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SPEAKERS BUREAU LIBRARY OF PRESENTATIONS

CLICK HERE for more info or to book a presentation

Alzheimer’s Communication - Effective Words and Interactions

Alzheimer’s Stages of Progression - Changes to Expect and Watch For

Alzheimer’s Warnings & Absolutes - Cautionary Notes for Caregivers

Alzheimer’s How To Know It’s Time - The Cues For Needing a Nursing Home

Drug Prescriptions & Costs – What’s Being Done to Bring Costs Down?

The Empowered Patient – How To Be Your Own Healthcare Advocate

Federal Subsidies – Why Are Our Taxpayer Dollars Being Squandered?

Medicare Enrollment –Medicare Advantage vs. Medigap “G”

Medicare Privatization – Diverting Taxpayer Money from Patient Care to Ins. Co. Shareholder Profits

Mental Health Issues in The Villages – Strategies for Finding Reliable Mental Health Services in The Villages

Military Retiree Health Care – Status of Programs for Veterans & Their Families

Plan For Life – Advance Planning Strategies

See How Your FL Senators and Representative
Voted on Legislation For Seniors

Senate and House Companion Bills that the NRLN Supports in this 116th Congress
Yes = they are co-sponsoring this bill; or No = uncertain or against. Note: Click a bill description to see a brief explanation. To see the bill, all co-sponsors and a full explanation go to www.congress.gov and enter bill #.

Senate Bill # Sen. Rubio Sen. Scott House Bill# FL11Rep. Webster

NRLN Villages Chapter Updates

To: NRLN Villages Chapter Members

September 2020

The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) and the NRLN Villages Chapter are partners in making sure that retirees have a strong voice in Washington, DC. Jim Bodenner, Chapter Leadership Team Member joined other leaders of the NRLN, retiree associations and chapters in February to lobby for the key parts of the NRLN’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill. Your individual contribution is very important to the NRLN and your Chapter. Please make a contribution as noted in the last paragraph.

Is your Social Security benefit going to last your lifetime and that of your spouse? What about future generations? Social Security will deplete it reserves by 2034. At that time, it will only be able to pay 76% of benefits. The NRLN is supporting passage of Social Security 2100 Act in Congress that will fund the program for the next 75 years.

How secure are your Medicare benefits? Where does the money come from that provides some Medicare participants with more benefits than others? Medicare will deplete its reserves by 2026 and will only be able to pay 90% of benefits. The NRLN opposes the use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize private insurance companies for Medicare Advantage (MA) special benefits that original Medicare beneficiaries are denied. The NRLN is advocating that original Medicare enrollees have access to the special benefits being offered by MA.

Are you paying too much for your prescription drugs? The NRLN Is advocating that Congress should remove the prohibition on Medicare negotiating drug prices and replace it with a competitive bidding model. Legislation is needed to end pay-for-delay and other brand name drugmakers’ tactics that obstruct generic drugs from coming to market. The NRLN has lobbied to allow importation of less expensive drugs from Canada. A July executive order will accomplish that. The NRLN supports S. 4199 in the Senate Committee on Finance and H.R. 3 passed in the House in December. We want the Senate to pass its bill so it will go to a conference committee with the House bill. Congress needs to do its job and compromise to provide relief from sky- rocketing drug prices.

Is your retirement pension secure? Many employers have converted pension plans to third-party insurance company annuities. When “de-risking” occurs with the purchase of an insurance annuity, pension plan participants lose the protection of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The NRLN’s proposed legislation would protect retirees.

What would happen to your pension if your former employer acquired another company and merged pension plans? The NRLN is concerned about the merging of pension plans with very different levels of plan assets and liabilities. The PBGC not only lacks advance notice of intra-firm mergers, the agency has waived the requirement for post-event reporting of plan mergers. The NRLN is lobbying for legislation to require plan mergers to be reviewed in advance by the PBGC and IRS and challenged if necessary.

Have you or someone you know experienced pension recoupment because your pension benefit was miscalculated? Currently, there is no limitation on recovering pension overpayment due to a calculation error. Under the NRLN’s proposal being considered on Capitol Hill, the legislation would clarify that a company does not have a fiduciary duty to recoup overpayments, but if it chooses to do so, it must be done within three years of the initial overpayment. Further, the company may not recoup more than 10% of the amount of the overpayment per year, and it may not recoup against a beneficiary of a participant.

