Today, the House of Representatives passed a tax bill that is a full-fledged attack on the health and well-being of older Americans and their families.
As we’ve discussed, this is all part of the House Republican leadership’s two-step process. Step one is to cut taxes for the wealthy and drive up the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Step two is to use the higher deficit to justify additional future cuts to programs we all depend on, such as Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Older American Act programs, and many others.
The inevitable program cuts that Republican leadership will push for, after they balloon the deficit, will cause lasting harm to seniors today and in the future. Further, the House bill passed today eliminates the medical expense tax deduction that provides tax relief to millions of older adults with high out-of-pocket and long-term care costs and modest incomes.
This bill overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest Americans and big corporations at the expense of everyone else. We urge the Senate to stop this reckless process and reject any bill that drives up the deficit and takes away health care from older Americans and their families.
The program has been incredibly successful at keeping that promise. Today, more than 60 million older adults, disabled workers, and their families depend on Social Security to make ends meet. At a time when pensions are becoming a rarity, and as personal retirement savings lose ground to the cost of living, Social Security has become even more critical to keeping America’s workers and their families from living in poverty. Social Security keeps 22 million people out of poverty each year, and more than 61% of all older SS beneficiaries rely on SS for half or more of their income.
In order to ensure that the program is meeting the growing needs of today’s seniors—as well as future generations—we must make some important changes to the Social Security system. Read More
As the number of people age 65 and over living in America continues to rise, new leadership in Washington, DC is promising to dramatically reform and reduce the safety net upon which older adults rely. These changes – should they occur – will negatively impact all older adults, but they will cause particular harm to the millions of older adults already living in or near poverty. Read More
The first, an Atlantic article, projects a shocking rise in senior poverty between now and 2050. Renowned economist, Teresa Ghilarducci from the New School for Social Research, used current rates of senior poverty to determine that unless we take action now to strengthen our country’s retirement system, 25 million elderly Americans will be poor in 2050. That’s more people than the entire populations of Florida, New York, and 46 other states (only California and Texas currently have more than 25 million people living in them).
1. Women over 75 are at particular risk of poverty. According to the official poverty measure, 14.7% of women over age 75 live in poverty. This is nearly double the rate of men in this age group (7.6%). America’s oldest women also experience significantly higher poverty rates than women 65 to 75 (10.1%) years old. This data confirms what we already knew – that women are more likely than their male counterparts to be poor as they age. This is the result of a variety of economic and social policies that we have yet to address. This video provides a window into what life is like for older women struggling in poverty. Today’s data also demonstrates something else significant – that the older women grow, the more likely they are to be poor. This is an important reminder that any data that looks just at people 65 and over as a single, monolithic group will significantly undercount the challenges of poverty facing older adults that are in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. Read More
We have some hopeful news regarding Justice in Aging’s lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) for SSA’s demand that lawfully married same sex couples receiving SSI pay back overpayments caused by SSA’s refusal to recognize their marriage in timely fashion.
The misguided policy that nearly made Rosa Martinez homeless is rearing its ugly head again. Rosa Martinez, a California woman whose disability benefits were stopped because the Social Security Administration mistook her for a Florida woman with the same name, was Justice in Aging’s lead Plaintiff in the case Martinez v. Astrue.