Stethescope-moneyXSmall If you’re younger than 62 years of age, you might wonder what health care reform could possibly have to do with Social Security retirement benefits.  But the connection is painfully clear for millions of Social Security beneficiaries who have watched growing health care costs consume more and more of their monthly Social Security checks.    The Social Security Advisory board, (an independent group created to advise the President and Congress on Social Security issues) has released a new report  calling on Congress to find lasting solutions to the long-term problem of escalating health care costs.  
“This Board believes it is necessary to offer our own perspectives, not because we are particular experts in health care policy, but we believe that the rising cost of health care represents perhaps the most significant threat to the long-term economic security of workers and retirees. Current projections indicate that health care costs will increase by more than 70 percent over the next ten years and will continue thereafter to consume an increasingly greater portion of personal income. For today's retirees, for those retiring in 2009 who are expected to live another 20 years, and for younger workers in their 30s who will not begin their retirements until mid-century, unrestrained health care costs would likely mean a decline in their standard of living.”
In other Social Security news, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) has introduced legislation that would provide seniors and others who receive Social Security payments a one-time $150 payment to make up for the loss of the COLA.  The bill has 14 Democratic cosponsors.