( from Politico)Social Security could be insolvent by the end of this decade because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to some new estimates, creating new pressure for Congress to fix the troubled program after decades of inaction.
The last official government projection had the program running out of money by 2035. But some outside economists are looking at the trends and moving up the date when the program starts paying out more than it takes in: Tens of millions of workers are suddenly unemployed and not paying into the government account that funds benefits for retired workers. At the same time, a flood of older Americans who’ve lost jobs are expected to start drawing benefits as soon as they’re eligible.
Note: Senior advocacy groups including the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans and New York StateWide Senior Action Council want to lift the earnings cap on Social Security so that payroll taxes are not ended when a worker reaches an annual earnings of $137,000. Former Vice President Joseph Biden is proposing that taxes be resumed on earnings over $400,000. The earnings cap had been pegged to cover 90% of earned income but that has dropped to 83% according to Politico so some upward adjustment of the earnings cap is needed just to preserve the intended financing for Social Security.
In America’s nursing homes, outbreaks grow.
NY Times report – March 25
Across the country, a pattern has played out with tragic consistency: Someone gets sick in a nursing home. Soon, several residents and employees have the coronavirus.
Older people and those with underlying health problems are most vulnerable to Covid-19, making the consequences of a nursing home outbreak especially devastating. At least 35 deaths have been linked to an outbreak at the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland, Wash. Many of the victims were in their 80s or 90s.
In New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., multiple deaths have been tied to senior centers. In Wisconsin, the National Guard was sent to help after a man died in a memory care unit and others were infected. Similar outbreaks have been reported in Ohio, in Colorado and in Bellingham, Wash., where 26 residents and six staff members at a nursing and rehabilitation center had been infected by Sunday.
Note: Family and visitors are not allowed to visit at this time, causing further stress and worry for families.
This should tell us all we need to know about the danger for older persons in New York State. Age breakdown of New York State 114 coronavirus deaths.
98 are 60+,
51 are 80+
90+: 15 people
80-89: 36 people
70-79: 29 people
60-69: 18 people
50-59: 11 people
40-49: 5 people
Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo gave some good news Monday morning about those stepping up in this crisis. His office put out the call for retired health professionals to volunteer to help active employees who are pushed to the limit So far, over 30,000 have signed up to help on the state Department of Health’s website. It’s a remarkable testament to the power of retirees to help communities, especially at critical times like this.
It is not just for-profit businesses that are losing money and customers. Senior services organizations face the possibility of a loss of funds because they have contracts requiring them to provide direct services to older persons. However, they can’t do that at this time since many services have been suspended especially to provide transportation, non-medical chore services or adult day care or socialization at senior centers. Many senior providers are continuing to provide services by phone with re-assurance calls or home delivered meals but there is going to have to be consideration of adjusting contracts or the very nonprofits needed to help older people will be in facing major financial shortfalls.
Click on the link Michael Burgess, former Director, NY State Office for the Aging interviewed by Cynthia Pooler of Focus on Albany for internet and local radio station