Global IT Team; Global Caucus Coordinator; AAPI Caucus Steering Committee

  • published Leaders in Global Black Caucus 2021-12-12 14:18:01 -0500

  • published News in Medicare Portability 2021-12-12 10:07:48 -0500

    News

    Intro
    Posted by · December 12, 2021 9:56 AM · 1 reaction

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  • published Intro in News 2021-12-12 09:56:45 -0500

    Intro

    Our Goal: To ensure U.S. citizens have  access abroad to their earned Medicare benefits. 

    Citizens who worked in the US, or for US companies, paid into the Medicare system throughout their careers.  Once they begin receiving the Social Security they earned throughout their work lives, their benefit is automatically reduced for the cost of their Medicare.  But US Citizens residing outside the country are unable to use the Medicare they paid for, and continue to pay for, without often-costly travel back to the United States.  Many choose that option.  Others never receive the benefits for which they paid.  This has implications for fairness and cost to the Medicare system.

    While different countries of residence present different situations for seniors, the cost of health care in nearly every one is significantly less than in the US, a potential savings that we believe will help the Medicare Trust Fund’s viability over time.




    What you can do

    • Contact your Congressional Representatives to ensure they are aware of this inequity and how critical it is to providing fairness and producing potentially significant savings for the Medicare Trust Fund.  Remind them that Democrats voting from abroad provided the margin of victory in multiple races in 2020 and 2018.  
    • Educate other seniors and individuals approaching Medicare age about this issue and ask them to join DA and complete a survey, and become part of the drive to change this unfair and unequal treatment of seniors who retire abroad.

    Join DA’s Medicare Portability Task Force.  Send an email to [email protected]


  • published Leaders in Medicare Portability 2021-12-12 09:25:49 -0500

  • published Sustaining Donors in Donate 2021-11-25 07:40:45 -0500




  • published ECCC Welcome in News 2021-11-09 06:39:42 -0500

    ECCC Welcome

    The Democrats Abroad Environment & Climate Crisis Council (ECCC) advocates for systemic climate and environmental policies and solutions within the global Democratic community.  

    We urge the Biden-Harris administration to take the lead and declare a National Climate Emergency.  Sign our ECCC National Climate Emergency Petition.

    The ECCC is Democrats Abroad’s newest advocacy group. Our activities include:  

    • Voter engagement  
    • Events  
    • Issues advocacy  
    • Intersectional collaboration  
    • Candidate support  

    Environmental justice is an organizing principle for the ECCC. We aspire to: 

    • amplify the voices and expertise of those disproportionately harmed by environmental threats; 
    • advocate for policies and candidates that address historical injustices that exacerbate the environmental injury.  

    Check out our Earth Care Toolkit for tools, resources, and suggestions on what you can do to make a difference.

    Contact us at [email protected] and

    Follow us on:
    Facebook DA ECCC, Instagram @DemsAbroadECCC, Twitter @demsabroadeccc, and YouTube



  • published Upcoming November Events! in News 2021-11-08 03:24:23 -0500

    Upcoming November Events!

    Don't miss our November Meetings:

     

    Nov. 13: Unfinished Business: Organizing with proDA in Asia Pacific

    Calling all in the Asia-Pacific region interested in engaging with the mission of the Global Progressive Caucus, as we assess the results of recent elections and consider next steps. Find out More and RSVP HERE!

    Nov. 29: proDA November Monthly Monday for Your Progressive Minds

    The Case For A Job Guarantee By Pavlina R. Tcherneva. "One of the most enduring ideas in economics is that unemployment is both unavoidable and necessary for the smooth functioning of the economy. This assumption has provided cover for the devastating social and economic costs of job insecurity. It is also false." Join us for the discussion - RSVP HERE!

     

     


  • published About Us in Leaders / Liderazgo 2021-10-29 17:40:16 -0400

  • published Volunteers Needed in Caucuses 2021-10-26 17:46:46 -0400

    Caucus Volunteers Needed

    AAPI Caucus: 

    • Social Media Team
    • Writers and Editors for Issues and current events!
    • Events Planning
    • Asia Pacific and Americas volunteers

    Black Caucus:

    • All hands on deck!!
    • Engagement, Press / Media Relations, Communications, Reparations, Fundraising, Networking and GOTV team members needed.