Your individual contribution is very important to achieving the NRLN’s legislative agenda. Please contribute $25, $50, $75 or more. Any amount contributed will be appreciated. Make your check or money order payable to NRLN, Inc. The contribution form is available here. Or, make your contribution with your credit card by clicking here. Also, you can help by responding to Action Alerts and asking friends to sign up at www.nrln.org to receive our emails.

For additional information contact your Villages Chapter Leadership Team.

Bob Bienvenue
rbienven@sprynet.com
Mallory
Jim Bodenner
bodennerj@gmail.com
Terra Del Sol South
Doris Branson
dorisbranson@gmail.com
Santa Domingo
John Canner
wwjc914@gmail.com
Amelia
Madge Koscelnik
nursemadge@gmail.com
Chatham
Jackie Kuhn
jakuhn@alzheimersfamily.org
Bonita
Ray Pasternak
janice1@tir.com
La Belle
Heather Rabinowitz
heatherrab@comcast.net
Sunset Point
Carolyn Reichel
carolynreichel@gmail.com
Sunset Point
Bill Yelverton
wey44@aol.com
Mallory

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For Information Contact:
Jim Bodenner, NRLN Villages Chapter Leader
Phone: 616-866-8180
Email: Bodennerj@gmail.com
Website: https://www.nrln.org/CHAPTERS/VILLAGES/villchapter.html

Concern Over Social Security Payroll Tax Deferral

The Villages Chapter of the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) is concerned executive orders to defer from September 1 through December 31 the payroll tax will deplete the Social Security retirement trust fund by 2023, and its disability insurance funding by the middle of 2021.

According to Jim Bodenner “If the Social Security Trust is drained and there is a subsequent recession, then General Tax Revenues will dry up which will create a crisis for a large portion of the 65 million Social Security beneficiaries, destroying Social Security for our children and grandchildren. Bodenner is a member of the Villages Chapter leadership team

A 12.4 percent payroll tax split evenly between employers and workers earning up to $137,700 (for 2020) is a vital funding source for Social Security.

If no alternative source of revenue to replace the payroll tax, the Social Security Administration estimates that Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund asset reserves would become permanently depleted in about the middle of calendar year 2021, with no ability to pay DI benefits thereafter. The Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund reserves would become permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023, with no ability to pay OASI benefits thereafter.

Bodenner said the Villages Chapter has endorsed the NRLN’s support for House bill H.R. 860 and Senate bill S. 269, the Social Security 2100 Act.

He said the Social Security 2100 Act comes the closest to the NRLN’s position to make Social Security financially strong for the current generation, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren by funding the program for the next 75 years. The bill would achieve the funding by a minimal increase of 1.2 percent in the payroll tax for employees and employers on earnings with the annual escalation of a few hundred dollars as it does now. The major difference in funding is that the payroll tax would apply on earnings of $400,000 and above.


The NRLN and AREF Partnership

The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) created the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) in 2014 to develop whitepapers and advocate policy recommendations for retirement security to federal policymakers, constituency groups, the media, and the general public. The AREF, an IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, researches and produces whitepapers and other materials and can use them to educate NRLN members and other advocates on how to present legislative proposals.

The AREF can advocate proposals to members of Congress and federal agencies but once a proposal is introduced as a bill, only the NRLN, an IRS 501(c)4 non-exempt organization, can lobby for passage of a bill. The AREF can advocate but not lobby. This allows members to make tax-deductible donations that are accounted for separately from NRLN contributions. To learn more about the AREF and NRLN go to www.seniorsaref.org and www.nrln.org.

NRLN and AREF Revenue

Seventy-five percent of NRLN revenue comes from non-deductible individual contributions. The other twenty-five percent of NRLN revenue comes from company retiree association dues paid to the NRLN.  NRLN Chapters are supported by a portion of contributions made by Chapter members. For individual contributions to the NRLN go to http://www.nrln.org/JoinUs.htm. Either click on the link to printout the contributions form and mail it with a check or click on the link to make a credit card contribution.

All AREF revenue comes from individual tax-deductible donations. A donation to the AREF may be made by going to the AREF website at www.seniorsaref.org and clicking on the “Donations” tab.

The NRLN annual solicitation to NRLN Villages Chapter members will be in late October 2019.  However, anyone can make voluntary non-deductible contributions to the NRLN or tax-deductible donations to the AREF at any time. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP



Read the latest NRLN actions during the month.review

Read the latest NRLN FOCUS Newsletter
focus


Resources for Voters

I have invited Bob Martina, NRLN Vice President – Grassroots, to join me for this NRLN President’s Forum message.

