Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bad News to Social Security and Medicare recepients

Here at Northeast Kansas Magazine, we don't usually report the news. However, there is one news tidbit, that affects every single Social Security recipient in Northeast Kansas.
According to the New York Times,
The 60 million people on Social Security will not receive any cost-of-living increase in their benefits in 2016, the government said Thursday, but because of a quirk in federal law, nearly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries could have record increases in their premiums unless Congress intervenes.
Even though most media reports the the news is only the third time in 40 years, that it has ever happened. The Real facts, that the same media bury within their stories, is that it is the the third time in six years (since 2010). The Washington Post, gets to it in the second paragraph, which is pretty early compared to most other news publications;
It is only the third time in 40 years — all of them during the Obama administration — that the Social Security Administration has not increased its payments. The raises are tied to the consumer price index (CPI).
Apparently, the Federal government blames it on lower gasoline prices. That's right, something that is a good thing for most American's pocketbooks, is being blamed for why the consumer price index is flat. Not trying to to take sides here, but only the government can turn a positive into a negative.
The report gets worse. Medicare premiums could raise by $54 to $159 per month.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest, was quoted in the Washington Post,
the administration “is aware of this, frankly, unintended policy consequence resulting from the formula for calculating cost of living adjustments. And so we’re aware of this problem and it is something that we’re concerned about.”

Earnest said the White House has had “discussions” with members of Congress about the issue “and our interest in trying to resolve it” but declined to elaborate.
However, nothing thus far has been done, since the story first broke in mid-October.

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