Here's a stat that might surprise you: Nearly half of our nation's 41 million seniors are economically vulnerable, meaning their income is less than two times the supplemental poverty threshold.
Benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare would severely impact these seniors' ability to afford health care, food and other basic living necessities, according to a new Economic Policy Institute study.
As you might imagine that’s very difficult to live on. I cannot afford to lose any of my benefits due to the chained CPI cut in benefits. This is especially important to me as a woman. Women represent 57% of all Social Security beneficiaries. Chained CPI would hit female beneficiaries especially hard because we tend to live longer.
The 'Chained' CPI is a benefit cut to a program that does not contribute to the deficit. Do not barter it away in the name of deficit reduction. Stand strongly against all cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Yesterday the AFL-CIO learned President Obama's budget will cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for working families. The so-called "chained" CPI will cut Social Security benefits and middle-income seniors (people who made $47,000 a year and more) will be asked to pay higher Medicare premiums.
In his most recent column, Economic Policy Institute President Lawrence Mishel demolishes arguments in favor of "chained" CPI, which is often offered in grand bargain negotiations, saying it is nothing more than a way to explain away cuts to the program.
The "chained" CPI cost-of-living formula—which would result in a painful cut in benefits for Social Security recipients—was touted as good policy by White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling in an "Ask Me Anything" Reddit chat yesterday.
One of the proposals floated for months in the fiscal bluff debate in Washington, D.C., is a change to the formula used to measure inflation for Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) called the "chained" CPI. Let's be clear: This is a benefit cut. These COLAs make sure seniors' income keeps pace with the rising costs of housing and food. The "chained" CPI would cut future Social Security benefits by as much as $2,432 for someone who is 17 years old today. Studies from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) show that not only is the "chained" CPI a benefit cut, it eventually will lead to higher taxes for most working people.
The chain CPI formula calculation would further erode Social Security benefits.
Today's announcement that Social Security recipients will receive a modest increase (1.7%) in their cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was a small but welcome boost for seniors who are seeing prices increase on necessities, from health care to food. However, even this modest increase could be jeopardized if proposals floating around in Washington to "tweak" the current COLA formula by tying it to the so-called "chained CPI" are passed.
Senior advocates and retirement experts say the current formula, the CPI-W, is already inadequate. Higher health care costs and expenses seniors face are not accurately addressed in the CPI-W.