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View Diary: My view of chained CPI at age 67 (48 comments)

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  •  At present you can't live on Social Security (30+ / 0-)

    Eventually you get too old and sick to work for a living, cut enough wood so you don't have to burn oil, grow enough crops so you don't have to buy food. You can't afford to properly repair your home, fix your transportation, pay for insurance, afford a cell phone. You can't afford to travel to visit your grandchildren, play golf, go out to dinner or see a movie. You can't afford ink for your printer, or copy paper, let alone gas for the chain saw, lawn mower, or snow blower; you can't afford fencing to keep the deer and wild turkey out of the garden, christmas and birthday presents for your friends and family. You are reduced to living on the dole which takes away your dignity and self respect. Agencies give you Snap, LIHEAP and travel vouchers so you can get to the radiation treatments for your cancer. People shoot themselves in the head cause they can't stand it anymore and that's how social security saves money on benefits.

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 04:13:41 AM PDT

    •  It's just like Grayson said a couple years ago... (7+ / 0-)
      Die quickly
      Thanks for the all-too-true-to-life diary.

      "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

      by markthshark on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 04:58:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That (4+ / 0-)

        is kind of what they want.  If we aren't going to die fast enough then the CPAC crowd would be kind enought to help us out by making sure we never get it.  Raise the age.  Make sure Medicare Part D can't negotiate prices like the VA and Medicare does.  Make sure if you do live that long that you live in poverty so you can't afford your healthcare costs and can't afford basic needs like healthy food or even fresh fruits and vegetables.  Make sure you barely qualify for food stamps and of course government food banks.  Big Agri has to make sure they keep the real welfare billions by paying them to grow, create, and package the cheapest, crappy "food" such as canned Kool Aid.  Pocket those huge funds and then send Paul Ryan out to complain about the takers on welfare.  Oh those billions of dollars in profit for this unhealthy food is counted as the numbers up to scare the Republicans in Red States so they can complain about the debt,

        Ryan can just produce another budget that the silly Right will absolutely love.  You know.  Cut foodstamps,  Gut Medicare.  Kill any actual benefits and protections in the ACA but make sure you pocket that 700 billion in Medicare savings.  Seniors can skip the heart meds for a month to pay for that.   Or just die.  That would be great.

        I say don't deal on anything.  The regular American public is ultimately going to suffer with any bargin with Congress.  As Democrats we shouldn't piss off any voters by putting the most popular government programs on the table.  That will just help the Koch brothers pick up more State level seats so they can control even more blue states.  Scared seniors show up to vote in non presidential years.

        •  My understanding is that Ryan's budget 'shields' (7+ / 0-)

          seniors and individuals age 55 and older from cuts to Medicare.

          He 'reforms' Medicare for people his age--age 54 and younger.

          Republicans will probably do well amongst seniors again (as in 2010) due to this part of his proposal.  

          Never mind that they probably can't be trusted to actually carryout their promise to seniors.  ;-)

          They also left out cuts to Social Security except through the more obscure 'trigger' or budgeting process, which will probably help them immensely.


          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


          by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:04:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's LAST YEAR'S version (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JamieG from Md, Lava20, NoMoreLies

            Apparently Ryan learned a little math in the interim -- he's now saying that they can't guarantee that the cuts won't happen to those over 55...

            Nice, huh?

            •  Let me check this out (not to dispute you). I (0+ / 0-)

              did hear several weeks ago that some in the Republican Party thought that they couldn't go with shielding those age 55 and older.  Then I thought I heard on XM radio that the Repubs went with it after all, because the deficit has come down during this period, and they found the money to cover this.  [I found his budget just last night, but didn't get a chance to read it.]  I'll be sure and do so in the next few days.  ;-)

              Thanks, Moonspinner.


              "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


              by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 02:57:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ms, according to Financial Times, Repub's new (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                budget does shield 'near-seniors' (age 55 and older).

