Diverse Elders Coalition comment opposing proposed changes to the consumer inflation measures
In June 2019, the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed changes to the consumer inflation measure that, if put into effect, would harm older adults. We know that households just above the official poverty line report higher than average rates of food insecurity and difficulty paying rent and utilities. They are more likely to be uninsured. These vulnerable older adults need programs such as Medicaid, Medicare Part D prescription drug subsidies, SNAP, LIHEAP, and Weatherization. Far from making the annual assessment more accurate, simply shrinking the annual inflation adjustment for the poverty measure will make the current flaws worse. Denying us benefits by making the poverty line a less accurate reflection of our circumstances is contrary to Congressional intent and the national interest.