Congressman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas released the following statement upon learning that the Social Security Administration announced a 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSA reports that about 55 million Americans receive Social Security benefits and that 8 million Americans receive SSI benefits.
"One of the most common inquiries our office receives is about cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security. And I tell constituents that the decision to adjust payments rests with the Social Security Administration -- and not Congress. While it will be good news to Kansans who receive Social Security and SSI that they will receive a cost-of-living increase, the current formula for calculating cost-of-living adjustments is not the most accurate measure for the real costs Americans face. Seniors -- and all Americans -- are dealing with fast-rising costs of health care, energy, and food, and these inflationary impacts need to be measured accurately."
"Additionally I still remain very concerned about the outlook of this program - and Medicare. Without measures to strengthen and protect these programs, they both face serious threats of insolvency. The Medicare Board of Trustees estimate Medicare will face bankruptcy in 7 to 19 years, while Social Security may be insolvent in a generation. Instead of ignoring the reality, I hope Washington will pass real solutions to protect and preserve these programs."