Congressional pandering to seniors

If this doesn't beat all: Chicken House members voted to make sure seniors get a cost of

house.jpg

The Chicken Coop

living increase in their social security checks, even though the cost of living hasn't increased. As reported by the Associated Press:

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to eliminate monthly premium increases for millions of Medicare patients next year.

It voted 406 to 18 to send the bill to the Senate, which is expected to act soon.

It voted 406 to 18 to send the bill to the Senate, which is expected to act soon.

Lawmakers
said older Americans shouldn't have to pay higher Medicare Part B
premiums because they are not expected to get a cost of living increase
from Social Security.

Such baloney. The law already exempts most Medicare recipients from a premium increase if their social security checks don't increase.

Decades ago, Congress had to authorize a cost-of-living increase every year, but in the 1970s, lawmakers decided to make the increase automatic, pegged to an index that accounted for inflation. Let's emphasize: This is supposed to be a  cost of living increase, not an automatic raise. Because of the recession, there has been little, if any,  increase in the cost of living. But Congress has no backbone to stand up to one of the nation's most powerful lobbies.

And this is the Congress that President Barack Obama assures us is going to finance his $1 trillion health care reform by cutting Medicare back by $500. Ha!

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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