                Here's brief excerpt and link (but you must join to read articles).  ;-)

                After a big internal debate, Republicans agreed that this reform should only kick in after 10 years, protecting Americans aged 55 and older. Some had argued that the changes needed to take effect sooner.
                Clever of them.  If Dems go through with a 'Grand Bargain,' now, they'll be slaughtered in 2014.


                "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


                by musiccitymollie on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:28:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  he's suggested raising the age to 59, however... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies, congenitalefty, Lava20

   me...this entire notion of having a two-tiered program, whereby some folks who have paid into the Social Security system get different benefits than others paying into that same patently outrageous.

            Democrats should be constantly pounding Republican'ts like Ryan on their shameless hypocrisy on Social Security.

            If Ryan's plans for Social Security are so great, then why isn't he proposing the same thing for everyone? There's no good answer to that. The reason: because what Ryan's proposing is not so great. It's terrible. It is so terrible that he has to promise certain people that it won't affect them (those over a certain age (55 or 59...or whatever age he feels like selecting on any particular day).

            Once Ryan's proposed changes to Social Security are such a great idea, why doesn't he apply those changes the same for everyone who is paying the same into the system? It is patently outrageous and unfair.

            •  Respectfully, that is not unusual. Many changes (1+ / 0-)
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              to our social insurance programs have shielded those actually already participating in the program, and those so close to retirement that they could not reasonably be expected to "make up" for the changes.

              Changes to these programs are often tiered, if by that you mean that they have a beginning date.  Many changes that the President has proposed to Medicare have beginning dates.

              I don't have time to check on them now, but to the best of my recollection, some of the deeper cuts to beneficiaries that he's proposing (expanding the means testing of Medicare beneficiaries, and also implementing major changes that will make Medigap insurance considerably more expensive, including a new premium surcharge) begin at specific dates in the future.  (2017 seems to come to mind, but don't take it to the bank.)  I'll check it out when his new budget is released, in case of any changes.

              And current folks (and/or those who will sign up for Medicare BEFORE this date) will be exempted from those new rules.

              Case in point.  My parents' Medicare benefits were not the same as Mr. Mollie's parents.

              I assume the difference was changes in the Medicare law.  You see, my parents were a generation older (i.e., old enough to be my grandparents--and Mr. Mollie and I are the same age) than my inlaws.

              We were also surprised at the changes in Medicaid, regarding theraphy, etc.  We found those differences when we dealt with our two sets of parents, over a period of twenty years.

              So, respectfully, that's a notion that we'll all have to accept to some degree.  ;-)


              "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


              by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 03:40:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Means (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                testing is completely different that the actual age requirement.  You raise the age for one reason only.  So they will not have to pay any amount for millions of people.  This isn't cutting an amount, this is complete cut when you consider Medicare.  That makes millions of people have to pay for alternative private insurance or go without.  In essence, screw you.

                Even with Social Security you could perhaps work around how your earnings will be calculated, try to work longer if you can at least have enough time to try to prepare for these douchebags to make sure you fully qualify for foodstamps and get on the waiting list for Section 8 or something.

                For one or two years they want to just cut people off.  If they are lucky they can gut it enough so even the disabled will not get the basic healthcare they need.

                But like Mitt Romney said, in ten years if millions are sitting around in their apartments and have a heart attack, someone will take you to ER for treatment.  ERs will really excel at treating chronic illnesses.

                Sorry about this, but tiered, age limits, even means testing is still a way for them to gut these basic programs.  We shouldn't get used to the idea.  We should be pissed they even bring this shit up.  Especially, if they the other side doesn't want to discuss basic immoral tax giveaways for billion dollar oil companies or a basic minimum tax for income as well as investment income.  
                The fucking gall that these people have is complete wrong.  They have moved the overton window.  When they raised full retirement to 67, that was horrible.  

                But at lease a good deal of these people now had decades of a booming economy, solid unions, and wealth distribution was not jaw droppingly shocking.

                The window has been moved so much that even I think the 1% will make sure that I won't ever qualify for Social Security or Medicare in 30 years.

