Someone forgot to remind Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) that it's the Democrats' job to make Granny's life tougher. On the Senate floor yesterday, Coburn blocked a vote that would have prevented a reduction in Social Security payments next year.
Coburn stood in the way of unanimous consent to a House bill setting 2010 Medicare premiums at 2009 levels. As the National Journal reports (sub. req.)
, Coburn's move means "seniors are facing uncertainty over Medicare costs next year" and that "would see a net reduction in their Social Security benefits."
The back story:
The House bill, which passed 406-18 on Sept. 24, is needed to freeze monthly Part B insurance premiums, which pay for seniors' physician visits, at $96.40 next year. Those premiums are usually deducted from Social Security checks.
But because of deflation, there is no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment planned for 2010 -- yet Medicare premiums are set to rise anyway to keep pace with the program's overall costs. Thus, seniors would see a net reduction in their Social Security benefits without the fix.