Oldest Member of Congress Faces Runoff Election

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), the oldest member of Congress, faces a primary runoff after failing to lock up his party’s nomination March 4. Hall, a World War II Navy pilot who came to Congress in 1981 and will turn 91 in May, has said this will be his last race to represent Texas’ 4th Congressional District. But former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, who is 48, said he wasn’t going to wait to run because Hall had made that claim in the …

Obama Budget Proposal Targets Medicare Savings

As expected, President Obama’s budget proposal abandoned a call to change the way annual increases in Social Security benefits are calculated and continued a call for Medicare savings. Announced March 4, his plan, which goes next to Congress, would hit some Medicare providers, drug companies and higher-income Medicare beneficiaries as part of $402 billion in estimated health care savings over the next decade. Among the proposed changes for beneficiaries: Charge higher premiums for Parts B and D for higher-income people …

Alzheimer’s: In More Ways Than One, the Costliest Disease

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for more U.S. health care spending than any other disease, and that share will skyrocket as the nation’s population ages, experts told members of a Senate health subcommittee on Feb. 26. Research shows that 14.7 percent of Americans 71 and older had dementia in 2010 and that the condition, on average, was associated with $41,685 a year in medical and informal-care costs, said Michael D. Hurd, director of the RAND Center for the Study of Aging. Dementia …

Dingell, Longest-Serving Congressman, to Retire

Rep. John Dingell Jr. of Michigan has announced he will retire from Congress, leaving behind his record as the longest-serving Capitol Hill lawmaker in history. A Democrat, Dingell is one of 20 House members who have already announced their retirements (not counting those who are running for other offices, resigning or leaving for other reasons), according to this rundown from Roll Call. Dingell served 58 years after replacing his late father and namesake in the seat. He was a proponent of the …

At 101, He’s Running … for Congress

If Joe Newman of Sarasota, Fla., makes it to Capitol Hill, he could be a one-man Congressional Centenarian Caucus. Newman, 101, has announced he’s running as a write-in candidate for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Newman has 11 years on Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who’s the oldest member of Congress. When Newman was learning to walk, William Howard Taft was president. He’s older than Social Security. “At what age does a person become too old to think and reason?” Newman …

CBO Report Offers Mixed Message on Minimum Wage Hike

A new report by the Congressional Budget Office offers fodder for both sides of the debate about raising the nation’s $7.25-an-hour minimum wage. Democrats are cheering the nonpartisan agency’s finding that a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 would lift about 900,000 low-wage workers out of poverty. But Republicans say that what’s important is the report’s estimate that 500,000 jobs would disappear as businesses adjust to the new wage. The CBO found smaller impacts from a wage hike to …