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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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Message 291 of 320
In Response to Re: Share your fears about Social Security:
[ Over the years the government has borrowed from the SS fund and used it for other things and has not to date paid it back.  If they would pay back the funds they borrowed, maybe the fund wouldn't be in trouble today.  I think this should be of major concern..

Note this fact: the government has never 'borrowed' nor 'stolen' money from the SS fund. The so-called Social Security Trust Fund is an accounting device, not a true fund.
All FICA payments from salaries have always gone into the general fund. All payments to SS recipients also come from the general fund.
See 'Social Security Trust Fund', on Wikipedia.

Actually SS is not in trouble, it is funded fully for 25 more years, (I,e,, there is enough income to match the outgo), then the outgo will be more than the income. However, since it all comes from the general funds, the outgo could ostensibly be paid from revenue from other tax, if the politicians choose to do so.

The reason for no increases in the past few years is that an accounting rule was made by Congress that derives the outgoing amounts from a measuremenet related to the Consumer Price Index. Obviously this comparison is not correct, considering that those items purchased by seniors are going up much higher than that.

A more real 'trouble' with the SS system is that the Republicans want to privatize it, sending some/all the income to private investment companies. Those investment companies will make billions, with no guarantees that they will continue to meet their obligations for payments to deserving recipients.

Hope this clarifies the situation.
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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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New Effort to Reduce Drug Shortages a Small Step
November 2, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Unprecedented drug shortages are threatening the lives of cancer patients and other seriously ill people, and the Obama administration's plan to tackle them is but a small step toward solving a complex problem.

President Barack Obama ordered the Food and Drug Administration on Monday to take new steps to send out early warnings about looming shortages and try to avert them.

"Even though the FDA has successfully prevented an actual crisis, this is one of those slow-rolling problems that could end up resulting in disaster for patients and health care facilities all over the country," Obama said.

There's already a crisis in the eyes of many frustrated doctors and hospitals who are scrambling for supplies of medicines ranging from common chemotherapies, to anesthetics used in surgery, to the electrolytes that are crucial to IV feeding in intensive care. Fifteen deaths have been blamed on shortages. Patients have had treatments delayed, surgeries canceled, or had to use second-choice medications. Hospitals are reporting price-gouging -- such as a drug that usually costs $26 being offered for $1,200.

Sometimes, "you have to look the patient in the eye and say, `I can't treat you. I certainly can't treat you the way I meant to treat you,'" said Dr. James Speyer, medical director of the clinical cancer center at New York University Langone Medical Center.

"That's a terrible thing to have to do, and it's happening across the country," added Speyer, who said Obama's action is important but doesn't address one key part of the problem - drug profits. "Unfortunately, we're going to be living with the problems of these shortages for some time."

It's unthinkable to patients who find themselves caught in the mess.

"How in the United States of America could critical lifesaving or life-prolonging drugs be in short supply?" asked Jay Cuetara, 49, of San Francisco, who said chemotherapy to hold back his advanced cancer recently was delayed by a week when his hospital ran out and couldn't get more. He joined Obama in the Oval Office Monday as the president signed an executive order directing the FDA's next steps.

Just how big the shortage is depends on how you count, but this is a record-setting year. The FDA reported 178 drug shortages last year and says it sees more this year. The University of Utah's Drug Information Service reports higher numbers: 232 shortages this year, up from 211 last year. The Utah service tracks shortages for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and has documented a tripling of the problem over the past five years.

Recent shortages could have been even worse: The FDA said Monday it had prevented 137 more drug shortages in the past two years, when companies told regulators they were having trouble. Options include getting other manufacturers to ramp up their own production, helping to find alternative suppliers of key ingredients, sometimes even allowing temporary importation of competing drugs sold only abroad.

Obama's executive order instructs the FDA to take more such steps -- to push more companies to come forward about potential shortages, to speed applications to change production of those drugs, and to alert the Justice Department about possible collusion or price-gouging.

The administration also supports legislation pending in Congress that would go a step further and require more industry reporting of shortages,

Overwhelmingly, the drugs in short supply are injectable medications used mostly by medical centers. They're usually generic drugs, not pricier brand-name versions. Just half a dozen companies are the main suppliers, said University of Utah pharmacist Erin Fox. A number of those factories have had to close for safety or quality upgrades in recent years, and there have been some shortages of ingredients bought abroad.

