Do you even know about it? So far no one I have asked does. Here's the deal:
Unless Congress passes the Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act, Social Security monthly benefits would drop because the cost of Medicare prescription drug premiums, which are deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to increase.
The bill was introduced by Senators Sanders and DeFazio on September 17.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) today introduced legislation to provide Social Security recipients an extra one-time payment next year of $250. Without the legislation, millions of seniors will see their Social Security checks shrink because – for the first time since 1975 – there will be no cost-of-living adjustment.
So the CEOs and the insurance companies are getting fatter while senior citizens pay the bill? Read below the break for more.
Where is the concern in this country? We claim to have brought about "change" but somehow this looks all too much like the same ol' to me!
Sanders said millions of senior citizens are especially hard hit by the recession. "Many have seen their savings disappear, their pension funds severely decline and the value of their homes dramatically diminish – all while poverty among seniors has gone up, as has the number of seniors declaring bankruptcy. Seniors deserve a fair increase in benefits to keep up with these added costs and economic hardships." Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) cosponsored Sanders’ bill.
My wife and I were discussing moving to Vermont from Virginia just today. It is hard to imagine our Virginia Democrats acting like these Vermonters do so consistently. Meanwhile our races this year in Virginia give us little to hope for. I felt so optimistic earlier this year. Now I watch the people lulled by a promise of "recovery". Recovery for whom? The fat cats of course. It just goes on and on.
Health care reform is now a joke! The remnants of any hope for real change have all but disappeared. So who knows about this bill? Why is it marginalized?
DeFazio said too many seniors are experiencing a decline in their living standards. "Failure to provide a cost-of-living increase for seniors could not come at a worse time. It would simply be unacceptable for seniors on fixed incomes to not receive the help they deserve to keep up with increased prices seniors pay for prescription drugs and medical care."
Nearly 70 percent of beneficiaries depend on Social Security for at least half of their income, and Social Security is the sole source of income for 15 percent of recipients.
To pay for the benefits boost, the legislation Sanders introduced in the Senate and DeFazio offered in the House of Representatives would apply the Social Security payroll tax on household incomes above $250,000 and below $359,000 in 2010. Under current law, only the first $106,800 of earned income is subject to the payroll tax. A worker earning $106,800 pays the same payroll tax as a CEO who makes millions of dollars a year. Their legislation begins to correct that inequity in 2010, while making sure that seniors receive a fair increase in benefits next year.
No one earning $250,000 or less would see their taxes go up under the Sanders and DeFazio bills.
Contacts: Michael Briggs (Sanders) 202 224-5141
Molly Simmons (DeFazio) 202 226-5740
Make yourself heard. get on Bernie Sanders e-mail list and find out about things like this. You won't see much in the press!