't Prepay Your 2018 Property Taxes
From Kate Ashford; Forbes ~ Dec 28, 2017

IRS Sets Conditions for Deducting 2018 Property Taxes This Year
By John Voskuhl; Bloomberg ~ Dec 28, 2017

5 money mistakes to avoid in the new year
By Anna Bahney; CNNMoney ~ Dec 28, 2017

Opinion: From CHIP reauthorization to drug prices — here's what's in store for 2018 health care
From Dr. Kevin A. Schulman; The Hill ~ Dec 28, 2017

Opinion: If Congress Cuts Entitlements In 2018, Medicare Advantage Enrollment Will Soar
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Dec 28, 2017

The GOP tax overhaul kept this $1,300 break for seniors
By Darlene Mercado, CNBC – Dec 23, 2017

Social Security Beneficiaries Hit Record 61,859,250
By Terence P. Jeffrey; CNS News ~ Dec 27, 2017

Congress Experiments With Millions Of People By Nuking The O’Care Mandate
By Alice Ollstein; Talking Points Memo ~ Dec 27, 2017

Week ahead: Lawmakers push big health care decisions to 2018
By Jessie Hellmann, Rachel Roubein, Peter Sullivan, & Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Dec 26, 2017

Trump: Dems, GOP will eventually develop 'great new HealthCare plan'
By Olivia Beavers; The Hill ~ Dec 26, 2017

Trump admin rolling back use of fines against nursing homes
By Rebecca Savransky; The Hill ~ Dec 26, 2017

FDA Requires New Warning On MRI 'Dyes' That Chuck Norris Says Poisoned His Wife
From Rita Rubin; Forbes ~ Dec 26, 2017

Congress can liberate drugs that come off their patents
From Peter J. Ferrara; The Washington Examiner ~ Dec 26, 2017

How To Give Yourself The Gift Of Lower Taxes
From Erik Carter; Forbes ~ Dec 26, 2017

Dems aim for 2018 midterm boost from Trump tax plan fallout
By Bill Barrow; The Associated Press ~ Dec 25, 2017

Why it’s so hard to get generic competition for costly drugs
By David Nather; AXIOS ~ Dec 25, 2017

Americans' most harmful financial habit? Spending too much
By Maurie Backman, TMF; USA TODAY ~ Dec 25, 2017

In The Coming Debate Over Medicare, Remember How Much Seniors Pay
From Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Dec 23, 2017

Tax Reform Is Here: 4 Moves To Make By End of 2017
From Jamie Hopkins; Forbes ~ Dec 23, 2017

‘I hope I can quit working in a few years’: A preview of the U.S. without pensions
By Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post – Dec 23, 2017

Opinion: The tax bill should've been called The Inequality Exacerbation Act
From Heather Boushey; The Hill ~ Dec 22, 2017

Trump signs tax bill into law
By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ Dec 22, 2017

Trump’s Top Priority for 2018: Infrastructure or Welfare Reform?
By Yuval Rosenberg; The Fiscal Times ~ Dec 22, 2017

Graham Urges Full Health Care Repeal in 2018, Despite Tricky Math
By Griffin Connolly; Roll Call ~ Dec 22, 2017

Who gets left behind in the spending bill
By Sarah Ferris; Politico ~ Dec 22, 2017

Medicare Penalizes Group Of 751 Hospitals For Patient Injuries
By Jordan Rau; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 21, 2017

Column: Missed opportunity: GOP tax bill could have lowered crazy-high drug prices
From David Lazarus; Los Angeles Times ~ Dec 21, 2017

Column: With U.S. life expectancy gains down, tax bill will make things worse
From Mark Miller; Reuters ~ Dec 21, 2017

Graham: GOP leaders 'mistaken' to think there won't be ObamaCare repeal in 2018
By Max Greenwood; The Hill ~ Dec 21, 2017

Obamacare enrollment down only slightly after late surge in demand
By Caroline Humer; Reuters ~ Dec 21, 2017

This Drug Used To Be $50 A Bottle, Now It Goes For $15,000. Lawmakers Want Answers.
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 21, 2017