                I would move back to Germany but they are as fucked as we are now.

                Sorry.  Just this entire "entitlement reform" bullshit is pretty fucking low.

                The real reason they say it won't effect the people receiving benefits now is because older white people love these programs because they actually fucking do a pretty damn good job of keeping millions off the street.  And they vote Republican.  And show up a Tea Party functions with the "Keep Government out of Medicare" signs.

                In ten years most of these dicks will have moved on to become "consultants" for the private firms they directed those billions/trillions of dollars to.

                And the GOP will be fucked in 10 years anyway considering the changing demographics of our country.

                •  The promise of Social Security (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  For future generations is that your parents won't come starve to death on your doorstep as was the custom with the Irish and their landlords during the potato famine, or otherwise pressure you into having to help them out, take them into your home, buy them a place in a retirement home, pay their mortgage or rent or heating bills, or constantly worry about how your parents are doing, so that you can get on with your life.

                  People who have worked all their lives and payed into an insurance program that promises to secure their retirement should be able to expect that their insurance will be adjusted for the cost of living in a way that allows them and you not to have to depend on a pension, or an IRA, or other safety nets to pay for their basic needs.

                  Your elderly should not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or choose between food, clothing, or shelter. For that matter they shouldn't have to curtail their medication, transportation, communications, or healthcare in order to survive in misery.

                  People on Social Security should have access to continuing education, things to keep their hands and minds active and the maintenance of all the things they need to have a non warehoused quality of life.

                  The richest country on earth has broken that promise because the lobbyists in charge of our politicians  campaign contributions feel its more important  to enhance the tax breaks to the millionaires and billionaires that pay their salaries than to be concerned about contracts and entitlements. The solution, make lobbying illegal.

                  Its the same system that leads to banks getting bailed out with no thought of the simple solution of  keeping people in their homes with moratoriums on their mortgage payments until the economy recovers.  

                  Its the same system that leads to golden parachutes, multi million dollar bonuses and tax breaks for the bankers who bent the rules to allow them to turn wall street into vegas.

                  We all loath the Snidely Whiplash Republican schemes the Paul Ryan budgets are full of but if we want to get rid of them we need to get rid of the lobbyists

                  That said I'm willing to accept that despite being mind warpingly rich our country can't afford to invest in everything it wants to invest in.

                  Perhaps the USA must get to a balanced budget by making the hard decision that it can't afford to spend hundreds of billions every year on the military making Iraq and Afghanistan secure places to build pipelines to bring oil from the Caspian to Europe and Asia and the straits of Hormoz and the Bab al Mandab secure places for oil tankers to pass through loaded with oil for China.

                  Keep the promise to the elderly, the poor, the sick and disabled homeless veterans first, then maintain and repair our rotting urban infrastructure, our roads and bridges, our mass transit, water treatment, sewage treatment, then worry about being the world's sheriff.

                  Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                  by rktect on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:23:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  These (0+ / 0-)

                    are excellent points.  And to be honest, this should be an update to your diary.  But you have a problem here.  If you start to negotiate and work with Republicans like Obama wants to, we will get screwed.  Because the lobbyists and big business run the show.

                    If anything the Tea Party's chaos has really saved us from any sort of Grand Bargain in which Obama has put entitlements on the table.  

                    I say we wait them out.  We continue building our base.  We work on State Races.  We work on turning Texas Blue.  Because in order to do anything serious we need more solid Blue State Senators.  We work on having a solid Blue State Senator as Minority leader.  Reid does us no good in his position.  In 10 years we will be able to take back the House.

                    In the next four years we need a solid liberal Democratic President.  HRC is okay, but why not try for better?  Elizabeth Warren?  A fighter.

                    We have to lay the ground work.  Taking care of our the poor, seniors, disabled is the minimum.

        •  Medicare (HHS) does not have the power... (6+ / 0-)

 negotiate prescription drug costs. If it did, costs for everyone would be lower.

