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SPEAKERS BUREAU-coming soon

Courtesy of The Villages Chapter NRLN

WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE TO COME

To book a presentation contact Jim Bodenner at bodennerj@gmail.com

Presentations on topics of interest to retirees in The Villages, such as:

  • Mental Health Care for Seniors in The Villages.
  • Best Deal: Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plans?
  • Healthcare for Military Retirees in The Villages.

(Additional programs under development)

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

meeting

Villagers Learned What Is Happening to Medicare & Medicare Advantage

Bill Kadereit, President, National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) explained to Villagers on May 23 at the meeting of the NRLN Villages Chapter how Medicare Advantage plans are being used to speed Medicare toward privatization. Below are Talking Points on this issue. Click here to view the slides from the presentation. Click here to read the NRLN whitepaper on this issue.

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS - SPEEDING TOWARD PRIVATIZATION $350 BILLION WASTED ON SUBSIDIES TO PRIVATE INSURERS

Talking Points

The Congressional and Executive branches have been on a 35-year flight from budgetary accountability for funding our Medicare program to what they have been convinced is the best solution, privatizing Medicare. This flight reveals that so far over $350 billion of federal taxpayer money has been paid to insurance companies, wasted on subsidization of private insurers for selling Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

In 2018 Congress amended the "Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2018" (BPBA), and thus delivered a low blow that confirms our assertion and declares Congresses' and the White House's intentions to privatize Medicare. The BPBA created benefits and the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) authorized MA plans to spend $16.5 billion more in 2019 and 2020 for MA plan benefits available to 34% (20 million) enrolled in MA plans but NOT for 66% (38.8 million) enrolled in traditional Medicare A&B plans. MA enrollees with asthma will get home care but traditional A & B enrollees won't!

Clearly, based on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) October 5, 2017 analysis, privatization will not lower the cost of health care, instead it will shift 18% of the federal tax burden and health care costs to seniors while protecting the health care provider and pharmaceutical industries.

MedPAC, the independent congressional agency created by Congress to advise them on issues affecting the Medicare program, reported on March 15, 2019..."We project the base benchmarks (that is, excluding quality bonuses) will average 103 percent of traditional Medicare Fee for Service (FFS) spending, and the payments, excluding, quality bonuses (and coding differences), will average 98 percent of FFS spending in 2019." According to MedPAC bonuses would add about 2.4 percent to the 98 percent.

This report said benchmarks without quality bonuses added would average 103 percent in 2019. MA plans are more expensive per enrollee than traditional Medicare.

So, why not fix traditional Medicare, strip out the cost of subsidies? Health and Human Services (HHS) is wasting taxpayer's money and cheating over-age 65 Americans.

FEDERAL SUBSIDIES PAID TO MA PLAN INSURERS ARE UNWARRANTED!

THEY SHOULD BE STRIPPED OUT NOW RATHER THAN LATER WHEN INSURERS WILL BE ABLE TO INCREASE PREMIUMS, DUDUCTIBLES AND COINSURANCE AT WILL IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THEIR 5% + PROFIT MARGIN!

MA private insurer plans carry a 12-15% overhead and profit burdens and have failed to compete without federal subsidies. Traditional Medicare has a much lower 3% overhead burden. MedPAC reported that MA plan insurers made a 5% margin in 2016, twice the average of Medicare plans overall. That's 25% better than the healthcare industry's 4% margin reported by Standard and Poor's.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) data from 2017 records indicate that Medicare A & B payments to MA plan enrollees were 9.9% higher than payments made to traditional Medicare (FFS) enrollees. It is time to derail Medicare privatization.

Strip subsidies and then determine if private insurers can offer a better deal or not, on a level playing field. Current data says not! Are they competitive with Medicare FFS or not? If not, dump them and go after FFS cost reduction; take on doctor and hospital costs, Pharma, product manufacturers and others - install an across the board competitive bidding discipline and toughness that has always been needed.

