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I don't get what goes on with AARP.  They are supposed to loby on our behalf but I see no results.  Just recently Congress voted SS a paltry raise after, let's be real, nothing for years.  Wow, we got 2%, that's $20 on a $1000 SS check.  Seems odd that those of us who paid SS all our working lives, who are now receiving their checks, have a lower COLA than Congress.  We're on fixed incomes and all our expenses rise as much as their's do with a much harder cost.

Then after patting themselves on the back, they raise our Medicare D by 28%.  Do you people understand that they gave you 2% with one hand, then stole 28% with the other, that's a -26% raise.  Pretty big of them who get at least $176,000 a year for a 2 1/2 day work week, with a vaction every 2-4 weeks.  I'd go back to work for that!

Too, let me remind you all that SS and Medicare  are supposed to be "Trust Funds", not the government's private piggy bank that they have been stealing from since Nixon.  Eqitibly managed with fiduciery responsibility, we all should be getting at least 3 times the SS than we are receiving.  Those on Medicaid get better benfits than all of us who worked and paid into Medicare all our lives.

The idea of using OUR money to fight wars and pay for all Americans to be "equal" is ludicrous.  Those of us who do have more is because we earned it.  It;s not for the government to take away and give to someone else or fight for people around the worls who don't appreciate it.  Example, no matter the outcomein the Middle East, we, Americans, will always be the satan dog.  Look around, as soon as we cut/stop funding other countries and their issues, they want nothing to do with America, the world's welfare system.

And now is the time to get congresss men and womes out if they don't take care of us. Retired/AARP people are a large voting block..   We do have a strong say and should exercise it.

I could rant on and on, and realize I would offend some peole but it's time to vote for change.  If our representatives in Congress don't take care of us, get rid of them.  Lastly I am disappointed in the AARP lobby for not representing us better and making our voices heard.

Write your congressmen and shout at them......go strong!!

Trusted Contributor

In Trump's new proposed budget, Trump for the first time calls for cutting $845 billion from Medicare, the popular health care program for the elderly that in the past he had largely said he would protect. 

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Honored Social Butterfly



I forget the last time that a Presidential Budget really got too much traction in the House but the so-called "cuts" in Trumps Budget have more to do with "savings".


There are NO cuts to any benefits.

The savings come from reducing payments to providers or reducing the amount that Medicare pays for medications under the Prescription Drug Plan ( Medicare Part D).


Example:  Right now Medicare (Part B) pays more for having Chemo treatment in a Hospital or a Hospital outpatient treatment facility than they pay to providers (oncologist) who give the Chemo in their facilitiy.  It is the SAME treatment- SAME EVERYTHING -  So that is one of the so-called "cuts" (savings) - Medicare would pay the Hospital outpaient Chemo at the same rate as that which they paiy to the specialist providers (oncologist).  No change to benefits or where a beneficiary will go for treatment, just a different payment from Medicare.   Of course, Hospitals are upset about it and you are playing right into their hands.


That's just one example - there are many. 


It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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I will soon retire. I am shocked at what I will pay for Medicare insurance due to the surcharge tiers imposed on higher wage earners. I have been on the web searching for articles, as well as forums on the topic, but haven't found much. Could it be I just don't know where to look?  

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Honored Social Butterfly


I will soon retire. I am shocked at what I will pay for Medicare insurance due to the surcharge tiers imposed on higher wage earners. I have been on the web searching for articles, as well as forums on the topic, but haven't found much. Could it be I just don't know where to look?  

BTW, CheryIL439221, it is NOT just "wage earners" - all income is counted into the mix for these surcharges to apply - not just wages.


If you are talking about "How" it works, here is the 2018 publication on it from the SSA. - 2018 Medicare Premiums: Rules For Higher-Income Beneficiaries - Social Security Part B & Part D Income-Related Adjustment Amount Notice


If you are talking about "WHY" these premium surcharges are there in the 1st place - it is ALWAYS to bring in more money for program redistribution.  In fact, I look for the lesser amount of income where this is applicable now ( single- $ 85,000) to go down so that more people will pay these IRMMA (Income Related Medicare Monthy Adjustment) amounts. - it has been discussed for years and years as a method of helping out Medicare Part B and Part D.  Higher income beneficiaries have seen their premiums rise substantially already.


KFF 01.13.2014 - Raising Medicare Premiums for Higher-Income Beneficiaries: Assessing the Implicatio...


