WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- RetireSafe, a 400,000-supporter strong national advocacy group for older Americans, today blasted the Deficit Commission's draft report. The report cites cuts to Social Security benefits and a reduction in Medicare services as ways to reduce debt. "The Deficit Commission has chosen to put the burden of Washington's debt on the backs of those who are least able to bear it, America's older citizens," said RetireSafe President Thair Phillips. "Seniors paid into Social Security faithfully when they were younger with the belief that America would keep its promise with a monthly check when they retired. Now, the Deficit Commission wants to break that promise," he added.
The draft report contained various approaches to reduce debt many directly affected seniors, two of the most onerous are; the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) and changes to Medicare services.
"The chained CPI will make the already flawed CPI used for the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) even worse," Phillips stated. "If we thought using a CPI based solely on urban workers to determine Social Security and Veterans' benefits was bad, wait until we use a chained CPI," he added. "We'll have more "zero" COLAs and smaller benefits. Again, the government is using a faulty CPI to cut benefits," said Phillips.
A chained CPI wrongly assumes that seniors have the same flexibility and options as younger, working Americans, Phillips said. He went on, "Instead of adopting a fair and accurate CPI for seniors as outlined in the CPI for Seniors Act, HR 5305, the Commission goes in the opposite direction to further cut the COLA for older Americans." Phillips continued, "The fact that they would try to trick seniors into accepting a smaller check each month by proposing a chained CPI, simply adds insult to injury."
"The recommendation to increase the power of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) shows the Commission's willingness to further cut health services to older Americans under the mantle of reducing the debt," he said. "This bureaucratic interference between a patient and their doctor goes far beyond even the unpopular health care reform bill," Phillips stated. "Reducing benefits and punishing older Americans to pay off the debt is not right or fair, and it must be stopped," he concluded.