“Kudos to President Obama for listening to the concerns of National Committee members and millions of seniors across the country who are worried about the prospect of no Social Security cost of living adjustment next year. The White House clearly understands how devastating the rising costs of health care and the loss of retirement savings have been to seniors during this recession.  The likelihood of losing an average annual COLA increase of about $200-$300 in 2010 may sound like ‘no big deal’ to some but for millions of seniors who’ve already see a third of their Social Security eaten up by health care costs, this proposed COLA relief could truly make the difference for millions of beneficiaries next year.”... Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

The Social Security Administration’s anticipated announcement tomorrow that, for the first time ever, beneficiaries will receive no cost of living adjustment is frightening news for millions of Americans. Despite a relatively low rate of general inflation, seniors’ costs are going up.  Health care costs especially are rising rapidly, and the elderly on fixed incomes spend a significantly larger share of their income on health care. For National Committee member Betty Dizik, COLA relief is critical.  Betty is an 82-year-old former social worker living in Florida. She works 2 part-time jobs to supplement her monthly Social Security income but because she’s had many serious health incidents, including 2 heart attacks in 2009, her medical expenses have driven her deep into debt. Betty needs a COLA just to keep up. She told us:  
“I sometimes have to go without one or two of the 17 medications I take each day, simply because I cannot afford the cost. Receiving a Social Security COLA in 2010 would mean that I could pay for the medicine or pay off one of several doctor bills that are overdue.”
Just this month, the National Committee delivered more than 120,000 signed petitions from its members and supporters urging passage of COLA relief legislation. 
“We applaud President Obama’s support of a $250 payment and are committed to working with the White House and Congress to secure passage of COLA relief for America’s Social Security beneficiaries.”… Barbara B. Kennelly.