PBGC Expands Missing Participants Program
By Rebecca Moore; Plansponsor ~ Dec 21, 2017

House passes spending bill to avoid government shutdown
By Allen Cone; United Press International ~ Dec 21, 2017

Opinion: The tax cuts ignore this impact on Social Security’s finances
By Brenton Smith, MarketWatch – Dec 21, 2017

AP FACT CHECK: Trump says Obamacare is repealed. It isn’t
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Dec 20, 2017

Opinion: Grover Norquist: GOP Tax Cuts Are What 2018 Voters Want, Despite What Democrats Say
By Grover Norquist; Newsweek ~ Dec 20, 2017

Doing More Harm Than Good? Epidemic of Screening Burdens Nation’s Older Patients
By Liz Szabo; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 20, 2017

Why Trump Won't Be Signing His Tax Cuts Right Away
By Russell Berman – Atlantic – Dec 20, 2017

Big Medicare cuts triggered by the GOP tax plan won't happen, says House majority leader
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr. ; CNBC ~ Dec 20, 2017

Why Don’t Most Americans Realize They’re Getting Tax Cuts for Christmas?
By David A. Graham; The Atlantic ~ Dec 20, 2017

5 ways the tax bill will affect your retirement
By Alessandra Malito; MarketWatch ~ Dec 20, 2017

House GOPers Say Susan Collins’ Health Care Demands Are Dead On Arrival
By Alice Ollstein; Talking Points Memo ~ Dec 19, 2017

Collins decries coverage of her tax bill support as 'unbelievably sexist'
The Maine Republican decried the media coverage as premature and unfair.

By Adam Cancryn; Politico ~ Dec 19, 2017

Medicare going after labs suspected of unnecessary testing
By Fred Schulte, KHN; BenefitsPRO ~ Dec 19, 2017

The Life And Death Of The Individual Mandate: Will Scrapping ‘Toothless’ Penalty Make A Difference?
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 19, 2017

Abortion fight threatens Collins deal, risks shutdown
By Jessie Hellmann & Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Dec 19, 2017

Banks, healthcare service firms among winners from U.S. tax bill
By Lewis Krauskopf; Reuters ~ Dec 19, 2017

House Will Have To Re-Vote On Tax Plan After Procedural SNAFU
By Cameron Joseph; Talking Points Memo ~ Dec 19, 2017

Looking North: Can A Single-Payer Health System Work In The U.S.?
By Shefali Luthra; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 18, 2017

BREAKING: McConnell’s Promise Nets Susan Collins’ Tax Bill Vote
By Alice Ollstein; Talking Points Memo ~ Dec 18, 2017

Opinion: Entitlement reform is the toughest test for Republicans
From Peter Morici; MarketWatch ~ Dec 18, 2017

In Election Year, Drug Industry Spent Big To Temper Talk About High Drug Prices
By Jay Hancock, KHN; NPR ~ Dec 18, 2017

Concerns Grow About Cheaper Trumpcare Plans
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Dec 17, 2017

ObamaCare mandate repeal would put pressure on states
By Nathaniel Weixel” The Hill ~ Dec 17, 2017


From Merrill Matthews; The Hill ~ Dec 17, 2017

GOP betting that its fix for US economy will defy warnings
By Paul Wiseman; The Associated Press ~ Dec 17, 2017

Lawmakers zero in on next target in fight against high drug prices
By Robert King; The Washington Examiner ~ Dec 17, 2017

Trump officials decline to extend ObamaCare sign-up deadline
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Dec 16, 2017

New tax reforms can open health insurance to innovation
From John Sarich; The Hill ~ Dec 16, 2017

For GOP, tax bill’s most visible win may be averting failure
By Alan Fram; The Associated Press ~ Dec 16, 2017

Corporate Winners and Losers in GOP Tax Bill
By Matthew Townsend; Bloomberg ~ Dec 16, 2017

Why Democrats failed to tank tax reform
By Elana Schor & Heather Caygle; Politico ~ Dec 16, 2017

Opinion: The Tax Bill Is Finalized: Who's Happy, And Who's Not?