The Democrat and Republican conventions have been held. After Labor Day many Americans begin giving serious attention to campaigns. The Presidential Campaign Debates are scheduled for September 29th, October 15th and 22nd.

Voter Registration and Voting Information

The NRLN believes that the website https://www.vote.org/ , a non-partisan, non-profit organization, can be a resource to you. This website can be used to determine whether you are registered to vote. If you are not registered to vote there is a link to register. There are links to find your polling place location or to request an absentee ballot. (This website invites you to make a voluntary contribution to vote.org. That decision is up to you.)

If you scroll down the vote.org webpage to where links to state election centers are listed, we have noticed that some states are not up-to-date on mail-in voting (for example Washington state). If your state has mail-in voting, direct any questions you have to the office of your Secretary of State. To contact the office of your Secretary of State, go to the website for the National Association of Secretaries of State at https://www.nass.org/membership . The Secretary of State Office may refer you to county or local election officials.

Postal Service Concerns

There have been many news reports and editorials about whether the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is capable of handling large volumes of mail-in ballots. If you will be voting by mail, your ballot should be mailed as soon as possible.

Some say USPS currently has sufficient funding to handle mass mail-in ballots. Others claim that USPS needs billions more in funding to handle election mail. The NRLN is not taking sides in this controversy. Our concern is that the USPS has the capability to deliver prescription drugs, pension and Social Security checks, Medicare information and other critical mail to seniors on time.

The NRLN will be issuing an Action Alert to ask members to email letters to the President and Congressional leaders to tell them that they need to put politics aside and determine the level of financing USPS needs to properly do its job.

Congressional Report Cards on Bills

Whether you have already made your decision on how you will vote or are undecided, it is important that you exercise your right to vote in the November 3rd Election. To assist you in being an informed voter on the elections for the House of Representatives and the Senators seeking re-election, the NRLN Report Card shows whether your members of Congress are cosponsors of the bills the NRLN supports or opposes. Click here and then click on your state on the USA map. When the webpage with your members of Congress appears, click on EXCEL DOWNLOAD. After you have completed the download, click on Enable Editing at the top of the EXCEL file to see the bills’ titles.

Pharma Campaign Contributions

You many also want to review the campaign contributions Senators and Representatives have received from the pharmaceutical and health products industry. Go to www.nrln.org and click on the link in the center column of the NRLN website home page. The data is provided by OpenSecrets.Org, Center for Responsible Politics, a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit organization.

Your vote counts. Please vote!

 Bill Kadereit  Bob Martina
 NRLN President  NRLN Vice President - Grassroots


Trump payroll plan would deplete Social Security by 2023: Administrator

By Niv Elis; The Hill ~ Aug 25, 2020

President Trump's proposal to eliminate payroll taxes would deplete the Social Security retirement trust fund by 2023, and its disability insurance fund by the middle of next year, according to the Social Security Administration.

Absent other sources of revenue, the programs would stop paying out benefits when the funds were depleted.

In early August, President Trump signed an executive order permitting companies to stop withholding payroll taxes from their employee paychecks, a gambit to increase take-home pay.

But Trump also went a step further, promising that he would cancel the tax altogether if he were to be reelected in November, a move that has little support from either party on Capitol Hill and is unlikely to advance. Federal payroll taxes fund Social Security.

“If I’m victorious on Nov. 3, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax,” he said upon signing the order.

“In other words, I’ll extend beyond the end of the year and terminate the tax,” he added, though he did not specify whether he would seek to pay out benefits using general tax funds or other revenue sources.

Trump has also promised to not touch Social Security benefits, but his budget proposals have included policies that would scale back disability insurance.

In a response to a letter from Congressional Democrats asking how such a policy would affect the trust funds, Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Stephen Goss said it would lead to their quick depletion.

Without other taxes to refill the funds or cover the benefits, they would be wiped out in a matter of years.

“If this hypothetical legislation were enacted, with no alternative source of revenue to replace the elimination of payroll taxes on earned income paid on January 1, 2021 and thereafter, we estimate that [Disability Insurance] DI Trust Fund asset reserves would become permanently depleted in about the middle of calendar year 2021, with no ability to pay DI benefits thereafter," he wrote in a letter to the Democrats.

"We estimate that [Old Age and Survivors Insurance] OASI Trust Fund reserves would become permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023, with no ability to pay OASI benefits thereafter,” he added.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) — who spearheaded the letter to Goss along with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senate Budget Committee ranking member Bernie Sander (I-Vt.) — said the policy would wreak havoc on older Americans.

