Sanders Statement on Social Security COLA

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the founder of the Senate's Defending Social Security Caucus, issued the following statement today after the Social Security Administration announced a 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment for next year:

"I am glad to see the millions of people who depend on Social Security will get a modest cost-of-living adjustment after two years with no increase in benefits at all.  However, we must change the formula for calculating the living costs for seniors to more adequately and accurately reflect the real-world purchasing needs of seniors. 

"Over the long-term, I believe we can better address the needs of seniors by establishing a Consumer Price Index for the Elderly to determine an appropriate COLA that would reflect the spending patterns of seniors who spend a disproportionate amount of their income on health care and prescription drugs.

"Unfortunately, some in Congress want to go in the opposite direction. They would change how COLAs are calculated in a way that would put even fewer dollars in the pockets of older Americans, not more. Their plan to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, orphans and disabled would have dire consequences. For the average 65-year-old living on about $16,000 a year, it would mean receiving $560 less each and every year when they turn 75 and $1,000 less a year when they reach 85.  We cannot allow that to happen."