It’s a new year, but the deliberations continue in the U.S. Senate over President Biden’s “Build Back Better Act” passed by the House last November. (A review of how bills are signed into law outlines the entire process start to finish.) If this legislation finally passes and is signed into law into law in 2022, what will it mean for Social Security?
The White House defines the bill’s framework and lists its goals and objectives. While there are no specific changes to Social Security, the adjustments to other social spending programs can have an indirect effect on our benefits.
Social Spending in the Build Back Better Act
Some of the main aspects of the Act involve social spending on programs like healthcare. It also deals with climate change and childcare. For seniors however, Medicare changes, adjusting housing costs, and offering affordable home care are the plan’s greatest strengths.
Nik Popli and Abby Vesoulis breakdown the categories of the recently passed legislation for TIME Magazine. The plan sets aside $165 billion for social spending towards healthcare. The goal being to lower Medicare premiums and restrict the pharmaceutical industry from increasing drug costs per year, making medicine more affordable to those that need it.
Healthcare and medicine are two of the largest expenses for seniors, with many utilizing their whole monthly benefit to cover the cost. Lowering these expenses can mean that seniors can stretch their benefits a little longer month-to-month.
Additionally, the act offers $150 billion for “in-home health care,” which provides more money to home health care providers and offers aid to disabled and older Americans. The same amount is set aside for affordable housing. Housing costs and rent are other large expenses that seniors tend to have.
It’s expected that a new tax hike of 15 percent on top earning corporations will provide the revenue need to pay for this plan. Corporations in years past have aid considerably lower taxes, and exploited loopholes in the tax system have allowed them to avoid paying into programs like Social Security.
Bills like this and the Social Security Lockbox Act are heavily debated in Congress, but this is a time of reinvestment and change. Changes like these are significant, even though they might not seem like it at first. Offering more affordability across the board lets our benefits go further. So retirement becomes more than some big cost. We deserve our benefits, and it is time to reinvest some love and attention into the social spending programs that create them.