For Immediate Release
Members of Congress Launch Landmark CPI for Seniors Act – Win Praise from Older Americans Seeking Fairness
Washington, DC (May 17, 2010) – Today RetireSafe, representing 400,000 senior-citizen supporters across America, praised U.S. Representatives John “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (TN-2), Daniel Lipinski (IL-3), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Michael Arcuri (NY-24), and Gregg Harper (MS-3) for introducing H.R. 5305, the CPI for Seniors Act. H.R. 5305 would establish a new Consumer Price Index for Seniors (CPI-S) so that annual Social Security Cost-of-Living-Adjustments (COLAs) can be fairly determined. H.R. 5305 would direct the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to finally determine a new CPI-S formula for seniors, one based exclusively on the costs actually incurred by older Americans. RetireSafe, an advocacy organization for older Americans, supports this legislation to correct the faulty formula now used by the BLS, one that has resulted in a “zero” COLA for 2010.
RetireSafe President Thair Phillips noted, “The BLS now calculates annual Social Security COLAs using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Phillips emphasized, “Clearly this is wrong, as older Americans use different products and have different expenses, including much higher health care costs.” Phillips also noted that “while the experimental index for the elderly (CPI-E) provides more accurate reflections of senior inflationary pressures, it too has proven flaws.” “While there may be other approaches to address this problem, we believe the critical first step should be a truly accurate CPI-S that can finally be used to provide a fair and accurate Social Security COLA each year,” he stated.
“The annual Social Security COLA is critical to maintain a decent quality of life for our seniors,” Phillips said, noting, “When retirees face double-digit increases in Medicare costs and see no increase in their Social Security checks, they know something is wrong.” He added, “Thanks to the introduction of H.R. 5305 by these five Members of Congress, we can begin to correct this long-standing wrong that has harmed retirees for decades.” “Like RetireSafe, Representatives Duncan, Lipinski, Fudge, Arcuri, and Harper are standing up for seniors, and we commend them for that,” he continued. “We are proud to work with Congressman Duncan and his House colleagues to enact H.R. 5305, the CPI for Seniors Act into law,” Phillips concluded
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