Flush with momentum, GOP speeds toward tax votes
By Scott Wong; The Hill ~ Dec 16, 2017

Opinion: A Commonsense Compromise On Health Care: Free Market Coverage For Everyone
From Paul Scotchmer; Forbes ~ Dec 15, 2017

Sign-ups show health law’s staying power in Trump era
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Dec 15, 2017

Medicare Fails To Recover Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Lab Overcharges
By Fred Schulte; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 15, 2017

Here are the details of the final GOP tax bill
CBS News ~ Dec 15, 2017

Rubio To Vote ‘Yes’ On Final Tax Bill, Easing GOP Anxiety Over Passage
By Associated Press; Talking Points Memo ~ Dec 15, 2017

House, Senate’s Negotiated Tax Package Includes Repeal Of Individual Mandate
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 14, 2017

Can You Get Health Insurance Subsidies If You Buy Off-Exchange?
The latest in our series of Q&As about open enrollment

By Tracy Anderman; Consumer Reports ~ Dec 14, 2017

Health groups call on states to override Trump ObamaCare order
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Dec 14, 2017

Lawmakers battle Trump, PhRMA on discount drug rule
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Dec 14, 2017

Consumers Who Froze Their Credit Reports Could Hit A Glitch Enrolling In Insurance
By Julie Appleby; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 13, 2017

Rubio’s defection threatens Senate GOP’s margin on tax bill
By Stephen Ohlemacher & Marcy Gordon: The Associated Press ~ Dec 14, 2017

Collins confident health subsidies will be in spending bill
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Dec 13, 2017

House Lawmakers: Ball Is In Senate’s Court On Bills Stabilizing ACA Marketplaces
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 13, 2017

Why Do People Hate Obamacare, Anyway?
By Julie Rovner; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 13, 2017

Survey: 36% of Obamacare Enrollees Without Subsidies Pay $1,000 Or More in Premiums
By Ali Meyer; The Washington Free Beacon ~ Dec 13, 2017

As the Senate continues to talk about drug pricing let's think about biotechs, too
By Jeffrey Bacha; The Hill ~ Dec 13, 2017

It’s not just primary care doctors that are in short supply, specialists are too
By Joanne Finnegan; FierceHealthcare ~ Dec 13, 2017

This is what Americans are really spending their money on-Frivolous things, or necessities?
By Bob Sullivan; MarketWatch ~ Dec 13, 2017

Credit card debt is costing you nearly $1,000 per year
By Anna Bahney; CNNMoney ~ Dec 13, 2017

Republican Tax Bill in Final Sprint Across Finish Line
By Jim Tankersley, Thomas Kaplan and Alan Rappeport, New York Times – Dec 13, 2017

Congress: Act now to safeguard patients’ access to Part B treatments
By David Daikh & Cynthia A. Bradford; The Hill ~ Dec 13, 2017

Republicans Say They Have a Deal on Tax Bill
By Jim Tankersley, New York Times – Dec 13, 2017

House GOP unveils package to delay ObamaCare taxes
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Dec 12, 2017

Automatic Re-Enrollment Could Leave Customers On Hook To Pay Thousands For Plans They Don’t Want
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 12, 2017

Actuaries warn of premium increases from repealing ObamaCare mandate
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Dec 12, 2017

What Could We Expect From The DOL On 'Association Health Plans'?
From Christopher Condeluci; Forbes ~ Dec 12, 2017

Why Big Medicare And Medicaid Cuts Are Likely
From Bob Blancato; Forbes ~ Dec 12, 2017

Despite Ryan’s Enthusiasm To Overhaul Medicare, GOP Senators More Wary Just Months Before Elections
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 12, 2017

What health insurance executives think of the GOP's plan to repeal the individual mandate
By Leslie Small; FierceHealthcare ~ Dec 11, 2017

Some glitches seen in deadline week for ‘Obamacare’ sign-ups
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Dec 10, 2017

Opinion: Keep big government out of Medicare drug pricing negotiations
By Sally Pipes; The Hill ~ Dec 11, 2017

Despite Mergers, Hospitals Are in Serious Condition
By Charley Grant; The Wall Street Journal ~ Dec 11, 2017

