With No COLA Increase, Congress Should Pass Medicare Fix

AARP sent the following letter to Congress on Oct. 14. AARP has deep concern that for only the third time in over 40 years, there will be no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2016. To make matters worse, as a result, 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will see their monthly Medicare Part B premium dramatically increase, and all Medicare beneficiaries will experience an increase in their Part B deductible. Congress should protect the 16.5 million Medicare beneficiaries — which includes new …

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 …

Social Security Checks to Edge Up in 2014

Social Security benefits will increase by just 1.5 percent next year – about $19 a month for the average retiree. The increase is one of the smallest since automatic cost-of-living adjustments were adopted in 1975. It affects Social Security benefits for some 58 million Americans, as well as benefits for millions of disabled veterans, federal retirees and people who get Supplemental Security Income. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter. “The COLA announced today is vital to millions, but at …

AARP: Don’t Shrink Social Security’s Cost-of-Living Adjustment

The annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is critically important to the financial security of the nearly 58 million Americans receiving benefits. By providing protection against inflation, the COLA helps beneficiaries of all ages maintain their standard of living, keeping many from falling into poverty. The COLA announced today is vital to millions, but at an average of just $19 per month, it will quickly be consumed by the rising costs of basic needs such as food, utilities and health …

Fiscal Deal Leaves Social Security and Medicare Hanging

One fiscal crisis is winding down, but another round of budget negotiations looms. And that could mean Social Security and Medicare cuts will again be part of the conversation. President Barack Obama signed a measure on Oct. 17 that reopened the government and preempted a default. But, says the Washington Post, the deal’s “timeline sets up another potentially bitter showdown over spending cuts and entitlement programs that will unfold in the halls of Congress over the next four months by starting …

Iowa Senator Gets a Tearful Earful

The August recess gives Capitol Hill lawmakers a chance to hear from their constituents back home, and sometimes that earful is downright heartbreaking. An anguished woman wept at the North Senior Center in Des Moines, Iowa, as she explained how a proposal to change the method of calculating cost-of-living increases for Social Security would leave her nowhere to cut in her precarious budget. Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat who opposes the “chained CPI” proposal, heard this from Sheryl Tenicat: “I …