“Trump’s payroll tax cut plan not only fails to help Americans struggling to get by right now, it would also completely decimate Social Security for the millions of Americans who rely on it," Van Hollen said, vowing to fight the policy.

Nancy Altman, president of the progressive advocacy group Social Security Works, said Trump's policies would wipe out the popular benefit.

"If Donald Trump is reelected, Social Security will cease to exist before the end of his second term," she said.

Such a policy, however, would have little chance of advancing in Congress.

Senate Republicans threw out the temporary deferral Trump signed in his executive order from their own COVID-19 relief bill proposal.

Even the deferral order Trump signed is not expected to have a major effect. Without legislation, the deferred tax payments would come due early next year, leaving workers with a significant bill. As a result, most businesses are not expected to stop the withholding.

The Trump campaign pointed to Trump's past promises to protect Social Security, saying he would not allow benefit cuts to move forward.

“Joe Biden’s allies are dusting off the old Social Security scare tactic playbook and talking about hypothetical legislation that does not exist," said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh.

"The President has clearly stated repeatedly that he will always protect Social Security and Medicare, including from Democrats pushing plans to give benefits to illegal aliens," he added.

Biden's health proposal would allow undocumented immigrants to buy into a public health care option.

The letter from Goss comes just 10 weeks before the 2020 election, where older voters are expected to play a key role in states such as Florida.


July 13, 2020
To: NRLN Villages Chapter Members
Subject: Medicare Advantage and Medigap Plans

You may have read the June 9 NRLN President Bill Kadereit Forum message that announced the completion a new NRLN whitepaper on Medicare Advantage (MA). If you missed the Forum message, it is posted at www.nrln.org and there is a link in the message to the whitepaper.

The NRLN's primary concern has always been for its members and all seniors who see the TV commercials about MA plans and good deals that are "FREE." Implying that Medicare A & B premiums and benefits are free is misleading since whether you stay with original Medicare A & B or buy a private MA plan to get A & B benefits we get all Part A benefits as we have prepaid the 1.45% premium tax on wages over our lifetime and we all must pay the Medicare B premium of $144.60 a month. Nothing free here!

Regrettably, our income tax dollars subsidize private MA insurance companies with bonuses and rebates that fund reduced deductibles, copays, costs in excess out of pocket maximums and may pay for drug, dental and vision plans and for Silver Sneakers memberships. These rebates amount to $126 a month for every MA plan enrollee. In 2020, cost sharing and chronic benefit costs will be $35 billion and MA plan cost per enrollee will be higher than in original Medicare!

The 44 million enrollees in original Medicare and all others paying income taxes also pay for MA plan new "chronic" benefits for the 26 million MA enrollees - that are denied to the other 44 million original Medicare beneficiaries. The NRLN is advocating this is unfair, discriminatory. All Medicare enrollees should be eligible for approved Medicare plan benefits.

The NRLN fully supports competition from private healthcare plans and understands the financial challenges ahead for Medicare and the federal budget. However, the NRLN lobbies against legislated subsidies and restrictions placed on original Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) just to preserve the notion that private insurance plans are more effective. Sooner or later these subsidies will dry up, causing insurers to abandon MA plans. Our proposal includes “grandfathering” protection for those in MA HMO plans should this happen.

Soon we will post a summer series of videos about Medicare and Supplemental or Medigap plans. Our goal is to provide access to information prior to the fall 2020 Medicare enrollment period. Currently we are evaluating pricing of Medigap plans available to Villagers and will report out on this subject in a few weeks. If you have a Medigap plan and have experienced premium increases in 2019 or 2020, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email to contact@nrln.org to tell us the insurance company provider of your Medigap plan, when you began paying the premium, when the premium was increased and by how much.

For further information contact your Villages Chapter Leadership Team.

Bob Bienvenue
rbienven@sprynet.com
Mallory
Jim Bodenner
bodennerj@gmail.com
Terra Del Sol South
Doris Branson
dorisbranson@gmail.com
Santa Domingo
John Canner
wwwjc914@gmail.com
Amelia
Madge Koscelnik
nursemadge@gmail.com
Chatham
Jackie Kuhn
jakuhn@alzheimersfamily.org
Bonita
Ray Pasternak
janice1@tir.com
La Belle
Heather Rabinowitz
heatherrab@comcast.net
Sunset Point
Carolyn Reichel
carolynreichel@gmail.com
Sunset Point
Bill Yelverton
wey44@aol.com
Mallory

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