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AARP Urges New Yorkers To "Do The Math" On Chained CPI

New AARP Calculator Shows How Much New York Seniors & Veterans Would Lose From Chained CPI Proposal

NEW YORK, April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With President Obama set to deliver his budget next week, a proposal to deliver cuts to Social Security and veterans' benefits keeps surfacing – the chained CPI.  Under the proposal, New Yorkers stand to lose $8.46 billion in Social Security and veteran benefits over the next 10 years.  But, today, AARP is telling New Yorkers: don't just take our word for it, do the math – and has announced a new chained CPI Calculator ( to help the public do just that. 

"We can calculate the cuts a chained CPI would deliver down to the state and county level, and show people the larger impact of this proposal on benefits, but the debate doesn't hit home until people see what the cuts will mean directly to their hard-earned benefits," said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York. "The chained CPI proposal is like a bad penny, it keeps coming back – most people have no idea what it means to them, their family, veterans and others. We're hoping to change that."

The chained CPI would change the way the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is calculated for Social Security, veterans' disability and military pension benefits, assuming that when prices for one item goes up, people settle for cheaper substitutes (for example, if beef prices go up, they'll buy chicken). The "substitution" theory under a Chained CPI is inaccurate as most seniors can't simply trade down in their spending on prescription drugs, utilities and other fixed expenses. The move cuts benefits for seniors and veterans who are already stretched by prescription drugs, utilities and health care costs.  As they get older, the impact of a chained CPI only gets worse as the cut grows bigger every year, hitting people the hardest as they age and have exhausted much of their savings.

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