Seniors nationwide are watching their Social Security checks shrink before their eyes ...

as rising premiums for healthcare and drug coverage eat away more and more of their limited monthly income. And each year it’s getting worse.

Skyrocketing healthcare costs are triggering rising Medicare premiums that reduce the amount of money left in seniors’ Social Security checks each month. In fact, the average retiree will lose 25% of their Social Security COLA in 2008 due to higher Medicare premiums. Many seniors enrolled in more expensive prescription drug plans will see even larger reductions in their COLA. Those with lower incomes (and smaller Social Security benefits) can lose their entire COLA due to the rising health care costs reflected in the Medicare premiums.

It’s easy to see why seniors’ Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs) are shrinking away at such a fast pace. That’s why we’re especially pleased to see new legislation introduced this week to limit the bite premiums can take from retirees’ monthly Social Security check. The “Social Security COLA Protection Act of 2007” would guarantee that no more than 25% of a retiree’s annual COLA could be taken by the combined increases in Part B and Part D Medicare premiums. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) are the bill’s sponsors.