Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) introduced legislation today to ensure Texas seniors receive the resources they need to help them meet their cost-of-living expenses without adding an additional burden on the backs of taxpayers.
Although the House of Representatives voted to stop Medicare Part B premiums from increasing, that is just one component of seniors' health care costs. Despite preventing this increase, consumer health care expenses have gone up by 3.2% over the last year even as consumer prices have decreased by 2.1%. Seniors will still disproportionately face higher costs than the average consumer and rely on a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) in Social Security benefits to keep pace. Because consumer prices have fallen, for the first time in 35 years Social Security recipients will not be receiving a COLA.
H.R. 3677 will take approximately $14.28 billion from approved federal stimulus dollars and provide seniors with a one-time payment to offset the economic hardships they will inevitably face without a COLA.
"I did not support the federal stimulus package passed earlier this year because I thought the money would be wasted," said Granger. "Now we know the money is being wasted on frivolous items such as fish food in Missouri, ginseng farming in West Virginia and a canal boat museum in New York. Times are tough for all Americans and we have to prioritize. That's what seniors are doing all across Texas. This stimulus money can be better spent giving some assistance to seniors during a challenging time."