October 27, 2015
“At the risk of damning by faint praise, the newly negotiated budget deal certainly could have been a lot worse. The good news is Democrats in Congress and the White House were able to stop a 52% premium increase from hitting millions of seniors in Medicare next year. They also negotiated a re-allocation (originally blocked by the GOP) for the Social Security disability program that prevents a massive benefit cut in 2016 for Americans with disabilities. In this current Congressional atmosphere of hostage-taking and never-ending threats to benefits, these victories are significant.
Unfortunately, seniors will still receive no cost of living adjustment in 2016 and the sequester cuts to Medicare providers will continue to pay for non-Medicare programs. It’s clear the GOP-led Congress still sees Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as piggy banks to fund other legislative priorities and this hostage-taking, threats to benefits and crisis creation will continue. We hope Congress can get the votes to approve this budget deal so that seniors, people with disabilities and their families may finally see a temporary cease-fire in this ongoing assault on their benefits.”…Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO
Specifically, this budget agreement, if passed, would:
- Prevent a 19% cut in Social Security Disability Insurance benefits that would have occurred in late 2016
- Ensure 7 years of certainty that the Social Security Disability insurance program will pay full benefits
- Mitigate a 52% Medicare Part B premium increase for 30% of Medicare beneficiaries
- Alleviate an increase in the Part B deductible for all beneficiaries, lowering it from a projected $223 to $167
- Provide sequester relief to programs like the Older Americans Act, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Social Security field offices without cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
Unfortunately, the bill would also:
- Provide NO relief to seniors who will receive no cost of living adjustment in 2016.
- Extend the Medicare provider reimbursement sequester and uses the savings to pay for unrelated programs.
The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.
Media Inquiries to:
Pamela Causey 202-216-8378/202-236-2123
Kim Wright 202-216-8414 www.ncpssm.org