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View Diary: New report highlights inequality in the Social Security debate (43 comments)

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  •  The big problem is that the current COLA (7+ / 0-)

    for Social Security doesn't factor in the actual inflation experienced by seniors whose actual costs aren't factored in.  Seniors spend more on health care and prescriptions than the general population and those costs re increasing vastly higher than the general inflation rate.

    Even with the regular COLA in place and unaffected by Chained CPI, seniors keep on getting poorer as their SS checks don't keep up with their costs.  Every year, seniors keep getting poorer even BEFORE Chained CPI.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:59:17 PM PDT

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    •  Medicare Premiums more than Med Inflation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You are right that the current CPI measure doesn't properly track retiree out of pocket costs for medical care.

      But the bigger hit is the increase in Part B Medicare premiums which have the same fixed amount per beneficiary and so HAMMER folk on smaller SS checks. In some cases wiping out the COLA altogether.

      That is the current COLA formula screws upper end SS beneficiaries a certain amount by reducing their percentage (and Chained CPI makes that worse) but lower end beneficiaries take that tiny nominal reduction from the CPI differential (because their checks are smaller to start with) with a huge relative whack due to flat rate increases in Medicare premiums.

      The operative principle seeming to be:

      "Kick Poorer Olds. Because Why Not?" - SocSec.Defender at - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

      by Bruce Webb on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:51:18 PM PDT

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      •  The ACA has been chipping away (0+ / 0-)

        at health care costs, although the biggest savings will come in 2014 as the exchanges come on line and less people are without coverage (lessening cost shifting to paying/insured patient bills).  

        However, bigger savings could be realized if we could rein in drug prices.  Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices the same way the VA does would really impact insurance costs overall.

        Before Social Security, seniors were one of the poorest groups of Americans.  It looks like we're heading back to the bad old days.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:01:08 PM PDT

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