By: John Krikorian
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed several trailer bills cutting approximately $8.2 billion from the state budget. Coupled with About $3 billion in funding shifts and loans among the measures signed into law, the governor trimmed $11.2 billion from next fiscal year’s projected deficit of $26.6 billion, leaving $14.4 billion yet to be addressed. Brown’s most recent cuts have already canceled Medi-Cal coverage for adult day healthcare, removed $486 million from the In-Home Supportive Services program, cut $2.5 million from the Multi Services Senior Program, and reduced reimbursement for all Medi-Cal providers by 10 percent.
“The only viable alternative to finding more revenue to balance the budget is to cut further and deeper into services Californians need, “ said Jack Christy, director of public policy for Aging Services of California. www.aging.org
From the CANHR Advocate: Cuts to Services for Developmental Disabled:
The Governor’s budget proposal includes $750,000,000 in cuts for services for the developmentally disables. The build of those cuts will impact he 21 non-profit regional centers that coordinate community-based services and supports to over 240,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. www.canhr.org
Double Taxation of Seniors is New Cause For Amac
The Association of Mature American Citizens says it is focused on a new cause—the double taxation of senior citizens. Dan Weber, AMAC’s president, says it is “appalling” that many seniors on social security must pay income tax on their benefits and is calling on Congress to address the issue promptly.
“The government is taxing their taxes, and that is just plain unfair” Weber notes in a new campaign calling on all seniors to join AMAC in its “demand that tax reformers on the Hill take a closer look at this particular, peculiar inequity in the law that decidedly targets older Americans.”
He gives as an example a person with a combined income of $38,000, (assuming $24,000 in Social Security income) would have half of his or her Social Security taxed. That person would fall into the 15% tax bracket resulting in $1,800 in extra tax on their Social Security income. In fact, when total combined income exceeds $44,000, 85% of the individual’s Social Security gets taxed, typically resulting in an extra tax of $3,000 or more. [See Social Security publication 915 to figure your combined income].
“These folks accumulated Social Security benefits in the first place by paying taxes and now the taxes they paid are being taxed.
AMAC has designated its Web site, www.amac.us, as the rallying point for its new cause and is asking “seniors and their families to visit and express their opinions and tell their own stories on this and other issues affecting them.” www.amac.uswww.amac.us
Medicare Costs Too High? Three Medicare Proposals That Would Make You Pay Even More
Congress is considering three major deficit reduction proposals that would make seniors pay even more for their Medicare than they do now. The debate over federal spending on Medicare is occurring at the same time a majority of seniors are reporting higher out-of-pocket Medicare costs, according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Retirees received no annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in both 2010 and 2011, leaving them with less Social Security income to cover much higher monthly bills. About 47 percent of respondents report receiving lower Social Security payments this year, and more than 60 percent said their overall monthly expenses had increased $80 or more. The Senior Citizens League's, www.SeniorsLeague.org, or call 1-800-333-8725 for information.