The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that 48% of households headed by people 55 and older have no retirement savings. The coronavirus pandemic worsens the problem as people are out of work.
This problem is further complicated, according to Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group, because those who need money may take Social Security benefits before they reach their full retirement age, which permanently reduces their monthly payments.
“The question becomes how we can strengthen the retirement security of today’s retirees, while strengthening funding for both Medicare and Social Security at the same time,” Johnson said in a statement.
In 2020, the group surveyed its supporters on suggestions to help bolster the two national programs. The 617 participant results were released in late January.
1. Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices by tying them to rates paid in other countries.
It’s well known that Canada, Britain, Japan and other industrialized countries have much lower drug prices. Most respondents — 85% — stated that tethering U.S. prices to these rates could reduce prescription drug prices for Medicare.
2. Restrict drug price hikes to the rate of inflation.
Eighty-three percent of respondents supported this proposal.