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Statement by NSCLC’s Paul Nathanson on the Chained CPI

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s budget proposal released today includes an unacceptable change to Social Security’s cost of living adjustments (COLAs).

A switch to the chained CPI formula to determine Social Security COLA benefits is a stealth benefit cut. It  will mean that several years out, the change will negatively impact Social Security beneficiaries, especially the very old, women because they live longer, as well as people with disabilities and Asian- and Hispanic-Americans because they have higher life expectancy.

NSCLC has long supported the use of the consumer price index for the elderly (CPI-E) which calculates the Social Security COLA in order to assure that the purchasing power of the benefit is maintained as beneficiaries age. Unlike the CPI-E, the chained CPI will reduce benefits for all and have its greatest impact on those who are least able to afford lower benefits.

While the budget thankfully exempts those whose income derives from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program from the chained CPI, NSCLC stands with others in opposition to that part of the President’s budget proposal.

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