More on Chained CPI, the Benefit Cut for Social Security on the Table in Fiscal Slope Discussions

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 6:45 am

First of all, this is a benefit cut of about 0.3% a year, as Dean Baker points out. He adds that “This loss would be cumulative through time so that after 10 years the cut would be roughly 3 percent, after 20 years 6 percent, and after 30 years 9 percent.” Actually if we started using chained CPI in 2002, we’d be 3.6% behind today. That’s well over $1,000 a year, and the situation grows worse over time. So the greatest impact would be on the oldest seniors, which happens to correlate with the poorest.

What Chained CPI Means, and Why a Cut in a Time of Inadequate Social Security Benefits Makes No Sense

By: Monday December 17, 2012 2:45 pm

Let’s just make clear what chained CPI is all about. The idea here is that you should not measure the cost of living simply based on the consumer price index, and then raise the costs accordingly with the rise in prices. Instead, economists say, you have to account for the substitution effect in response to [...]

450,000 Seniors Would Lose Coverage Under Medicare Eligibility Age Increase

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 2:21 pm

The ferocious pushback on a trial balloon offer to raise the Medicare eligibility age continued today, at a very high level.

Medicare Eligibility Age Increases Particularly Levies Pain on Seniors of Color

By: Monday December 10, 2012 12:13 pm

Raising the Medicare eligibility age has been taken down a notch, as well it should. Apart from everything else – privatizing a known commodity that reduces health care costs more than comparable private insurance, making health insurance costs go up across the board – it’s quite regressive and hurts at-risk populations the most: Medicare eligibility [...]

Responding to Jon Chait on the Suddenly Possible Idea of Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age

By: Saturday December 8, 2012 9:38 am

So my old college pal Jon Chait (I promise before the end of my time here to pull out the parody my college humor magazine did of his column in the Michigan Daily) has responded to my criticism of his endorsement of raising the Medicare eligibility age, America’s worst new idea. I’ll get to batting [...]

Mark Begich’s Plan to Stop the Effects of Inequality on Social Security Finances

By: Friday November 16, 2012 10:52 am

I will be on Mark Thompson’s Make It Plain show on Sirius/XM – I’m actually on every Friday – and we tape early, so I can tell you that one of the things I’ll talk about is how Social Security’s long-term funding is an artifact of rampant US inequality. See, we have a payroll tax [...]

Progressive Groups Oppose Potential Social Security Benefit Cut From Move to Chained CPI

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 1:01 pm

I mentioned earlier today that Social Security recipients will see a 1.7% cost of living increase in 2013, one of the smallest in the history of the program, which amounts to around $21 a month for the average recipient. This is likely to get eaten up by Medicare premium increases and drug costs. In two [...]

Social Security COLA Increase for 2013: 1.7%

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 7:53 am

The COLA is calculated by a measurement of inflation, which has risen slowly over the past year. However, the inflation calculation used currently, the Consumer Price Index for Wage Earners or CPI-W, may not take in the rise in cost of living for seniors, which most strongly depends on rising health care costs (a separate measure, the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly or CPI-E, accounts for this much better).

Seniors Would Owe Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars More Over Their Lifetimes Under Ryan Medicare Plan

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 2:01 pm

Liberal analysts have called out their own side on a misleading claim about the cost to seniors of the Ryan-envisioned premium support plan for Medicare. The real answer is that nobody knows how much this will cost seniors. The initial Ryan budget, which would have ended traditional Medicare entirely and given a voucher to seniors [...]

Medicare Advantage Example Yields Lessons for Both Parties

By: Monday August 27, 2012 8:21 am

The substance of the Medicare debate in the 2012 election is completely at odds with the realities. The Romney campaign hammers away at the $716 billion in “Medicare cuts” imposed by the Affordable Care Act, designed to blunt a traditional Democratic advantage on the topic, as it did in 2010. So far this has worked; [...]

Romney Advisor: Use General Revenues for Medicare

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 8:18 am

Brian Beutler advances the story about the manufactured Medicare crisis Mitt Romney has planned, and gets a curious response from one of Romney’s health care advisors. The story so far: Romney has stated that he would roll back the savings that extended the life of the Medicare trust fund. By doing this, he would ensure [...]

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