Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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Norcross Announces Seniors’ Security Act to Protect Against Rising Healthcare Costs

Oct 13, 2017
News Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the announcement that Social Security recipients will receive a 2% cost-of-living increase next year, Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) today announced he is re-introducing the Seniors’ Security Act to help seniors who are struggling to pay their medical bills.

Norcross’ Seniors’ Security Act would ensure that cost-of-living increases don’t just get eaten up by rising health care costs. Specifically, the plan would create a “circuit breaker” of sorts, so seniors never pay more than 30 percent of their COLA into Medicare premiums. The Act also recalculates cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) so future changes would be based on the price of goods and services seniors actually buy, a formula known as Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E).

“This cost-of-living increase is good news for seniors, but not good enough as seniors continue to struggle with rising health care costs,” said Congressman Norcross. “Our seniors worked hard all their lives and paid into the system – they’ve earned the right to true peace of mind. Let’s make sensible changes so seniors can get a higher COLA and keep more of it.”  

“Congressman Norcross’ legislation would require the Social Security Administration to base future cost-of-living adjustments on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), which much more accurately reflects the cost of things retirees purchase, including health care. It would also limit Medicare premium increases,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans. “The bill will get seniors the COLA they earned and ensure it isn't immediately consumed by higher Medicare premiums.”

"For the tens of millions of families who depend on Social Security for all or most of their retirement income, this cost of living increase may not adequately cover expenses that rise faster than inflation including prescription drug, utility and housing costs," said Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO, AARP. "AARP continues our advocacy for bipartisan solutions to help ensure the long-term solvency of the program, as well as adequate benefits for recipients."

Since 2010, seniors have failed to receive a COLA increase three times – and last year the increase was a meager 0.3%. This year, higher 2018 premiums for Medicare Part B will hit older adults, including large numbers of low-income individuals who struggle to make ends meet. The expected increase is $300 next year.

Norcross added: “While others want to privatize and dismantle Social Security, I’m fighting to honor our commitments by keeping the system safe and secure for retirees and working Americans.”

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Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director
ally.kehoe@mail.house.gov 

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