MORE ABOUT THE CHAINED CPIMar 14th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare
SCJ talked about the chained CPI last week in this column. SeniorCitizenJournal.com explained the chained CPI in terms most of us seniors can understand. There is some more to think about in regard to this proposal to help address federal deficit issues.
We already said why the notion is bad for seniors: The federal deficit was not caused by Social Security, and it should therefore not be expected to solve the financial problems of our country.
But beyond that, there are some inherent issues to be aware of with the chained CPI. When you think about it, if there is a 0.3 percent cut this year in cost of living adjustments for seniors receiving Social Security benefits, then the cut taken next year is compounded by the cut this year. That compounding (in a negative way) means that older seniors, many of whom are women, move closer to the poverty level.
Chained CPI Inaccurately Reflects Inflation
Perhaps the most significant issue is that, for seniors, the chained CPI does not accurately reflect the effect of inflation on senior citizens. The reason for this is the highly escalated cost for our medical care and related insurance costs. Inflation for seniors is experienced differently than it is for Baby Boomers and younger.
As a result, if the chained CPI goes into effect, we will see our Social Security benefits diminish as our health care costs increase. This is what most would call a double whammy. All this on top of knowing that the Social Security program is not the problem. We seniors are simply expected to quietly accept being smacked with diminishing benefits while our health care costs go up.
If you read this and agree our voices need to be heard, call your representatives in Congress and tell them. The only way they will not accept the chained CPI is if they hear from thousands of us telling them we believe that plan is flawed, from beginning to end.