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Mail: Say 'no' to chained cost-of-living indexTell North Platte what you think

Seniors and veterans need to know about a serious problem that is lying in waiting that may be negotiated with the current budget crisis at the U.S. Capitol.

Some congress members are pushing for a “chained” Consumer Price Index (CPI) -- a cost-of-living adjustment formula with cuts to such benefits as Social Security and veteran payments.

Seniors and their families have worked hard during their careers and earned benefits and should not allow a government shutdown to force cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or veterans benefits.

There needs to be a timely effort against those in congress that want to hold our government hostage and taking a strategy of not only attacking the Affordable Care Act but want to also force seniors and others benefit cuts.

Whether shutting down the government to protest Obamacare or using a debt crisis to force the chained CPI on seniors, Americans must be prepared to stand up and be heard.

Both current and future Social Security beneficiaries need to know the truth: the chained CPI is not some harmless, technical change. It’s a benefit cut.

Most Americans are already struggling to get by in retirement, as employer pensions are disappearing and only the wealthiest Americans get significant income from 401(k)savings or private company pensions.

If the shutdown and debt crisis are merged in coming weeks and the debt ceiling is not raised, seniors may not receive Social Security or veteran checks, Medicare reimbursements and a host of other necessities.

We can remain hopeful that Washington finds a way to do the right thing – but there may be a wrongful effort at trying to solve the country’s budget problems on the backs of our seniors' benefits.

Thus, everyone should immediately contact members of the Nebraska congressional delegation and ask them to protect and preserve your earned benefits.

By John Hasenauer, Harrison

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/8/2013
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