An Obama administration analysis concluded a big part of the problem is rising demand, especially for cancer drugs, that those companies haven't been able to boost production to meet.

But, "the main cause of drug shortages is economic," argued Dr. Thomas J. Smith of Johns Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Virginia Commonwealth University pharmacist Mandy Gatesman in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

Reimbursement for administering IV drugs is a percentage of the average sales price, what they call an incentive to prescribe a pricier version. Also, manufacturers want to produce versions with a higher profit-margin. Consider that shortages of a common cancer drug named leucovorin didn't start until the FDA approved a similar competitor that worked as well but, because it was new, was 58 times more expensive, the pair wrote.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association said it would work with FDA.

But FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg acknowledged her agency can address only part of the problem.

"There's no single or simple solution," she said. Still, "we can make a very real and meaningful difference by expanding our network of early warnings."

The executive action is part of a larger push by the White House to portray Obama, who is facing re-election, as an effective counterpoint to congressional Republicans blocking his jobs legislation. Last week, he issued an executive order to help homeowners refinance at lower mortgage rates and to allow college graduates to simplify and lower their student loan payments. On Friday he directed government agencies to shorten the time it takes for federal research to turn into commercial products in the marketplace.

The Republican National Committee called Monday's order "political expediency," noting that shortages have made headlines for much of Obama's presidency.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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Sussposedly we are getting a cost of living increase in January, but part B deductibles are also increasing, Will there be any actual increase in our actual benefit cash amount .  Also during the Bush years in office the government got some very large loans from Medicare when it is a fat cow.  Now the first of the Boomers are drawing benefits and their is not the sheer volume of younger workers paying into the fund.
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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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In Response to Re: Share your fears about Social Security:
I am new to receiving Social Security.  ....I have been told that the Social Security recipients have NOT received even a cost of living increase for at least three years (as per local recipients).  Is there a chance that this inequity of passing out increases will be addressed?  And When? Jack V. Smith
Posted by Powderhorn63

I began receiving SS the end of 2008, and we received a COLA for 2009.  COLA was pretty flat in 2009, so no one received a gov. COLA for 2010, but because Seniors have other costs such as drugs, etc. that went up, the Administation sent us $250 which equated to a pretty nice COLA since the average SS check was just above $1100.  For 2011 Congress said, 'no, if no one else gets a COLA, Seniors can't have one' so we got nothing for 2011.

I've never found any credible source that said anyone else got a COLA.  Yes, some who vore themselves raises have done so with our money.  Other companies have also given their employees raises because of no COLA too, my daughter was working for one.

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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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Are they ever going to stop the freeze on SS. I am living on $40.00 a week after the bills are paid. thats not much for drugs food Gas for car  and anything extra.    D.L. Anderson
Posted by dlittleones



Well if things get any worse for you, maybe you can cut your internet bill, go to net zero.net and get internet service for $10.00 a month on dial-up.  I will buy your computer from you, that might get you buy for another year.  Or you might think about getting a job at wal-mart being a door person.  F M
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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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The smartest way to handle this Social Securiy crises and other inequities in our system is to follow the sage advice of Warren Buffet, but that would be smart and it is too fantastic to believe that the citizens of this country will wake up and smell the coffee before it gets too bitter to drink. Anyone who wants to prioritize S.S. probably has a scheme of his own in which his bank account will multiply. What I would like to know and wish someone would answer is: how does Congress
get away with all of the outrageous benefits they keep voting on for themselves? Talk about inequity!!!
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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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I just went on Medicare in May 2011. Now I'm really scared the Republican Party and the Tea Party are going to do their darnest to "Take it away from all Seniors" Should I be "Fearful" or Not?? It's a terrible situation in Washington,D.C., and it seems like it's getting worse all the time. I am a "Baby Boomer" and I dreaded turning 65, because of all this mess. Everyone of us worked hard all through the years and paid in to the SS System, now they want to take it away from us??  They better "Think Again" We the People have Rights, so they better "Watch It" or they'll Vote themselves right out of Office!!! I do NOT Like what I'm hearing coming out of Washington D.C.!!!!  I am a "Die Hard" Democrat, and I really like Barack Obama, no matter what anyone says. He has "Fought TOOTH AND NAIL" FOR US. He has Bent over Backwards to get along with these Congressmen and Senators. All they have done is "Ruin this Country" and it keeps getting worse. I sincerely hope the American Senior People are strong enough to "VOTE THESE TURKEYS" OUT OF OFFICE. THEY DO NOT DESERVE TO BE IN OFFICE.
Posted by Yancey4