This week: GOP seeks to finish tax overhaul
By Cristina Marcos & Jordain Carney; The Hill ~ Dec 11, 2017

Senate Republicans are divided over whether to pursue Medicare cuts in 2018
By Jeff Stein; The Washington Post ~ Dec 11, 2017

Fed Up With Drug Cost Sticker Shock, Consumers Finding Medication Online For Nearly Half The Price
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 11, 2017

The case for moving to a retirement community
By Saul Levmore; MarketWatch ~ Dec 10, 2017

Poll: Most Americans doubt GOP bill will cut their taxes or boost the economy
By Susan Page; USA TODAY ~ Dec 10, 2017

More Than 1 in 4 Americans Postpone Medical Treatment Because of the Expense
By Ali Meyer; The Washington Free Beacon ~ Dec 10, 2017

GOP Sen. Susan Collins: Not sure if I will support tax reform plan
By Caroline Kenny; CNN ~ Dec 10, 2017

Opinion: To understand the tax reform bill, use good old math and history
From Jeffrey Frankel; The Hill ~ Dec 10, 2017

Very, very scary’: 8.8 million Americans face big tax hike if Republicans scrap the medical deduction
By Heather Long; The Washington Post ~ Dec 10, 2017

GOP Sen. Susan Collins says she would consider changing her tax plan vote over amendments
By Daniella Diaz; CNN ~ Dec 08, 2017

ObamaCare fight could threaten shutdown deal
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Dec 09, 2017

The other big drug problem: Older people taking too many pills
By Sandra G. Boodman; The Washington Post ~ Dec 09, 2017

Prescription Drugs May Cost More With Insurance Than Without It
By Charles Ornstein & Katie Thomas; The New York Times ~ Dec 09, 2017

McConnell Promised Collins Health Bills Would Pass, But No One Else Seems Eager To Uphold That Deal
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 08, 2017

Health Care Spending Grows 1.5% Faster Than Overall Economy in 2016
Out-of-pocket spending including copayments and deductibles increased by 3.9 percent

By Ali Meyer; The Washington Free Beacon ~ Dec 08, 2017

Opinion: Please Raise My Taxes
From Chris Ladd; Forbes ~ Dec 08, 2017

Paul Ryan makes it official: Republicans are coming after Medicare next
By Michael Hiltzik; Los Angeles Times ~ Dec 08, 2017

UnitedHealth Is Buying a Major Doctor Group on the Heels of the CVS-Aetna Deal
By Sy Mukherjee; Fortune ~ Dec 06, 2017

GOP abandons state sovereignty fight on health care
From Barak D. Richman & Dr. Kevin A. Schulman ; The Hill ~ Dec 07, 2017

Pelosi: Dems will oppose short-term spending bill
By Mike Lillis; The Hill ~ Dec 07, 2017

DOJ may win task of reviewing CVS-Aetna deal
By Leslie Small; FierceHealthcare ~ Dec 07, 2017

Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Dec 06, 2017

Opinion: Americans at small companies deserve better retirement plans
From Aron Szapiro; The Hill ~ Dec 06, 2017

Rep. Mark Walker says 'no energy' for Obamacare bills
By Robert King; The Washington Examiner ~ Dec 06, 2017

Health law sign-ups seen as falling short though more enroll
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Dec 06, 2017

U.S. healthcare spending growth slowed in 2016
By Toni Clarke; Reuters ~ Dec 06, 2017

Opinion: CVS-Aetna merger is a robber baron's dream come true
From David Balto; The Hill ~ Dec 06, 2017

Count the ways: How GOP tax plans would reward rich families
By Josh Boak; The Associated Press ~ Dec 06, 2017

The tax bill endangers millions of lives
From Rachel Gallery; The Hill ~ Dec 06, 2017

Opinion: How to Reduce Medical Drug Prices At A Stroke
From Scott Knoer; Newsweek ~ Dec 06, 2017

CMS mulls new payment models for drug pricing
By Paige Minemyer; FierceHealthcare ~ Dec 05, 2017

House conservatives push for repeal of ObamaCare mandate in final tax bill
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Dec 05, 2017