    Disability Caucus:

    • Steering Committee Members!
    • Team members for social media, communications, policy and so much more.

    Veterans and Military Families Caucus:

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    • Social Media Team
    • Events Team
    • Membership Engagement
    • Regional Representatives (AP, Americas, Middle East / Africa)

    Hispanic Caucus


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    • ¿Hablas Español? We are looking for bilingual phone-bankers for the special election in Florida!!

    LGBTQ+ Caucus:

    • Are you in Asia Pacific?  Get in touch and join our steering committee!
    • Social Media Team

     


  • published Shop in Germany 2021-10-21 03:01:43 -0400

  • published Bill Tracker in Medicare Portability 2021-10-15 10:40:43 -0400

  • published About Us in Medicare Portability 2021-10-15 10:40:05 -0400

    Medicare Portability About Us

    Medicare Portability Task Force

    US Citizens who worked in the US, or for US companies, paid into the Medicare system throughout their careers.  Once they begin receiving the Social Security they earned throughout their work lives, their benefit is automatically reduced for the cost of their Medicare.  But US Citizens residing outside the country are unable to use the Medicare they paid for, and continue to pay for, without often-costly travel back to the United States.  Many choose that option.  Others never receive the benefits for which they paid.  This has implications for fairness and cost to the Medicare system.

    At its May 2021 global annual meeting, Democrats Abroad passed a resolution calling on the United States government to provide opportunity for American seniors living abroad to access Medicare services in their country of residence. 

    An estimated 9 Million American Citizens live abroad and likely up to one-third are senior citizens. Additionally, the costs of providing medical care to aging Americans is rapidly escalating in the US, both as a percentage of GDP and in absolute dollars. Our costs for health care services are the highest in the world. Many US seniors who retire abroad live in countries with significantly lower cost of living, and health care.  

    A mixed-bag current state

    Today, Medicare does not provide any option for health care coverage except limited reimbursement for emergencies for US resident seniors while traveling abroad.  Those who reside abroad for more than 90 days are denied coverage.

    Almost every US Citizen receiving Social Security has a Medicare deduction from their monthly benefit. And all who are eligible for Medicare and who worked in the US or for US-based employers paid into the Medicare system throughout their work lives. Yet depending on their country of residence, their opportunity for health insurance coverage abroad is vastly different across the population of expatriate seniors.

    • US Citizens who served in the military can access their retiree health care benefits wherever they reside through the Tricare Overseas Program.
    • Retirees from the federal government also have health care insurance that covers them wherever they choose to live. 

    For the remaining US seniors abroad, the situation is not at all similar.

    • Some countries allow or even require US seniors to opt into their national health care at a cost, paid through local taxes or direct payment. This is an additional cost on top of what they must pay for Medicare services they are unable to use. 
    • But many countries do not offer national health care to expatriates, forcing many seniors to buy additional local or international insurance coverage at significant cost in addition to what they continue to pay for Medicare coverage they are unable to use. Because of the high cost of the additional insurance, many are forced to take the risk that an accident or medical emergency in their country of residence will require them to pay hospital and other costs out of their savings when Medicare would cover most costs if the accident or emergency occurred within the borders of the US.
    • Many Medicare beneficiaries choose to return to the US for serious health care needs, and many for routine health care and regular check-ups and medical tests.  Those American seniors have significant out-of-pocket travel costs, and the Medicare trust pays for their health care at significantly more costly US rates. 

    Summary

    Our goal is to end a serious inequity in how US Citizen seniors abroad are treated with regard to the Medicare benefit they paid for throughout their work lives, and continue to pay for through deductions from their Social Security benefit.  While different countries of residence present different situations for seniors, the cost of health care in nearly every one is significantly less than in the US, a potential savings that we believe will help the Medicare Trust Fund’s viability over time.