The NRLN Asks Congress and the Executive Branch to:


HOW YOU CAN HELP


NEWS FOR THE VILLAGES MEMBERS


Angry Your Doctor Won't Tell You What That Test Costs? You Should Be!
From Peter Ubel; Forbes ~ Aug 20, 2019

Ending Surprise Medical Bills: The Very Good, The Good And The Ugly
From John C. Goodman; Forbes ~ Aug 20, 2019

Brand-name drug prices rising at slower pace, lower amounts
By Linda A. Johnson & Nicky Forster; The Associated Press ~ Aug 19, 2019

One small drug, one giant leap for tuberculosis treatment
From Dr. Amesh A. Adalja; The Hill ~ Aug 17, 2019

Create your personal Medicare account
Via Greg Dill; Santa Monica Daily Press ~ Aug 17, 2019

Medicare must protect access to innovative treatments for seniors
From Kerri Houston Toloczko; The Hill ~ Aug 17, 2019

Canada plots response to U.S. import plan after meeting with stakeholders
By Robert King; FierceHealthcare ~ Aug 16, 2019

Getting A Parent With Dementia The Best Long-Term Care For The Money
From Jay Newton-Small, ; Forbes ~ Aug 16, 2019

Elderly Bankruptcy Is On The Rise -- Here's Why
From Teresa Ghilarducci; Forbes ~ Aug 16, 2019

Trump health official: Controversial drug pricing move is 'top priority'
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Aug 15, 2019

FDA warns consumers about the dangerous and potentially life threating side effects of Miracle Mineral Solution
U.S. Food & Drug Administration ~ Aug 12, 2019

America is facing a pension crisis. Retirees will pay the price if we don't act now
By John Boehner & Joe Crowley; CNN Business ~ Aug 14, 2019

Opinion: The Most Overlooked Way Medicare Beneficiaries Can Save On Drug Costs
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Aug 13, 2019

Class-Action Lawsuit Seeks To Let Medicare Patients Appeal Gap in Nursing Home Coverage
By Susan Jaffe; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 12, 2019

Here's What "Cutting" Social Security Benefits Actually Means
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Aug 11, 2019

Congress is considering big changes to the way you retire. Here�s what could make the cut
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Aug 10, 2019

Op-Ed: A smarter way to curb drug prices through imports
From Henry I. Miller & John J. Cohrssen; Los Angeles Times ~ Aug 05, 2019

7 Reasons Social Security Is in Big Trouble
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Aug 09, 2019

Senate bill aims to protect taxpayers from costly drugs
By Andrew Siddons; Roll Call ~ Aug 08, 2019

Opinion: Senate's Prescription Drug Pricing Bill's Limited Impact On Drug Prices
From Joshua Cohen; Forbes ~ Aug 07, 2019

Shift to value-based payment will require new staffing mix for primary care, analysis finds
By Joanne Finnegan; FierceHealthcare ~ Aug 08, 2019

Medicare to cover expensive cancer cell therapies
By Deena Beasley; Reuters ~ Aug 07, 2019

Companies are racing to dump their pension plans
By Jennifer A. Kingson; Axios ~ Aug 07, 2019

PBGC projects improving single-employer program, insolvency for multiemployer one
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Aug 06, 2019

Financial Relief Available For Dementia Victims, Families Say Experts
From Ted Knutson; Forbes ~ Aug 06, 2019

Beware: Fake IRS Letters Are Making The Rounds This Summer
From Kelly Phillips Erb; Forbes ~ Aug 06, 2019

Drugmakers Master Rolling Out Their Own Generics To Stifle Competition
By Jay Hancock & Sydney Lupkin; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 05, 2019

Opinion: The Democrats missed a big opportunity during the debates
By Alessandra Malito; MarketWatch ~ Aug 04, 2019

Working Americans Doubt Durability of Retirement Income, Growing Body of Research Finds
By Nick Fortuna; Barron�s ~ Aug 04, 2019

