The Chained CPI is a Cut to Social Security

More Seniors and families need expansion not cuts to Social SecurityWARREN — Tuesday, July 2nd, members of Alliance for Senior Action (ASA), Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative/Ohio Organizing Collaborative (MVOC/ OOC), and Caring Across Generations Retirement Security campaign chained themselves together in front of the Warren Social Security Administration and marched to Congressman Tim Ryan’s office.

Governor Kasich recently passed the state budget leaving room for Medicaid expansion and increased home health care services. However, seniors and people with disabilities still face the threat of cuts to Social Security. The chained CPI would cut Social Security benefits by changing the cost of living adjustment (COLA) formula – and Medicaid expansion would benefit low income seniors and people with disabilities.

Juanita James, a member of ASA and a Grassroots Ambassador for OOC’s Retirement Security Campaign, expressed concern with the continual rise in the cost of basic needs. “It’s unrealistic to not allow an adjustment for these rising costs to those on a fixed income. The chained CPI and other formulas used to compute the COLA that doesn’t reflect this only serves to push us down farther into the poverty pool. It frustrates me that so many people assume that Medicaid is “welfare” for people who don’t want to work. We need to take into account seniors and those who are not able to work. We don’t need to eliminate or bar people from the health care system. We need to fix our job creating systems!”

Chained CPI is an immediate Social Security benefit cut, which would result in an annual benefit that is roughly $1,000 (2012 dollars) lower by the time a beneficiary reaches age 85.

“Politicians continue to press for the Chained CPI benefit cut as a way to reduce the deficit, said Melissa Long, former President of ASA. “But the truth is Social Security has not contributed one dime to the deficit. The chained CPI is a cold, calculated benefit cut to our Social Security – and some cuts never heal! We thank Congressman Ryan for standing with seniors in opposition to the chained CPI.”

“Many seniors living on Social Security are struggling to make it month to month,” said Gloria Hobbs a Youngstown leader with MVOC. “I live in subsidized housing and rely solely on my Social Security. It’s so low that I qualify for Medicare and Medicaid to help with the cost of my health care. Like many seniors, I cannot afford a cut to my Social Security; without these programs, I would be homeless. I’m glad that Senator Cafaro understands our needs. Expanding Medicaid will not only bring more jobs into the state but it will help more seniors and people with disabilities maintain their independence.”