GOP weighs increasing state and local break in conference version of tax bill
By Joseph Lawler; The Washington Examiner ~ Dec 05, 2017

Flawed Social Security's National Debt Burden Unaffordable
By Brenton Smith, Newsmax – Dec 5, 2017

Forget 'Location, Location, Location' When Making Retirement Housing Decisions
From Jamie Hopkins; The Hill ~ Dec 05, 2017

Deadline Looming, House GOP Keeps Talking About Funding Options
By Lindsey McPherson; Roll Call ~ Dec 05, 2017

Opinion: The next Republican targets: Social Security and Medicare
By Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Dec 05, 2017

Funded status for U.S. corporate plans continues upward march
By Meaghan Kilroy; Pensions & Investments ~ Dec 04, 2017

Collins doubles funding ask for ObamaCare bill
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Dec 04, 2017

Let's scrap the Cadillac tax before Americans start paying in money and lives
From Stacy Washington; The Hill ~ Dec 04, 2017

When Every Year Means an ‘Agonizing’ Search for New Insurance
From Jay Hancock; The New York Times ~ Dec 04, 2017

What the CVS-Aetna deal means for consumers
By Paul R. La Monica; CNNMoney ~ Dec 04, 2017

Five questions for the CVS-Aetna deal
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Dec 04, 2017

Column: CVS and Aetna say their huge merger will be great for consumers. Here's why you should be skeptical
By Michael Hiltzik; Los Angeles Times ~ Dec 04, 2017

5 Reasons Consumer Technology Companies Will Transform Health Care
From Chunka Mui; Forbes ~ Dec 04, 2017

This is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit payable in 2018
By Matthew Frankel, TMF; USA TODAY ~ Dec 04, 2017

Congress should stop lining the pockets of drug corporations and their CEOs
From LeeAnn Hall; The Hill ~ Dec 04, 2017

Opinion: Let's not 'restructure' Social Security and Medicare to pay for tax cuts
From Max Richtman; The Hill ~ Dec 04, 2017

Reports: CVS to buy Aetna for $69B
By Danielle Haynes; United Press International ~ Dec 03, 2017

Collins on support for GOP tax bill: I want to see what comes out of conference committee
By Brett Samuels; The Hill ~ Dec 03, 2017

McConnell In Kentucky: Tax Bill Won’t Add To Nation’s Debt Woes
By Bruce Schreiner, AP; Talking Points Memo ~ Dec 03, 2017

Tax bill could fuel push for Medicare, Social Security cuts
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Dec 03, 2017

Heading Toward Tax Victory, Republicans Eye Next Step: Cut Spending
By Kate Zernike and Alan Rappeport, New York Times – Dec 2, 2017

Will GOP Cut Social Security And Medicare Before Or After The 2018 Election?
From Stan Collender; Forbes ~ Dec 03, 2017

Senate tax bill accomplishes major Obamacare repeal goal

How The Senate GOP Got The Votes To Overhaul The Tax Code And Strike A Blow To Obamacare
By Alice Ollstein; Talking Points Memo ~ Dec 02, 2017

If You’re 70½, It’s Time to Take Money From Your Retirement Account
By Ann Carrns; The New York Times ~ Dec 01, 2017

Hacking Health Care: Silicon Valley's Solutions To Elderly Care, Diabetes And More
By Jennifer Wang; Forbes ~ Dec 01, 2017

Next week in Congress: Tax negotiations and funding the government
By Susan Ferrechio; The Washington Examiner ~ Dec 02, 2017

Desperate For Coverage: Are Short-Term Plans Better Than None At All?
By Julie Appleby; Kaiser Health News ~ Dec 01, 2017

Congress May Soon Help Prevent Medicare Enrollment Mistakes
From Chris Farrell; Forbes ~ Dec 01, 2017

How Republicans learned to stop worrying about the deficit and love the tax bill
By Joseph Lawler; The Washington Examiner ~ Dec 01, 2017

How GOP Tax Bill Will Blow Up Medicare
From John Wasik; Forbes ~ Dec 01, 2017

McConnell says Senate has the votes to pass GOP tax bill
By Erica Werner and Damian Paletta, Washington Post – Dec 1, 2017

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