          I worked for HHS, for the branch that audits Medicare, and believe me, I've seen the projections of how much money it would save. But Big Pharma has too hard a grip on Congress for that change to pass.

          •  They (3+ / 0-)

            actually passed a special law with the fiscal cliff deal.  Stuck it in there at the last minute.  

            The Times story described how Amgen got a huge hidden gift from unnamed members of Congress and their staffers. They slipped an eleventh hour loophole into the New Year's Eve deal that kept the government from going over the fiscal cliff. When the sun rose in the morning, there it was, a richly embroidered loophole for Amgen that will cost taxpayers a cool half a billion dollars.

            Amgen is the world's largest biotechnology firm, a drug maker that sells a variety of medications. The little clause secretly sneaked into the fiscal cliff bill gives the company two more years of relief from Medicare cost controls for certain drugs used by patients who are on kidney dialysis, including a pill called Sensipar, manufactured by Amgen.

            The provision didn't mention Amgen by name, but according to reporters Lipton and Sack, the news that it had been tucked into the fiscal cliff deal "was so welcome, that the company's chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts." Tipping them off, it would seem, to a jackpot in the making.Foul Play in the Senate  by Bill Moyers

            •  Ok I can see where the confusion arose -- (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musiccitymollie, Lava20

              Medicare has a program for those suffering End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), and yes they do negotiate some drug costs for that one program.

              The area where Medicare can't negotiate costs involves the Medicare Part D program, which affects all senior citizens on Medicare -- something which gets Big Pharma way more money than ESRD does.

              •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

                Part D is the only program public or private that does not negotiate with vendors or providers.  I should have made my little rant more articulate.

                Must disagree with you on the ESRD point though.  This law basically writes a special check for billions of dollars.  Let me explain.

                My father is on dialysis.  Even though he was already on Medicare I had to do specific paperwork turning down the ESRD because he has private insurance with United Healthcare.  See here's the beauty of this for these douchebags.

                Captive audience.  Even if he did not qualify for regular Medicare, once you have ESRD requiring dialysis or a transplant, Medicare becomes primary.  So private insurance takes no loss.  You have clients who are a captive audience and a set amount for medicine that they would normally have to reduce cost for.

                Private insurance has no risk.  The chemical is dirt cheap, and there will never be a generic alternative.  All for the low low cost of 79 lobbyists.  And McConnell and his brothers in evil greedy arms have opened the gate for everyone else to follow suit.  

                This little law.  That little sneaky paragraph pisses me off so very much.  I don't know how you could stay sane doing your audits, Moonspinner.  Thank you for your hard work with HHS.  I don't think people truly understand how much work goes into making Medicare and Social Security work so well..

                I remember taking my uncle to pick up his prescriptions at the VA.  My Dad can only get his Medicare inhaler filled with the non-generic Pro-Air.  The VA gives my uncle Ventolin or just just a something maked "albuterol."  Same exact thing, but my father and Medicare has to pay for the Name brand version.  No negotiation.  

                Sorry for the rant.  You know all this.

                •  I got to type the audit reports... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  ...but the auditors would explain anything to me that I was curious about.

                  Damn -- I hadn't realized that created a captive audience -- but I haven't had to deal with the service end of Medicare yet.

                  My Mom is on Medicare, and I'm just beginning to learn how weird it is, and that I pay less for some of my meds than she does on similar drugs.

                  •  Think (0+ / 0-)

                    about it.  My Dad and uncle get the same damn inhalers.  One for Part D is completely overpriced retail.  The other is VA negotiated.

                    Federal Government is paying in the end.  But with part D this corporate welfare splits this huge profit margin between Big Pharma and the Private Insurance companies.  Still not sure why the insurance companies are even fucking involved other than to pure capitalism.  Part D could use the same fucking thing the VA does.  They share the same databases.

            •  Great catch! Thanks, Lava20. ;-) N/T (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


              by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 03:05:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  you can just barely. Just means you only buy what (0+ / 0-)

      you want.

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