Congress Moves to Overhaul How Medicare Pays Doctors

Capitol Hill lawmakers are showing signs that they could finally revamp how Medicare pays doctors. For the short term, the budget deal approved in the House on Dec. 12 delays for three months a cut of 24 percent in physicians’ reimbursements slated to begin Jan. 1. For the long term, after years of last-minute scrambling to stave off the payment cuts, several key Senate and House committees have approved legislation to repeal the formula that Medicare uses to pay physicians, …

Memories of JFK

“There are still times when I hear ‘Hail to the Chief’ playing, and for a split second think I will see him coming down the steps of Air Force One or on TV, still young and still alive. Or maybe I am unconsciously wishing myself to the past, when I was young and so many more of my family and friends were alive.” (JFKMemories.Tumblr.com) When we launched the blog JFKMemories.Tumblr.com this summer, our hope was to collect many remembrances of …

How Has Social Security Changed Lives? In Millions of Ways

August 14th marks the 78th anniversary of Social Security. Let’s take a look at how Social Security has influenced people’s lives over the years: On August 14, 1935, at 3:30 p.m., President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. In 2012, about 57 million people received some sort of Social Security benefit. Social Security’s average retirement benefit is a modest $1,268/month. Social Security is a family program that keeps more than 1 million children under age 18 …

Countdown to Care: Winners and Losers

In the mad rush to pass budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the health care of hundreds of thousands of hard-working Americans is at stake – and time is running out.  As I write, only about half of the states have agreed to expand Medicaid, which will extend health coverage to residents who earn about $15,000 a year or less.  The closer we come to July 1, the greater the wins and harder the losses: Key Winners: 300,000 …

Who Pays Some of the Highest Gas and Electric Bills?

Meet Paula Wood from Alabama. Retired, once married – now single, supporting herself on Social Security alone, Paula must make sacrifices to make ends meet. But, her electric bills have skyrocketed from $50 to $300 a month in six years. Paula has cut her budget in every possible way. She says, “I also have bronchial asthma, so I have to use power to be able to maintain breathing… If I didn’t have to eat and I didn’t have to breathe, …

3 Questions When Utility Companies Try to Raise Your Rates

Across the country, a number of gas and electric companies are looking to increase their customers’ bills. The cost of everything is going up, but sometimes utilities ask for too much. Here are 3 questions you should ask the next time your utility company tries to raise your rates: 1) When rates go up, will quality improve? Is the utility being held accountable for providing reliable service? 2) What impact do raised rates have on the company’s profit? Is the …