KFF 06/03/2015 - Medicare’s Income-Related Premiums: A Data Note


The upper levels are already UP in 2018 as the above articles state. 

Figure 3: Medicare Part B and Part D Income-Related Premiums Before and After 2018


Beginning in 2019, The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 made these changes:

Section 53114 requires that Medicare beneficiaries with annual incomes of $500,000 or more, and couples with incomes of $750,000 or more, pay premiums for Parts B and D that cover 85% of the average annual per capita costs of these benefits beginning in 2019 (instead of 80% as under prior law). The income threshold at this top level will be frozen through 2027 and adjusted annually for inflation starting in 2028.



It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Honored Social Butterfly

BEFORE going into a rant about some facet of SS and/or Medicare, it pays to understand how they work -


Congress does not have to vote a COLA in - it is automatic based on specific indexes on the state of the economy. - Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments


COLA increase affect more than just SS beneficiaries - Veteran's benefits, government employees, etc.  Congress by law get the same % increase in COLA as everybody else UNLESS they specifically vote this out - which they do occassionally.

National Taxpayers Union - Do Members of Congress get Automatic Pay Hikes (COLAs)?


Congressional Research Service 04/2018 - Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Histori...  READ THE SUMMARY


YOU pick your Medicare Part D plan - shop around for the one available in your area that serves you the best.

KFF The Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit 2018 Analysis Fact Sheet

from the link:

Part D Plan Premiums and Benefits in 2018

Premiums. According to CMS, the 2018 Part D base beneficiary premium is $35.02, a modest decline of 2% from 2017.  Actual (unweighted) PDP monthly premiums for 2018 vary across plans and regions, ranging from a low of $12.60 for a PDP available in 12 out of 34 regions to a high of $197 for a PDP in Texas.


Part D enrollees with higher incomes ($85,000/individual; $170,000/couple) pay an income-related monthly premium surcharge, ranging from $13.00 to $74.80 in 2018 (depending on their income level), in addition to the monthly premium for their specific plan.3 According to CMS projections, an estimated 3.3 million Part D enrollees (7%) will pay income-related Part D premiums in 2018.


Perhaps you are talking about Medicare Part B  or the doctor coverage instead.  This benefit is NOT covered by an actual Trust fund.  There is NO payroll taxes paid for Medicare Part B.  Beneficiaries pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B - these premiums represents 25% of the cost of the program - the other 75% of the cost of Medicare Part B comes from the General Fund.


AND BTW, those beneficiaries who have an income greater than $ 85,000 per year have to pay a much higher monthly premium for Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D - including any beneficiary that has served or is serving in Congress. - Medicare Premiums: Rules For Higher-Income Beneficiaries 2018


The ONLY Medicare benefit that a beneficiary gets premium free if they have worked long enough and paid Medicare taxes long enough through their payroll deduction is Medicare Part A or the Hospital portion of Medicare.


Any SS Funds that are collected and NOT used to pay current benefits are invested in special treasures but this amount is now decreasing due to the shear number of baby boomers receiving their benefit or will be receiving them. - Social Security Trust fund Data Combined Old Age, Survivors and Disability Benefits -1957 ...


And what is MOST IMPORTANT is the current financial health of the system per the annual Social Security Trustee Report:  2017 Social Security and Medicare Trustee Report Summary


Especially THIS part:

After 2021, interest income and redemption of trust fund asset reserves from the General Fund of the Treasury will provide the resources needed to offset Social Security's annual deficits until 2034, when the OASDI reserves will be depleted. Thereafter, scheduled tax income is projected to be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through the end of the projection period in 2091.


So IF something is not done to fix this "what's coming in and what's going out" problem - Beneficiaries will have about a 25% reduction in their benefits about 2034 - That's in the law - it will be swift and automatic just based on the numbers of what is coming in and what is going out.


I am one that will listen and think about any solution to these entitlement financial problems and any structural problems within the system,  but the people suggesting them and promoting them have to understand the systems and thus the problems and any possible remedies.  It would serve you well in your own benefits to understand them.  Just voting people in or out does not solve the problem if they aren't willing to fix the problem(s) with good solutions, fair to everybody.


These problems have been going on for a long time - Social Security Actuaries even analyize each proposal - see any you like? - Proposals to Change Social Security - SS Actuary Analysis


It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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