March 27, 2015
Senators Harry Reid, Dan Coats Will Not Run for Re-Election
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced on Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2016. Reid has a 95% lifetime score on the Alliance’s voting record and was the recipient of the Leadership Award at the Alliance’s 2010 convention in Las Vegas. Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) will also retire after the current term.
“Harry Reid has been a champion for retirees for his entire career in the House and Senate. His work as the Senate Democratic Leader enabled the Affordable Care Act to pass; he stopped George W. Bush’seffort to privatize Social Security; and he always fought hard to protect Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts. The entire Alliance thanks him for his service and wishes him the best during his own retirement,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance.
House of Representatives Passes Legislation to Replace Sustainable Growth Rate
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to replace the “Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR),” a formula that determines how doctors are paid through Medicare. This legislation will replace the SGR with a system that will tie payment and bonuses to doctors’ performance scores from the government. This bill will also expand means testing for seniors, limit availability for first-dollar coverage on some Medigap plans for seniors with higher incomes, and expand the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) for two years. The Senate has not voted on the SGR bill.
“While parts of this bill solve serious issues in how Medicare operates, we believe that retirees deserve a better deal. We would also like to see the CHIP program extended for four years, not two, and are concerned that some of the cost shifts to retirees will lead to greater beneficiary cuts in the future,” saidRuben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. More at http://tinyurl.com/q7ub96t