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 …

Obama Budget Said to Drop ‘Chained CPI’

The White House says it is dropping a proposal that would have lowered the cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and other government social programs, according to published reports. President Barack Obama had previously proposed tying inflation adjustments to the so-called chained CPI, which measures inflation more conservatively, in exchange for tax increases. Republican lawmakers, who have backed the chained CPI,  didn’t go along with the deal. Politico reported a White House official saying: “Over the course of last year, Republicans …

Bill Would Cover More Medicare Patients for Skilled Nursing Care

A congressman is expressing confidence that a bill he sponsored – to fix a problem faced by many Medicare patients who are left without coverage for skilled nursing care – will pass this year. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., who introduced the bill with Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, told reporters in a conference call that the legislation has picked up 137 cosponsors. “This is not happening in a vacuum,” Courtney said, according to the Connecticut Mirror. “It’s happening because there is …