Cuts in Social Security and Medicaid Contribute to Further Impoverishing African Americans

Obama administration set to abolish CPI, Cola and slash medical coverage for poor and elderly

Massive cuts are being proposed which will impact the way in which Social Security and Medicaid are allocated in the United States. The Obama administration has floated a plan known as chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) along with a goal of trimming healthcare funding for the poor and elderly by $400 billion.

These efforts are purportedly connected with the need to trim the federal budget deficit. A “sequester” was imposed earlier this year which is already resulting in furloughs for government workers, lay-offs in the healthcare industry and the elimination of programs which have benefitted low-income people for decades.

The chained CPI will lead to severe reductions of the limited increases in payments based upon the rise in inflation and the cost of living. These reforms, if instituted, would also be applied to benefits received by retired government employees, veterans and recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

In a recent study released by the Center for Global Policy Solutions (CGPS), the research institute placed the Obama administration proposals within a broader sociological context where the historic national oppression of African Americans has rendered this community to lower-wages and accumulated household wealth. Compounding this centuries-old reality, the economic crisis of the last five years has also disproportionately driven down the living standards of African Americans and other peoples of color.

After retirement African Americans face even lower incomes through pensions and social security payments which are based on earnings during the last few years of their employment. Any cuts to the incremental increases in monthly payments for retirees can only result in deeper economic challenges and poverty.

According to the CGPS study, “African Americans are among the most vulnerable when it comes to economic security. As of 2011, over half of the African American senior population was financially insecure.”

This financial insecurity stems from the continued lack of opportunity and systematic national discrimination within the education sector and labor market. In addition, the decades-long restructuring of the industrial and service sectors of the United States economy has left whole layers of the workforce without decent jobs that encompass adequate salaries and benefits.

CGPS says that “The persistent income and wealth inequality seen among African Americans comes from years of disproportionately lower levels of earnings, employment, educational attainment, and ownership of family assets such as homes, stocks/bonds, saving accounts, and businesses. As a result, African

This article originally appeared on : Global Research