The biggest bull market ever � yet disaster looms for millions of retirees
By Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Aug 03, 2019

Cutting Interest Rates Hurts Retirees the Most
From Jamie Hopkins; Forbes ~ Aug 03, 2019

Opinion: Recent breaches reaffirm it's time to modernize the Social Security Number
From Steve Grobman & James Lewis; The Hill ~ Aug 02, 2019

Opinion: Republicans' rendezvous with reality � their plan is to cut Social Security
From Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.); The Hill ~ Aug 02, 2019

Opinion: Everyone�s Social Security Number Has Been Compromised. Here�s How To Protect Yourself.
From Suzanne Rowan Kelleher; Forbes ~ Aug 01, 2019

Beware, the IRS is eyeing your inherited money
By Bill Bischoff; MarketWatch ~ Aug 01, 2019

Genetic-Testing Scam Targets Seniors And Rips Off Medicare
By Melissa Bailey; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 31, 2019

Senate Democrats to force vote on Trump health care moves
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Jul 31, 2019

Drug industry lashes Trump for Canada importation plan
By Sarah Owermohle & Arthur Allen; Politico ~ Jul 31, 2019

Trump administration issues plan to allow imports of cheaper prescription drugs
By Peter Sullivan, The Hill � July 31, 2019

Medicare pilot gives physicians access to patients' claims data
By Jessica Kim Cohen; Modern Healthcare ~ Jul 30, 2019

Opinion: Your Nurse Practitioner Will See You Now: How APPs Are Expanding Care Delivery
From Jeff Gorke; Forbes ~ Jul 30, 2019

If Senate fails on Secure Act, workers lose
From Susan K. Neely; The Hill ~ Jul 30, 2019

Doctor Alexa Will See You Now: Is Amazon Primed To Come To Your Rescue?
By Janet Rae-Dupree; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 29, 2019

Opinion: Congress and Wall Street can move disease research closer to treatments, cures
From Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) & Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) ; The Hill ~ Jul 29, 2019

Opinion: Congress, the administration, and the kidney community could dramatically transform kidney care
From Dr. Allen R. Nissenson; The Hill ~ Jul 29, 2019

Hurry up and wait: Docs say insurers increasingly interfere
By Tom Murphy; The Associated Press ~ Jul 29, 2019

Rising National Debt Isn't as Big of a Problem for Social Security as You Might Think
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Jul 26, 2019

5 Social Security Changes in 2020 That Could Affect Your Take-Home Income
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Jul 28, 2019

Cummings plans to call pharma executives to testify about drug costs
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Jul 26, 2019

Senate Finance�s Sweeping Drug Prices Bill Moves Forward But It Has A Bumpy Path In Front Of It
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 26, 2019

Sen. Chuck Grassley: We can find areas of consensus when it comes to health care. Here's proof
From Sen. Chuck Grassley; Fox News ~ Jul 26, 2019

4 Ways to Keep Aging Family Members on the Mend and Out of the Hospital
From Jeff Bevis; Forbes ~ Jul 26, 2019

In the U.S., getting the right medicine after a heart attack may depend on where you live
By Linda Carroll; Reuters ~ Jul 26, 2019

Drug cost bill advances but GOP resistance spells trouble
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Jul 25, 2019

Trump Cooking Up A Sweeping Executive Order That Would Cut Drug Prices In Medicare�s Part D Program, Sources Say
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 25, 2019

No bipartisan consensus on shoring up Social Security
By Brian Croce; Pensions & Investments ~ Jul 25, 2019

Today's Congressional Hearing Is A Huge Milestone In The Fight To Expand Social Security
From Nancy Altman; Forbes ~ Jul 25, 2019

Opinion: Congress Must Not Make Haphazard Changes to Existing, Bipartisan Drug Programs
From Doug Schoen; Forbes ~ Jul 24, 2019

Senate will not vote on bipartisan health costs bill before leaving for August
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jul 24, 2019

FDA warns top marijuana company for making CBD health claims
By Carla K. Johnson; The Associated Press ~ Jul 23, 2019