    What you can do

    • Complete the Medicare Portability Survey when you receive it, and encourage other DA members who are in the target population to do the same. The more data we have, the easier it will be to convince Congress to act.
    • Contact your Congressional Representatives to ensure they are aware of this inequity and how critical it is to providing fairness and producing potentially significant savings for the Medicare Trust Fund.  Remind them that Democrats voting from abroad provided the margin of victory in multiple races in 2020 and 2018.  
    • Educate other seniors and individuals approaching Medicare age about this issue and ask them to join DA and complete a survey, and become part of the drive to change this unfair and unequal treatment of seniors who retire abroad.

    Join DA’s Medicare Portability Task Force.  Send an email to [email protected]


  • published Resources in Medicare Portability 2021-10-15 10:23:35 -0400

    Medicare Portability Resources

    History

    1. In 1945, President Harry S. Truman called for a national health insurance fund.
    2. In 1962, President Kennedy introduced a plan to create a healthcare program for older adults using their Social Security contributions, but it wasn't approved by Congress. 
    3. In 1964, former President Lyndon Johnson called on Congress to create the program that is now Medicare. 
    4. The program was signed into law in 1965.

    More information on the evolution of the Medicare Program:


    Funding

    • There are four separate trust funds. Under Social Security, the Old-Age and Survivor Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund pays retirement and survivor benefits and the Disability Insurance (DI) trust Fund pays disability benefits. These two trust funds are jointly designated as (OASDI).
    • For Medicare, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund pays for inpatient hospital and related care. The Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund is comprised of two separate accounts Part B, which pays for physician and outpatient services and Part D, which covers the prescription drug benefit that began in 2006.

     

    Payroll tax rates (in percent)

    OASI

    DI

    OASDI

    HI

    TOTAL

    Employer – since 2009

    5.30

    0.90

    6.20

    1.45

    7.65

    Employee – 2011 only

    3.30

    0.90

    4.20

    1.45

    5.65

    Combined Total

    8.60

    1.80

    10.40

    2.90

    13.30

    Payroll taxes

    • Every American worker (155 million) pays on earnings up to $106,800 (in 2011), but not all pay income taxes. For 2011 only, President Obama signed into law payroll tax relief that reduces the employee’s OASI tax rate by 2% to 4.2%. Employers will continue to pay 6.2% for a combined rate of 10.4% for OASDI. This OASDI tax disappears on earning above $106,800. Social Security taxes are supposed to fund only OASDI benefits. Basically, it’s a forced pension tax.

    • The 1.45% Medicare HI tax is paid on all earnings. The self-employed are charged the equivalent of the combined employer and employee tax rates of 13.30% in 2011. In 2013, there will be an increase in the Medicare payroll tax by 0.9% on earned income in excess of $200,000 for individual taxpayers and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. Employers do not have to match this amount.

    • Income tax is different in that money goes to fund all federal programs except Medicare and Social Security. About one-third of those who file federal income tax returns end up owing no federal income tax. In contrast, the top 1% of income earners – who receive 21% of the nation’s reported income pays 30% of the federal income tax. The top 5% pay 60% and the top 50%, pay 97% of federal income tax.

    Facts and Figures

    Quick Facts about Medicare Plans & Protecting Your Personal Information

    http://healthenroller.com/the-facts-about-medicare/

    https://www.ncpssm.org/our-issues/medicare/medicare-fast-facts/

    https://www.ehealthmedicare.com/about-medicare-articles/facts-about-medicare/

    https://www.investmentnews.com/galleries/10-surprising-facts-about-medicare/image/1

    Contact the US Federal Benefits Unit serving the country where you reside for advice. They have experience with the problems specific to people residing outside the US, and often are familiar with the specific circumstances of the country where people reside.  In addition, they have direct access to the Social Security files.  You can find the Federal Benefits Unit serving your location here: ssa.gov/foreign/foreign.htm 


  • published Issues in Medicare Portability 2021-10-15 10:21:02 -0400

  • published Global Disability Caucus in Caucuses 2021-10-07 10:49:44 -0400