Does a retired senator have to pay taxes?

Q: Does a retired senator have to pay taxes?

— Robert Brooks, East Point

A: Senators who are retired from U.S., state positions or currently in office are required to pay taxes. Members of Congress did not pay taxes to Social Security prior to 1984, when they were not eligible for Social Security benefits but covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress that provides non-partisan policy and legal analysis to U.S. Congress members and committees.

Amendments to the Social Security Act required all U.S. senators and representatives to participate in Social Security, effective Jan. 1, 1984.

Q: Per polling data, what percentages of Americans and Canadians are satisfied with their current health care system?

— Pete Green, Stockbridge

A: A study found that 35 percent of Americans (2,500 were surveyed) are very confident they receive quality and safe care, 33 percent are very confident they receive the most effective drugs and 38 percent are very confident they receive the best medical technology, according to a report by The Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based private foundation that publishes research on health care issues. That’s compared to 26 percent of Canadians (3,000 were surveyed) very confident they will get quality and safe care, 32 percent very confident they receive the most effective drugs and 28 percent very confident they receive the best medical technology.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2022 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name and city).