Grassley gambles on drug price bill despite GOP doubts
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jul 23, 2019

Politicians Tackle Surprise Bills, but Not the Biggest Source of Them: Ambulances
By Sarah Kliff & Margot Sanger-Katz; The New York Times ~ Jul 22, 2019

Pelosi aide: Major bill to lower drug prices coming in September
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jul 22, 2019

Study: Millions should stop taking aspirin for heart health
By Lauran Neergaard; The Associated Press ~ Jul 22, 2019

Medicare Aims To Study Treating Real Pain With Fake Medicine
From Steven Salzberg; Forbes ~ Jul 22, 2019

Opinion: With Seniors' Healthcare At Risk, Congress Cannot Strike Midnight Deal
From Doug Schoen; Forbes ~ Jul 21, 2019

Don't Slash Medicare In Last-Minute Budget Agreement
From Sally Pipes; Forbes ~ Jul 20, 2019

As pensions fail, Congress ponders, and career savings evaporate
By Laura Olson; The Morning Call ~ Jul 20, 2019

Common Medications Can Masquerade As Dementia In Seniors
By Judith Graham; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 18, 2019


Trump�s DOL Pick Fought Fiduciary Rule
By Ross Snel; Barron�s ~ Jul 19, 2019

Democratic chair: Medicare negotiating drug prices not moving before August
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jul 16, 2019

Insurers Running Medicare Advantage Plans Overbill Taxpayers By Billions As Feds Struggle To Stop It
By Fred Schulte & Lauren Weber; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 16, 2019

Supreme Court takes fiduciary case for overfunded DB plan
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Jul 16, 2019

Republicans make U-turn on health care
By Alexander Bolton; The Hill ~ Jul 14, 2019

Why Is Healthcare So Expensive for Retirees?
By Maurie Backman; The Motley Fool ~ Jul 13, 2019

Opinion: Trump Scraps A Reform That Would Have Saved Patients Billions
From Sally Pipes; Forbes ~ Jul 12, 2019

PBMs Breathe Sigh Of Relief As Trump Kills Drug Rebate Proposal And Pharma Companies Become Next Likely Target
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Jul 12, 2019

Medicare Must Keep A Closer Eye On Hospices And Nursing Homes That Put Patients At Risk
From Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Jul 12, 2019

Grassley: Deal to lower drug prices moving forward 'very soon'
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Jul 11, 2019

For Big Pharma, the revolving door keeps spinning
From Karen Hobert Flynn; The Hill ~ Jul 11, 2019

Trump signs executive order aimed at improving kidney disease treatment
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Jul 10, 2019

Taking the 'surprise' out of medical billing

House committee OKs multiemployer pension reform bill
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Jul 10, 2019

Trump misleadingly says prescription drug prices have gone down
By Zack Budryk; The Hill ~ Jul 07, 2019

Congress has ambitious agenda tackling health care costs
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Jul 07, 2019

Trump Plans Executive Order To Lower Drug Prices
By Rachel Stoltzfoos; The Daily Caller ~ Jul 05, 2019

Generics more expensive than branded drugs on Part D, study says
By Robert King; FierceHealthcare ~ Jul 03, 2019

Drug prices in 2019 are surging, with hikes at 5 times inflation
By Aimee Picchi; CBS News ~ Jul 01, 2019

Trump has blessed states� exploration of importing drugs. Will it catch on?
By Phil Galewitz, KHN; FierceHealthcare ~ Jul 01, 2019

Drug prices persistently rising despite Trump efforts
By Sarah Owermohle; Politico ~ Jul 01, 2019

Nancy Pelosi�s latest Medicare proposal would pass drug discounts to all consumers
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr. ; CNBC ~ Jul 01, 2019


ReviewClick here to read the latest NRLN actions during the last month.

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. 

  Suggestions and comments about this website should be addressed to webmaster@nrln.org. Last updated: August 21, 2019