I agree.  The Republicans are planning to balance the budget on the backs of the old and the middle class.  Republicans think they can cut their way our of a recession.  It's not possible.  They need to get rid of the Bush tax cuts.  Even Reagan had higher taxes.  They think that the money will "trickle down" from the rich but instead it is flooding to the top.  Middle class wages have been stagnant for decades while the rich got richer.  Now there is not enough money left in the middle class to create the demand necessary to keep our economy going strong.  Cutting middle class jobs (like teachers and police) just makes things worse. It reduces demand even further. The Obama jobs bill would have put people back to work and it would have all been fully paid for with a 5.6% tax on income over a million dollars. Currently the rich actually pay less percentage of their income than the middle class because they only pay 15% on capital gains and they have a lot of tax loopholes. GE paid $0 in taxes last year. Send a message to Congress to get their money from the rich, not the poor and middle class. We don't have any left to give.
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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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Message 298 of 320
In Response to Re: Share your fears about Social Security:
I am new to receiving Social Security.  Last week I went to the grocery store and bought staples, many of which were not previously prepared foods.  When I arrived home, I went to my files and checked the same 19 items that I purchased this time last year and found that I had paid 30% more this year than last for the same items.  Gasoline has increased almost double (average) in the last 12 months.  Most federal employees, including US Congressmen, have received cost of living increases.  Some in the amount of 16% increase in one year, as per the US News reported on television.  I have been told that the Social Security recipients have NOT received even a cost of living increase for at least three years (as per local recipients).  Is there a chance that this inequity of passing out increases will be addressed?  And When? Jack V. Smith
Posted by Powderhorn63


There is suppose to be a 3.6% increase in SS in Jan. 2012.
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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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I just went on Medicare in May 2011. Now I'm really scared the Republican Party and the Tea Party are going to do their darnest to "Take it away from all Seniors" Should I be "Fearful" or Not?? It's a terrible situation in Washington,D.C., and it seems like it's getting worse all the time.
I am a "Baby Boomer" and I dreaded turning 65, because of all this mess. Everyone of us worked hard all through the years and paid in to the SS System, now they want to take it away from us??  They better "Think Again" We the People have Rights, so they better "Watch It" or they'll Vote themselves right out of Office!!!

I do NOT Like what I'm hearing coming out of Washington D.C.!!!!  I am a "Die Hard" Democrat, and I really like Barack Obama, no matter what anyone says. He has "Fought TOOTH AND NAIL" FOR US. He has Bent over Backwards to get along with these Congressmen and Senators. All they have done is "Ruin this Country" and it keeps getting worse.
I sincerely hope the American Senior People are strong enough to "VOTE THESE TURKEYS" OUT OF OFFICE. THEY DO NOT DESERVE TO BE IN OFFICE.
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Re: Share your fears about Social Security

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Considering US economy has been in the dumps for 4+ years and employers are still laying off workers, those thousands of Baby Boomers turning 65 each day need some financial safety net.  The false robust US economy has been uncovered and it's been proven the US was living a lie based on false real estate values and credit cards that buyers/users could not afford.  Companies to specify in help wanted ads that they do not want resumes from anyone who is not currently employed so the unemployed millions can't even apply for jobs.  Unemployed people use all (if they had any) savings and home equity and credit card balances to try to stay afloat while looking for (non-existing) jobs.  I've read that 45 is the new unemployable age - keeps getting lower from 65 to 60 to 55 to 50 - sure tell a healthy intelligent 45-year old man with a family to support that he's unemployable (same for single mom).  Recent article said companies in India and Philippines are taking US job - Ha!  I have a friend doing online work for firm in India  so reality is that US drives business out to foreign countries like India and then the India firms turn around and offer online jobs to US citizens at dirt-cheap wages and often refuse to pay for the work done.  Are the US unpaid citizens suppose to sue the foreign firm for payment?  Anybody else out there have experience as a legal secretary/paralegal so they know how slim chances are that'll happen? 
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