News that indications point to 45 million Social Security recipients will get a small cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for 2012 (see Grumpy Editor, March 28) but that sum will be erased for most by a hike in monthly Medicare Part B premiums, has brought this question:
Whatever became of the much-trumpeted, one-time $250 payment suggested just before last November’s elections?
The measure, designed to ease a financial squeeze affecting many Social Security recipients, was to make up for another year without a COLA.
Last COLA was in 2009.
Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and then-Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D., Mich.) both pushed the Seniors Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 5987) during pre-election days last fall, recounts Grumpy Editor.
But just before Christmas --- on Dec. 8 --- the bill failed by a 254 to 153 vote in the House.
Because of the looming holidays and the increasing focus on seasonal news, the House action was squeezed out of heavy print and broadcast coverage.
Lawmakers’ nixing of the $250 economic stimulus payments was justified on the basis of “low inflation.”
Then, and now, that’s something questioned by many struggling seniors dependent on monthly Social Security funds to pay for steadily higher price tags on food, shelter, medical and other necessary items.