This was in AARP Bulleting for June, 2009
NO SOCIAL SECURITY COST-OF-LIVING INCREASES
"For the first time in 35 years, older Americans will receive no cost-of-living increases (COLA) in their Social Security checks in 2010, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. That's bad news enough for many retirees lliving on fixed incomes. But millions of them face much higher premiums for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits and outpatient services.
"Under a "hold harmless" provision of federal law, basic Part B premiums cannot rise higher than any year's COLA. So a zero COLA means that the basic premium (currently $96.40 a month) is frozen. But this protection does not apply to about 11 million beneficiaries who do not have Part B premiums withheld from their Social Security checks, or pay a higher Part B premium based on higher income, or are newly enrolled in Part B.
Most beneficiaries will see no increase in their premium next year. But if Part B costs rise, the revenue shortfall must be shouldered entirely by the 11 million not held harmless--and their premiums could increase significantly. For 7.5 million low-income beneficiaries, the burden would fall on the state Medicaid programs that pay their premiums.
"Congress never anticipated a year when there would not be a Social Security COLA," says John Rother, AARP's director of policy. "This new situation raises issues of fairness unless Congress makes some changes before the end of the year."
Is this another one of this administrations "cost cutting benefits" of just another way to increase revenue on the backs of the middle and lower class?
Time to raise a stink and write or call your Congress person and let them know how you feel about this.